Empirical Blog

Empirical Blog is our roughly weekly take on web analytics, market research, and online marketing, plus interesting nuggets from our alliance partners and past, current, and future clients. Subscribe here.

Agency partner "Finding Truth in Data"


finding truth in dataOur longtime ad agency partner McKee Wallwork & Company published an interview with our founder Peter Howley on "Finding Truth in Data;" from the introduction:

"Big Data is all the rage these days. It’s also confusing, intimidating and potentially misleading. Not so when you work with Empirical Path, a longtime MWC partner. We thought it would be helpful to ask Peter Howley, founder of Empirical Path, a few questions that may be on the minds of our CMO friends and let him riff."

The Stalled, Stuck or Stale blog posed some interesting questions to Peter:

  • Why do you get excited about working with marketing data versus other types of data?
  • What are the top things brands should keep in mind when analyzing marketing data?
  • How do you see the roles of CMOs changing over the next few years?
  • What is the biggest challenge you face today?
  • What advice would you give to newcomers in the marketing industry?

On the first question, for example, Peter replied in part:

"I think it’s because there’s just inherently a story behind it: we tried this, and that happened. A client puts out an ad, or an email, or changes a landing page, and their marketing data shows the results. Or could show the results: often our job as analytics consultants is to suss out that story. Frequently with marketing data (and other types), the data is incomplete, so there’s almost a detective element to some projects: how do we estimate or proxy a missing clue–missing because someone forgot to, say, add campaign tags to a link, or put tracking code on every website page.  When you’ve attributed a success to the guilty party, you’ve solved the case."

We also discuss our biggest challenge: hiring! Click here for job openings.

Please click here to read the whole Q&A.

We previously collaborated with MWC on their Integrated Marketing Symposium; please see presentation here.

Demographics coming soon to Google Analytics

User Rating: / 1

google analytics demographic reports

I’m 35-44, Male, my Interests include Pro Football, and soon you will know that when I visit your website.

Google Analytics announced Audience Reporting at the Certified Partner Summit that Jim and I just attended, in my mind the most intriguing of the new features and integrations with other Google products. Audience Reporting – when available -- will leverage DoubleClick cookie data to report age, gender, and interests in the aggregate and as dimensions that enable segmentation analysis…but only for some sites that use GA.

I say “some,” because these new dimensions are pulled from Google unit Doubleclick’s inference about its cookies’ owners. GA can only borrow -- anonymously and in aggregate -- this DoubleClick data when it can read that cookie, which requires a change to most sites’ GA Tracking Code. We can help, the change can be simple in Google Tag Manager, and here is some additional background:


We're Mixpanel "consultants who get it"


Our newest partner has a mission we can get behind: "...to help the world learn from their data."

mixpanel consultantEmpirical Path is excited to announce a partnership with mobile and web analytics platform Mixpanel. More than 1,000 businesses use Mixpanel to analyze 12+ billion actions every month to understand how their combined 225 million customers use their products.

Mixpanel sets itself apart from other analytics tools by focusing on tracking funnels composed of actions rather than pageviews, and individuals rather than aggregates. Mixpanel’s interface is easy to use, and simplifies segmenting your data to generate useful reports.

Key features of Mixpanel include:

  • Real Time Data - No more waiting for updated data; all data in Mixpanel is real-time.
  • Advanced Querying - Mixpanel’s customized approach to analytics allows you to ask any question of your data.
  • Conversion Experiments - Identify where you are losing conversions, and run experiments to find a solution.
  • Customer Retention - Track and measure user engagement.
  • User Analysis - Learn about your users and how they interact with your site.
  • Notifications - Keep your users up to date and keep them coming back through scheduled or push notifications.

Three Empirical Path consultants completed training in Mixpanel and learned the ins and outs of implementing, customizing, and interpreting the tool. Now we are among a small group of "consultants who get it" and the only such firm in the Washington DC and Atlanta regions; in CEO Geddes Munson's words:


Attribution, testing to be featured in webinar


Our web analytics practice lead Jim Snyder will be featured in another webinar with one of our agency partners and clients, Seattle search engine marketing firm Point It (and we're trying out Facebook's new Embedded Posts to tell you about it). Click here to see the previous webinar in this series.

UPDATE: please see below for video and slides for each of the three topics covered:

"Track, Report & Optimize" presentation up

User Rating: / 1

Empirical Path founder Peter Howley delivered a talk on how to "Track, Report & Optimize Your Web Creations" to HTTQ (now ABQ Web Geeks) on May 1. Howley admitted to being one of the "green-eyeshade-wearing bean-counters" in the summary below:

"You create a cool web experience using cutting-edge tools and techniques.  Then some green-eyeshade-wearing bean-counter — who admittedly paid for it — inevitably wants to know if anyone’s using your site/app/feature, and how it can do more for his bottom line.  That’s where web analytics and conversion optimization come in.  Peter Howley from the ABQ office of Google Analytics Certified Partner Empirical Path will present techniques to track visitor interactions with rich user experiences that don’t follow the traditional URL-to-URL path. He’ll review how to roll up, segment, and deliver that tracking as reports that a marketer and accountant can understand.  And he’ll show techniques to get more widgets/signups/donations/shares from key pages on sites and apps via split testing."

The presentation detailed how to improve digital properties and communicate results by:

Please contact us to learn more about Google Analytics and other web analytics and split testing tools.  And see our other speeches and webinars here and here.


Web analytics boosts power of CRM

User Rating: / 1

We've long beat the drum to encourage the best practice of tracking online and offline marketing campaigns and other traffic sources in detail, to prove which channels, creative and placements “ring the cash register.” But what if conversions in your business model take place weeks or months later, or offline by phone or in person?

web analytics crm integrationEven if you are religiously tracking website visitor behavior with web analytics, and tracking leads in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system like Salesforce.com, neither source tells you out of the box which campaigns and landing and offer pages brought your sales team the leads that later closed. They represent two separate sets of data, but when combined, they provide valuable information about individual customers. By configuring Google Analytics to integrate with your CRM, you can tie key web analytics dimensions to downstream revenue, right in your CRM.

Case in point: we just taught a top-ranked business school how serious applicants -- as opposed to “tire-kickers” -- find and use its website. We customized JavaScript to integrate Google Analytics into Salesforce.com so that traffic source, content consumption, and other data is passed to CRM along with form submissions. This enabled the university to see the quality of prospective students referred by various websites, and to differentiate among paid and organic keywords searched at the “top of the funnel” vs. at the bottom. With this information, marketers now have the ability to focus on the traffic sources, keywords, and website pages that drive the most valuable potential applicants, resulting in additional student enrollments and more efficient use of admissions staff time

Likewise, we recently helped a national restaurant chain -- which derives a healthy percentage of its revenues from wedding receptions and parties -- understand how meeting planners research their locations. By integrating Google Analytics with the restaurant’s Salesforce.com dataset, we linked the “first-click” and “last-click” traffic source to each lead record to understand the role of other websites in attracting the most valuable prospects. For the first time, catering management was able to see that both Urban Spoon and Open Table play an important role in directing customers to the website. By understanding how to attract more of these prospective customers, the business now has the ability to quickly translate this newfound knowledge into millions of dollars in revenues.

In both cases, we helped our clients answer targeted, specific questions about the website usage of the best customers and leads. Customizing Google Analytics to capture and send information to Salesforce.com or any other CRM can provide valuable insight into data such as:


Page 4 of 16