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Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line?
In this episode, Andy introduces us to Julian’s Law, where the easier a metric is to find, the less valuable it will be for a real strategic measurement. Throughout the show, Jeff and Andy give great examples of metrics you should look for and others you should learn to care less about.
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Andy Crestodina: Okay. We've got to get into this because this is a huge topic that sends a lot of people down a rabbit hole, and I worry about them. Jeff, I really think it's a great time for us to jump in on this big thing of topics of metrics.
Jeff Julian: Yeah, I am 100% with you. I think coming back from content marketing world, and I do a session on the renaissance market or so becoming more of a marketer than you've ever been, kind of like Voltron. And you could see in the eyes behind people, it's just like I can't hit my metrics, I can't hit my numbers. If you want me to go out and learn brand new tactics and approaches and content types and all this stuff, and I'm like whoa, whoa, whoa, settle down. Let's look at the metrics you're trying to hit. I think that's where a lot of marketers, I mean, you're left on your own trying to figure this stuff out.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah and after all when you start to think of metrics you very quickly get to that why. Why are we doing this? What is the point? Is this goal focused stuff? So every action should lead to an outcome or why are we doing it? Every tactic should be aligned with a goal and so the topic of metrics is so all important because it forces us to remember or to think of or document the reason we do this stuff anyway. At the same time there are so many metrics in this, there is so many numbers, so much data that it's easy to get off on the wrong foot so, this is a good one, I love it but because it makes us more goal focused.
Jeff Julian: Yeah, I love the idea of hitting goals, going forward and in your case you guys have an event coming up, right? So in a month you'll be doing Content Jam and I'm guessing the metrics you have aren't page views and twitter followers.
Andy Crestodina: No. We actually don't care at all about page views and twitter follower, imagine that. It doesn't correlate with success really and that is kind of the whole point. Which of the numbers, which of the data out there in your field of vision actually correlates with the bottom line? What can you connect to revenue or demand? And for that reason, I wanna just kick off this kind of big picture concept. There's so many different numbers out there and many of them are so so visible that they may be driving our behaviors despite the fact they have very little connection to results, in fact I think there is an inverse relationship between the visibility of a metric and its importance.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? I'll break that down, in other words twitter followers you just said twitter followers, the super visible, you could see it right there. Right, you just hover over an account and it shows you twitter followers but because it's so visible, those numbers that I think are the least connected to bottom line and demand. And you know on the other hand, the numbers that are most important for demand, things like conversion rate, some of the calculated metrics and the things that you kind of have to dig to find or aren't even visible at all like phone conversions, off line conversions are very difficult to track are the most important.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? So I'm going to call that if you allow me to, Julian's law named after you Jeff Julian. Great. And there is an inverse the visibility of a metric and its importance.
Jeff Julian: I love it. I mean I just think like back in my real estate days, it was the first time I ever got into a significant amount of data when I built an entire statistical analytic system for the MLS. So 50 years of data, 18 different dimensions, all this data had to roll out, roll back up and all the reports were so focused on days on market. It's like what does days on market tell you anything about a property besides the fact that the right buyer hasn't found it yet? You know what I mean? I think it just continued to perpetuate into the digital world and all these other places where there's just something that's sitting right in front of you and you think that must be the most important thing but really it's likely the least important thing.
Andy Crestodina: I love that. So social engagement, we gotta call that out. The top top of the funnel, right? Even higher up like not even in the funnel, like way up there. Gonna be the least connected to bottom line so likes, fans, followers, all the engagement, social engagement metrics and this reminds me of the conversation I had the other day with someone about influence your marketing and how there are influencers who are sought of like celebrities who charge a lot for their collaborations and there are brands who really look for those engagement metrics and in fact the influencer is overvaluing the engagement they were providing and the brand is overvaluing the engagement they'll get. And so the rates for that type of influencer marketing and the paid influencer marketing world are totally inflated. I mean, really what would it do for your brand if a celebrity twitted you or posted you on Instagram? Bottom line, what does that do for you? I don't get it.
Jeff Julian: I mean it's just, it's easy to take that to an executive and say look at this and see how big we were, see who was working with us and instant credit is put there and I think it takes it all the way to the level of like somebody whose coming out and doing you know their IPO or something like that and they're saying here is our numbers, here's the sales we have and all that stuffs blotted just to make people excited to just continue to let them do what they are doing. I mean in marketing that's the same thing, it's like what can I do to get somebody else so excited that they'll be like, just keep doing it and no one looks at the ROI.
