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.


Attribution modeling explained

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attribution model comparison tool

Want to give credit -- for your website's successes -- where credit is due? Learn more about moving beyond "last touch" attribution by using new features from our partner Google Analytics.

Our web analytics practice lead Jim Snyder was featured in another webinar with one of our agency partners and clients, Seattle search engine marketing firm Point It (click here to see the previous webinar in this series, "Google Analytics on Steroids").

Below is the second "chapter" of the webinar, which explains how Google Analytics' features Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Model Comparison Tool let marketers give credit for conversions to earlier touchpoints (whether campaigns, social media, or search), and not just the "last click".

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Universal analytics unveiled

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universal analytics from google analytics

Need to track your digital audience no matter what device in the universe they use? Learn more about the next-generation Universal Analytics from our partner Google Analytics.

Our web analytics practice lead Jim Snyder was featured in another webinar with one of our agency partners and clients, Seattle search engine marketing firm Point It (click here to see the previous webinar in this series). Below is the third "chapter" of the webinar, which explains how Universal Analytics works to stitch together multiple visits via multiple devices from one person.

UPDATE: Google is in Phase 3 of its Upgrade Timeline; in the next and final Phase, the legacy "Async" (aka "Classic" or "dc.js") GA code will be deprecated, so contact us to start upgrading now!

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Google Tag Manager now tracks any click

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GTMWant to track almost any website visitor behavior with almost no dependency on IT or development resources?

This month's Google Analytics Certified Partner Summit launched another exciting new feature: Google Tag Manager Auto Event Tracking. This feature allows websites to fire a Google Analytics tag (or really any tag) based on just a user's click anywhere on the page! Literally anywhere already identified in the HTML, be it an exit link, file download, mailto link, or form.

Some of the initial documentation is a little light -- especially on how to track clicks on other elements such as images and buttons -- so as Google Tag Manager Certified Partners and GA Premium Authorized Resellers we wanted to clarify how to use GTM to track almost anything on a page with little to no customized code. As Justin Cutroni puts it, "Bye Bye JavaScript."

When you want Google Analytics or other tracking of a link or form, you typically have to tap technical resources to insert JavaScript within an onclick event and hard code it within every element you want to track. Doable, but a real pain, especially for the kind of enterprises that use GA Premium. We thoroughly audit analytics implementations to ensure such clicks are being tracked, and there are often errors. Here are the essentials of auto-tracking events:

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Agency partner "Finding Truth in Data"

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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

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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:

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We're Mixpanel "consultants who get it"

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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:

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