Andy Crestodina: They don't look. I don't think they are looking, I think they're celebrating the thing that don't correlate hardly at all with ROI. I mean that's not even a visit and so you know this, a like or a share or a retweet or a re-gram. So, first of all yeah I think that we have to, if you're a lot of us just traditionally think of google analytics when we think about metrics. If you're thinking about analytics okay, you've got traffic at the top, you know there's engagement metrics like bounce rate time on page and then there's the bottom of the funnel which is conversion metrics and I think it's fun to point out that these reports and analytics, the bottom three categories of reports are actually alphabetized.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? Acquisition behavior conversion and they correlate with the top the middle and the bottom of the funnel. So in that world I at least understand what we are talking about. We can break down which of those make sense or are important or correlate with demand but the other social stuff that's very confusing to me, how people put so much emphasis in value on those engagement metric.
Jeff Julian: Yeah and I think that, that just goes back to what we talked about in our last episode where people have put so much focus on social rather than to remember how the web was designed, remember how some of these metrics work like inbound links and outbound links. Those are thing that truly the higher you have the more likely your pages, your individual pages are gonna have authority. And that's something you might wanna check, that's something you wanna look at on the page level for something that you are trying get more awareness on, your working you know through a SEO plan.
Andy Crestodina: It is unbelievably important and as you'd expect, Julian's law, it's not visible at all. I mean where do you see, at an account recently and they were ranking for like a block buster phrase. It was like a, it's a dairy and they're raking it for cheddar cheese.
Jeff Julian: Wow.
Andy Crestodina: And I was like wow, how do you rank them for cheddar cheese? And we looked and it was like BuzzFeed had linked to this piece of content they had. That was maybe an amazing day for the marketing. Did anyone notice at the time? Nope. Did they even know that it had ever happened? So this authority link that lead to a rank for high rankings for an amazing phrase for them, was something that they didn't even appreciate, it wasn't really visible. So again the valuable stuff, you gotta dig, you gotta set up an alert, you almost need to buy a tool to track those things.
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Jeff Julian: And there are tons of tools out there for you to look at some of these metrics but for the majority of the ones that you really need, the ones that will truly draw our why from. There is probably not a connected system out there that's giving you that number. It's going to take surveys, it's going to take interaction with your departments, your customers to really dig in and find out you know, how, how that works for you.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. I think you've got some experience with this, like the health care, you were with health care clients and like are their patients happy? I mean that's not visible anywhere, you got to actually do research to learn these metrics right? Or like things in that hospital context you were talking about?
Jeff Julian: Yeah, absolutely. So I get a hospital, it's also like who brought the patient here? Are they happy? Because you know as a parent when you bring your kid there, my kid's probably not gonna be happy he's in the hospital, we've been there for a week but the likelihood of me using this hospital and you know either the legal front too with a lot of malpractice lawsuits and different things like the person who brought the patient in is one of those key people that you wanna make sure that you're providing them the most value possible. And that includes your website, right? If it was hard for them to find the emergency room because it was just buried in all the location data even though you knew where they were from the device and they would have loved to give you access to help me find the nearest location during that time.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? And that's all data and that's all metrics and that's all things that we can pull from and determine are we doing a good job or not.
Andy Crestodina: Yup. Yeah. Net promoter score, how many brands know what that is? Or the sentiment of your top referrers or the influencers and decision makers in your sales process. That's the type of influencer marketing that everybody should fully appreciate. Not visible, difficult to get to, critically important directly connects to revenue.
Jeff Julian: Here's a great example, so I was going into a donut chain here over the weekend, my daughter had a friend over and so it's very popular, I think they have one location here in Kansas city, it's called Hurts Donuts and [crosstalk 00: 11: 16] play on the whole phrase but there was a line there. When you get there into the door that was 20 deep and this is like nine o'clock at night. Like who buys donuts at nine o'clock at night? Well everybody does at Hurts Donuts and so you're waiting in line, it's about a 30 minutes process to get in, to get out and right above the cash register is this thumbs up, little like digital card, looks like a train stations light counter that says zero. And my daughter goes, look, they don't have any likes and she just kind of giggles cause she knows it doesn't work.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? The systems not working but I sit back and just look at it and go what would it matter? I know people like it. I just stood 30 minutes in line to get the donuts, why would you point out that you have a few thousand likes at this location? It didn't make any sense.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. That's a weird idea, that person is the very bottom bottom of your, their feet are hanging out of the bottom of your funnel. They're trying to buy. Why would you first of all risk negative social proof which they have because you know, she chuckled because it was zero. But is that even, I guess maybe is that an idea to get people to engage like they want someone to take an action on that?
Jeff Julian: Maybe, like if you hit the like button you'd see it change but I don't know. You'd have to have a sign that was dedicated to that but what's the point of just showing that? It doesn't make much sense.
Andy Crestodina: No. No. That's a miss match in that moment not really aligning with the interest of the person. I guess, I don't know, it's an example of over valuing social engagement metrics unless it's effective. I don't know, I mean am a measurement marketer so if they got data which suggests you know, when they put that sign up there they get this kind of soft subscribe with more people liking that brand and then seeing maybe you know, with any limited organic reach presented to them, seeing their content in their social straint but yeah, that's weird to me. I'm like more of a traditional digital marketer as funny as that sounds. Am a traditional digital marketer and it's a.
Jeff Julian: Only ones and zeros, you don't include twos at all, right?
Andy Crestodina: No. It's all about the, yeah am not that advanced yet. Someday Jeff, I'm working on it. Am not even a tactical marketer but we can just, generically speaking, the two most important metrics in any type of website would be traffic, total number of visitors and a conversion rate, the percentage of these visitors who take action. That is the super low res crayon drawing of metrics that matter but with that in mind atleast you know that you are carrying about both the mouse trap and the cheese as Beethoven would say. Beyond that we get into the much more interesting aspects of bounce rates, time on page, pages per visit, top path through the website. Which of those matter the most?
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? What about the different traffic levels or conversion rates per traffic source. Those are much more valuable. The way I think about this, there is a left column like the nav bar in analytics on the left where you click to view reports. The more junior the analytic user the more they click on stuff to the left of that line, the more advanced the analytic user, the more they are clicking on stuff to the right of that line. Adding segments, secondary dimensions, filtering the data you know, drawing deeper. It's the top level aggregated metrics that are the least useful and insightful. So the more you are configuring your reports and not just looking at how much traffic from social media but how much traffic from which social network. Not just looking at how much from each social network but the conversion rate for visitors from each social network and now you get into where you're finding metrics that matter and giving you back insights you can act on.
Jeff Julian: Yeah, I mean you got to treat it like a map and a map has, the reason you look at a map is cause you going to do something. You're gonna go from one place to the other. You're not just gonna sit back look at all the cities in Missouri but you're gonna sit back how do I get to this place using the tools that I have? So absolutely like do you need to build a more responsive website? Well lets see how many users you have that are coming in through mobile devices and Let's look at the resolution of the displays that they are coming in with. And Let's look at the you know time on page with those devices. All those things can help you say is the work that we are doing currently effective?
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? So that's a map and you're looking round and you're gonna work through the problem and you're a not just sitting back and going men, we got a lot of mobile users, check that out we're pretty awesome.
Andy Crestodina: But, what does that do for you? I was in a meeting last week with a company that we were talking about long form content and they said well, I get the idea of long form content but most of our visitors are on mobile and I said well, so the hypothesis, so this is what my mind does. My mind has this circuit that turns the question into a hypothesis and turns analytics into an answers machine. So their hypothesis was, our mobile visitors are less interested in long form content therefore we should publish less of it, reduce the investment which okay, maybe. I'm a skeptic myself, I need to see data myself but I can find that in, I don't know six clicks. Just go to the all pages report, you know, behaviors, side content, all pages. On that report add a segment.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? … Content all pages. On that report, add a segment for mobile visitors, which is a couple of clicks, couple of keystrokes, and then scan through the top. Add a filter for blog because we're talking about long-form blog content. Now I'm scrolling down a list to see the time on page difference for desktop and mobile visitors for all of the blog content. Within five, 10 seconds, we're seeing examples where mobile visitors are spending more time on long-form pages in the desktop visitors. Great, interesting, good support, rejects the hypothesis, but we found our answer quickly. That's how to use analytics.
Jeff Julian: Yeah, exactly. You can use other tools on top of it. Let's say it wasn't that clear. You go out and you get a Crazy Egg or a Lucky Orange and you put it in their segments. We're going to segment mobile. We're going to look at these pages, and now we're recording the eyeballs on page to see playbacks of people actually using the site. You can just take all of these analytics tools, all this thing that just captures data and prove that point very quickly.
Andy Crestodina: What you even call that a metric, those user recordings. It’s so insightful.
Jeff Julian: I don't know. It'd be hard to say it's a pure metric because you can't really query it and put it into a system, but you can use it to validate. A lot of it … Inside those reports, there are heat maps that you could see. Look, here's the places where they hit. If it's down at the bottom, great. We need to do a whole episode on this, the interoperability of SaaS-based marketing platform. That’s in this weird place where we have 20 different tools that don't talk to each other, and nothing gets back to the CRM. You'll see at content marketing world this year, huge companies are no longer there and other ones are just standing there, navel-gazing at each other, wondering, when are we going to have a true platform, a true ecosystem of marketing tools that work together?
Andy Crestodina: I find that fascinating. I was one of those who prophesized that they would converge, and they did not converge. There are more, they are less connected. We are relying … We’re weaving together these stories and insights from a combination of tools. What you said is a really useful way to do it. Let's say these are all real-world examples. A nonprofit website, they've got a donation page. Conversion rates are pretty low. We can see that the conversion rates are low. Time on page is high. What's happening with this?
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? We looked at Hotjar or Lucky Orange, watching the screen recordings. Partway down this standard ecommerce process, there was a question, is this donation anonymous or in the name of someone else? You can just watch visitor after visitor cruise through the form until they got to that. Suddenly, they have to think. They were in this paradigm of ecommerce and quickly checking out for their $100 donation or whatever.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? When they got to that, they had this … The website ask them to make a choice about, are you self-centered or is this altruistic or is there someone you should be making this … doing this in the name of someone else and are they living or do they care if you do it? They just all would freeze. These recordings would show the person just stops when they got to that field. The recommendation was to, sure, ask that question but ask it after the ecommerce process.
Jeff Julian: Yeah, get the money in your hand first. I think the minimal amount of information you need to close the deal and then after that, start engaging with the user. Maybe that would have been a personal follow up with the person if it was something that was a significant amount. $20 in my name, that might not be something you really care about. If somebody gave $2,000, there's a story behind this $2,000. Let's go interact with the person. That's all based off of data and indicator points and lights in your brain that the software now can bring out and put lights on the screen.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. Just seeing the number, again, the more aggregated, the less useful. Just seeing the number or the conversion rate from this form is 0.4%. Whoa. That's not good. What's missing from here? What's confusing about this? It was the screen recordings that showed their hesitation on one form field. I think Inspectlet … There are different tools that might do that without a screen recording, but the Hotjar stuff was really useful in that case.
Jeff Julian: Yeah, absolutely. You get a lot of the email tools too that will help you measure those things that you just don't see in your analytics because they're from Outlook or they're from Gmail.
Andy Crestodina: Speaking of email, there's another above the top of the funnel metric. Google Analytics will never show you your deliverability rates or open rates or click through rates from email. Here Again, there is no interoperability, and the digital marketer needs to look at different platforms. You might have amazing engagement on an email campaign, but the open rates on it were low because although the creative was good, the subject line was bad. That story, it's just the reality of our world, is that we have to have all these tabs open and look at this and piece it together because there isn't a unified platform.
Jeff Julian: No. It's unfortunate. Software like If This, Then That or Microsoft Flow or some of the tools that are built into Salesforce in their cloud, those will help us get there. Even when you look at those, here's a quick example on how to get MailChimp into dynamic CRM when a new user signs up. Great. I click the button, now we're connected. How do I get the people that are in there synchronized? How do I get the systems to actually go two-way and communicate? Those are the questions. You just can't. You're going to have to have IT intervention. You're going to have to have a software developer come in and play.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? In my case, that's great. I just put on a different hat, break up on a couple of the tools and get going. Most people don't have that luxury. It just makes me so frustrated because there isn't even a conference where these vendors are getting together and having these conversations. They're just going at it individually and only answering questions based on their own sales and not based off of how it would be if they work together.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. What about automation platforms? I guess you mentioned Adobe, but is there … Some of these ESP CRM analytics tool. Is this being solved by the active campaigns in HubSpots and Infusionsofts of the world?
Jeff Julian: I would say no. They’re all so focused and most of them are trying to build their cloud to be the biggest. You could see this from all vendors. If you look at Amazon and Apple and how they fight, Amazon won't put the ChromeCast on their store, and so Google rips YouTube off the FireTV. This is how big companies act. Salesforce and Microsoft will play buddy-buddy on stage, but Salesforce doesn't get access to LinkedIn sales navigator data as much as dynamic CRM does because it’s competitive. There's all this stuff.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? I think that goes back to what we were talking about earlier, this ecosystem. Nobody bought up anyone after Salesforce stopped buying up companies. They bought ExactTarget and then Pardot and all this other stuff, and then all of a sudden, it stopped. Now we've got all these small companies. Microsoft isn't buying up anybody these days. Adobe, they're just building their own stuff. Nobody else has any money. They're all busy writing their own systems rather than pulling in other platforms because the interoperability is not there, so what's the point of even having that data?
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. You get into I'm going to build some glue and you can connect these things with my integration tool. This is going to an explicit message I'm going to make here in a second, but Klipfolio, Mixpanel, Google Data Studio. Great, that's fine. You got to have a screwdriver in your back pocket for people to set these things up. They’re not for the normal user. These are power tools. Once they're set up, you may be able to get great insights and real-time calculated metrics. My issue with these is that every other tool in the industry, I hear people saying, “I need to get Data Studio. Please help me set up data studio.” When you say, “Great. What insights are we looking for? What reports are we trying to put on a dashboard?” They say, “I don't know. You tell me.” They don't even know.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? As every other shiny object that comes along, there are people who want to use the tool before they know the value they want to get from it. Imagine if that worked offline and you said like, “Oh wow. I got this,” I don't know. Pick something you'd find from Home Depot. “Oh, I've got this amazing power drill. Tell me how to set up my power drill. How am I going to use my power drill?” “Great. What are we doing? Do you need to screw in a hole, make a hole in something?” “No, no, not really, but I want to use this tool.” It's so weird to me that people are excited about the analytics tool before they know what value they want to get from it.
Jeff Julian: Yeah. I have this theory. The marketing industry has been slowed for the past decade because it's been operated by marketers selling to marketers that no one in this space that's at the top is not selling to the people who are existing in the space. All the conferences, all the magazines, all the content we consume, everything is somebody trying to sell you something so they only give you enough information to get you excited by but don't give you the education you need to actually do the deed and get things done. It's unfortunate. There are several industries like this, but marketing is one of the most furious ones where the education level is so low because we don't have options out there.
Andy Crestodina: I will give credit to a couple of other tools and platforms. People have reached out to me recently, and they are willing to do with me … I don't know if they do this for everybody, but they're willing to do with me a series of calls to make sure that I find some insights from their tool. OnCrawl has been doing a really good job of following up with me, trying to help me get some value from it. The opposite for that is the day I downloaded Tableau. Have you seen this thing?
Jeff Julian: No.
Andy Crestodina: It's a beast. It does amazing things, and people who use it in and really know how love it. It is like an erector set for data. You have to be a statistician was my takeaway. It's like command line. I opened it up. I'm like, what do I do now? I'm not the user for it, and that's fine, but it wasn't as if I had a customer success person who was trying to help me get through it. It might've been an outlier.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? I'm not saying anything negative about the company, but the conversion for these businesses at the beginning, monthly recurring revenue is the goal. They need to stay involved with … I'm happy to see it more and more often, people whose titles are customer success manager. They put success in their title. Clearly they're thinking beyond the conversion and toward ongoing retention.
Jeff Julian: Yeah. I think that's where we have to … Marketing is in that evolutionary phase where ROI is not just upfront. It is the continuation of a customer success and happiness, and so we are going to be able to start thinking about it. You hear it in these sessions too, people getting excited about the after the sale content. How do we get the people to use the systems or use the products and services and become influencers, become people who are sending more folks our way? Just look at the progression of Jay Baer's books and that's how you know where the ecosystem is going. We hugged our haters because we have the people who are customers that came on and they got that. Now we're talking about, in this next book, moving into new ways of bringing influence.
Andy Crestodina: Talk Triggers. I’m holding it in my hands right now.
Jeff Julian: Exactly. How do we get word of mouth to work because so many people walked away from it, thinking it wasn't a tactic because it's something you can't control? Jay is there to say, absolutely, you can control. You can actually engage it. This is where you can truly start pushing the emotional buttons of people and not feel bad because you're not trying to get their money. You're trying to get them to be happy and to go out and aim to help other people come your way. I love this new way of thinking of influencers rather than just people who already have influence.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. I did a diagram once I could share. It's got the different influencers for different levels in the funnel, and the same as metrics, different metrics for different levels of the funnel. Like we said, the metrics that are super, super high up at the top, maybe far above the funnel, things like social media engagement, less likely to connect to demand and revenue. The farther down you go, the more likely it is to affect demand and revenue so, yeah, retention of current customers. The classic in B-school marketing funnel, AIDA, that's really just in the middle. This stuff is far, far above that and stuff, far, far below it.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? I think what we're saying here, to get straight to it, is just stay down. Get down low. Get down to the conversion rates and below retention rates. Look for metrics that support the business case at the bottom and fix the leaks in your bucket before you go back to the well and try to add more water.
Jeff Julian: Yeah, exactly. If we look at the investment we made in Enterprise Marketer in the Explicit Content Podcast at Content Marketing World. Getting all the stuff out there, buying all the stuff that we needed for the event, lots of money. We raised some money, but let's say we're at the $5,000 mark. Now, my wife and I are sitting back, going, “We need t-shirts. Let's order t-shirts.” We order t-shirts. We’re like, “How do we get those t-shirts to people? Let's get a bag. What do people need to put in a bag?” We're running through all this stuff. Let's get hand sanitizer. Let’s get some mints. These people are talking to other people.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? When we give them their shirt, what's going to make it special? Let’s put their name on the back of it. How do we do that? We'll get our vinyl cutter and our heat press there. That's stuff we got to pack. What's next? How about we print a photo of everybody while they're recording? Put that in their bag too. The whole time, we're just amplifying the experience. Now when we're there, we're lined up, we got 60 bags. The metric I'm looking at while I'm sitting there on success for this is how many bags do we have left? We're recording. We're going through. Bags are dwindling.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? Now my success metric is who's actually wearing those shirts? Today I get a message from JK on his Facebook post, saying, “Oh yeah, Jeff, I'm wearing my special custom Explicit Content Podcast shirt today.” Now, I'm like, perfect. That's a big old check mark on return on investment, is I have an influencer wearing the shirt and they're excited about it. Those are things that I have to measure using a whole bunch of different platforms and interactions with people.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? Using whole bunch of different platforms and interactions with people. But that is the most important piece of it is, are the people we interacting with excited to do this again, and again, and again.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah, you nailed it. It's my new favorite shirt. I wore it Friday and Saturday. It's gonna be the first one to get washed out of the laundry because what you did was you made it ... When you personalized it ... So my name and Twitter handle is on the back. I am the only person with this shirt. It's a great like 10X case study. But yeah, my new ... I'm happy to announce the world, my new Explicit Content podcast t-shirt is first thing I wear when it's clean now. And Jeff did by going ... Yes, he paid attention to the right metric but you choose ... This is just advice for anybody buying event swag. The fabric should be so soft the person wants to sleep in it. And what Jeff did by putting the names on the back is he made every person who got it feel special.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? There were zero other people at that event or any other who went to that extent. I'm not surprised that you didn't have any trouble handing them all out. Amazing that you did that real time at your ... Wasn't just a booth, it was a studio you built there. Well done.
Jeff Julian: That example, that's a progression of 15 years of doing things like this, because a very long time ago we got the idea to do custom url's on the back. Because it was the unique thing and then we got the idea of doing this sticker on the laptop or the shirt alone. These have all been small tests. The quality of the shirt we used to have thick cotton shirts and now we have the soft, canvas shirts because we put them out and that we got feedback and we continue to iterate. But it's all based off of that metric of are people wearing this, do they think it's special. Did it take enough effort that we could stand out but not enough that we couldn't get it done.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? All those things that just year after year, that's our success metrics. I don't care how many visitors I had on the website. I don't care how many listeners I have. What I care about is will I have contributors and people who are in this ecosystem helping push and broadcast their content on our site and then also the content we have to other people.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah, that high touch, 10X approach creates fans. This is talk triggers. This is how you build loyalty and create influence for yourself. Another example of those which I love and I've got those people who've thought about this but maybe you don't pull it off or people who the idea occurred to them. Jeff, you did in Cleveland, but you just can't imagine how to execute which you know, just watch Jeff and you'll see. Chris Guillebeau, have you heard of Chris Guillebeau?
Jeff Julian: No.
Andy Crestodina: World Domination Summit. He's a well-known blogger on other contacts, different niches. But I heard this legend once that whenever he got a newsletter subscriber he emailed them to ask them why they subscribed. Supposedly, a thousand people, he emailed his first thousand subscribers after they subscribed and said, "Oh great. Thanks for signing up. Why'd you sign up?" After hearing this, I had to confirm it. I was writing a piece and wanted to reach out and ask if that was true. This internet legend. He responded, "yes." Personally responded to me. Even though he's a big name now, this guy has a massive audience. Personally responded and said, "Yes. But it was my first 10,000 subscribers."
Jeff Julian: Nice.
Andy Crestodina: He emailed his first 10,000 subscribers personally and asked each of them how he could make their inbox better. That's extraordinary. The 10X thing, just take it literally. The 100X thing, that's exactly what people ... That's how the greats become great. They just do what 99% of people would never do.
Jeff Julian: Yeah. And it's all about ... I mean think of, when I think of marketing I think of like how can I become just everything to everyone with our team at scale to make sure that people are happy and they're engaging with us and they're doing good work. It takes over the whole system and like you said, emailing everyone individually to make them feel special and to make them feel heard. It goes back to like Marcus Sheridan, what he did, right? What questions are they asking. Let's answer them and email it to them. Right? Those are just like, they feel like no-brainers but they really are deep thought and care and empathy and love for that customer.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. It might not show up as a number but there are metrics around that. Here's a guy who didn't just wanna increase his email conversion rates but wanted a one-on-one interaction with people on his list. If there's any sign of the upside to these people, just look at the friendships, look at the relationships. All of the qualitative stuff that's really, that doesn't show up in your reports. The most important things do not show up in analytics or in any report. Friendships, high fives, handwritten thank you notes. I talk about this sometimes. I would love to get feedback from listeners. Anyone written a handwritten thank you note this month? Or this week. Or today.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? If you wanna exceed the results and performance of 99% of your competitors, just do what only 1% of them would do. Which is to take out a pen, write a note, lick a stamp. These are things that don't show up in analytics but are in fact those things that correlate most closely with true loyalty and influence, and success.
Jeff Julian: Oh yeah. You'll see all these marketers going the way of automation. And personalizing as much as they can without it being personal. Then you hear all these success stories of people who didn't automate and that's how they really won. You wonder how marketers ... Why they aren't sitting back going, "What do we need to un-automate? And really engage with." I've even seen the new robot that actually does the handwritten letter. Right.
Andy Crestodina: Oh no.
Jeff Julian: They were trying to automate the handwritten letter. So it holds it a pen and you tell it what to write and it'll write it in whatever handwriting you tell it to do.
Andy Crestodina: Ahh.
Jeff Julian: I'm like, "Oh, wow." Just get down and get sloppy and write a letter, and go. Make it.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah.
Jeff Julian: Make that person's day. Right. That's what marketing's all about. It just blows my mind.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. Not that familiar with him but how did the influencer marketing platforms measure things. Are there metrics for some status bar on friendship and if you get to go, turn green, that means your buddies?
Jeff Julian: Influence marketing to me is based on relationships and friendships. I'd never used one but there's a lot of influence marketing software out there. What are they tracking?
Andy Crestodina: Yeah, so um. I was not one of the top 50 influencers for content marketing world 'cause I'm not very interactive on Twitter. It's just messages. But I had 40 influencers on my show. Right? We had one of the most photographed booths in the entire place, right. We had people walking by with phones just snapping shots, looking at it, wondering what it was. Yet we weren't the most influential. And it just goes back to they're looking at the vanity metrics. They're looking at the Twitter followers. And the retweets, and the things that they can get their hands on through public interfaces. Now that Twitter's starting to pull that back and Instagram's starting to pull that back, and everybody's worried about privacy.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? They're pulling all that API data back and will have to scrape websites to get to it. The vanity metrics those are based on are gonna go way downhill.
Jeff Julian: Wow.
Andy Crestodina: Because think about it. You can't measure the influence of a person. Just through looking at the numbers that we've talked about. Just like you can't measure the success for your company based off of the numbers we're looking at it. So all these platforms are just gonna end up starting to go away because you can never verify the data. I forget who I was talking to, but they were talking about like the top 10 influencer lists has three people from the company that bought it, one person from the company that made it, and five people from the other lists they did last year.
Jeff Julian: Right.
Andy Crestodina: That's how they do it. So you wanna do the top podcasts. It's my podcast, their podcast, and the five podcasts we used last year.
Jeff Julian: Well it makes sense to me and I've seen I think LinkedIn stopped sharing their engagement metrics which can no longer report on. Another thing that I'll say about LinkedIn is I love the way ... They didn't really gamify, which is exactly what's happening in social media. They did not gamify the size of people's networks. So it's like 500+. Great, we're gonna shut up about it now. Maybe there's a way you can click to see what that person's network is. The size of their network. It just makes it a better place. They're aren't people who are building software, sending automatic requests as much. I mean it just ... The fact that it's less visible means that the quality of the connections in there to meet are much better.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah. And I think things like the endorsements, they don't make them ... They don't send you alerts that say, "Hey, endorse these five friends and you'll get a free month of premium," or something like that, right. Because they're not, one, I don't think they're looking at stuff like that. But in the end if they did start doing that then endorsements wouldn't be as valuable.
Jeff Julian: Yeah.
Andy Crestodina: And same like with Amazon. They don't give you anything free for the whole general public if you come back and put a review in. Like something like a yelper would or something like somewhere else where people are kind of encouraged to give reviews. Just makes reviews not valuable.
Jeff Julian: Right. That's why they're real. That's why they're useful. That's why you read them. Is because people wrote them from a point of authenticity. You had to be motivated. You cared about the product enough to write a review - good or bad.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah.
Jeff Julian: I click on the one, first time to see who's really pissed about what they just got. Right. Because I know it's like it was a month ago and they were really pissed then there's probably a pretty good likelihood that the product was shoddy. Then you can look at it and see that.
Andy Crestodina: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. There's again, Julian's law. LinkedIn is not gamified. The less visible the metric, the more it's useful. So LinkedIn follower counts, less visible but LinkedIn connections and networks are more useful, more valuable. I mean wouldn't you rather have a LinkedIn connection than a Twitter follower?
Jeff Julian: Yeah, exactly. Any day, right. And I'd rather have an email that they gave me than one that I scraped off of the connect. Because that's the other thing, right. The accidental connect, somebody looks like, they've got mutual friends, right? How many mutual friends, that's another number that you see whenever you're connecting. That you're value judging. That it's an available. Readily, right. So whenever you have to make a decision that number's valuable because are you going to get hit with a spam. I wish they had like marked spam, like how many people marked this a spam.
Andy Crestodina: Oh, that'd be cool.
Jeff Julian: So way when you see it, it's like spam rating is a 50%. So you just say, no.
Andy Crestodina: Yep. Yeah. I think those people get blocked eventually.
Jeff Julian: Yeah, but it's now they create another account and grab another celebrity photo, put it up there and go to town, right.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah.
Jeff Julian: It's the never ending world of sales and marketing, right.
Andy Crestodina: Yeah.
Jeff Julian: And I do remember one thing I wanted to cover with you. The bounce rate, right. Let's leave it with the bounce rate. If I have a high bounce rate on a page, could that ever be a good indicator, something that I could say, "Yes, this is a good indicator for me."
Andy Crestodina: You know, I'm gonna stick up for the bounce rate. And I'm gonna discourage people from focusing on it too much. So let's say I write an article. Jeff, you and I create some amazing piece of content that says, "These are the top 10 analytics tools that you've never heard of." And it ranks for top analytics tools. And people click on it from search and land on that page, top analytics tools. Then they love it, they're happy, they found it and they click to go visit some of those analytics tools. That's a bounce. They found it from search, they landed, they clicked and left and went to the tools we were just recommending. Is that bad for our marketing? Did anything negative happen for our brand, for our reputation, or our conversions?
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? Sure. Super popular posts will push down your conversion rates because conversion rates a percentage of your total visits. But I'm gonna say that even 95% bounce rates for high ranking, helpful articles that answer people's questions, doesn't hurt a bit. I'd discourage people from worrying about it. Or obsessing over the bounce rate for their super useful content, marketing content. Embrace that as you are standing on the street giving people advice and send them in the right direction. You didn't sell them anything but what's wrong with being helpful?
Jeff Julian: Yeah. In that scenario too, what happens when they hit print. Does print have a bounce? No. But print is one of the best rates you can get, they printed it. They made it, they wanted to get it in their hands so they can go through and highlight it and do things with it, right. Show it to their boss. That gives ya a 100% bounce rate.
Andy Crestodina: I wanna see a print rate.
Jeff Julian: Yes.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? Well Google is a browser and at my house they own the internet connection. They pretty much watch everything we do. They can figure out whether not we printed it or not.
Andy Crestodina: We'd launch a tool. Salesforce will come back into the M&A game and buy your print rate metric platform.
Jeff Julian: Amazon instant delivery on printable items. You just send all the web pages you want to print to Amazon and by the end of the day somebody will courier it to your house. No printers needed.
Andy Crestodina: I love it.
Jeff Julian: Yep. Well it was great talking to ya again. I can't wait to see what we come up with next time. But if you have ideas for things you wanna hear us dive deeper into and really just brain dump on, go on Twitter or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and just give us some ideas and feel free to connect with either one of us on LinkedIn and just tell us you heard of us from the show.
Andy Crestodina: And one metric we do pay attention, star reviews on iTunes makes all the difference to us. Super grateful, just huge gratitude for anyone that takes the time to let us know what they thought of the show. Hopefully there in iTunes.
Jeff Julian: Yeah. That would be another fun episode. Is SEO from other systems like Amazon and Apple iTunes. And some of these other platforms where search YouTube, right. Where search is so important but they don't follow the Google search algorithm approach.
Andy Crestodina: I love it. Awesome.
Jeff Julian: Well thanks guys for listening and we'll talk to you again next time.
Have you ever wondered why some metrics are so easy to get to, everyone loves them, but you can see how they correlate with the bottom line? Thank you for listening to the Explicit Content podcast. For more information check out enterprisemarketer.com.
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