Gone Fishing?

If you don’t aim how can you hit your target?

I’m amazed at how many times a week I get contacted for Data Insights assistance. Most of these requests go unanswered as they come across as bulk shotgun style emails that are quite leading. They are not aiming for anything, they are just looking for me to agree with what they’ve already decided. Well, if you already know the answer to your question, why are you asking me? “I’m a doctor, not a Captain, Jim”.

One of my clients explains this phenomenon further http://tanujparikh.com/post/26384857215/know-your-target

I’m also astounded at how many “analysts” take the same old approach to Analytics. Their approach is give me all your data and let me play to see what we find, or even worse tell me what you think the answer should be.

However when someone takes the time to craft a targeted email that demonstrates they have spent a few moments researching my background and have thoughtful questions about their business, I usually get back to them quickly. I am happy to run through some high level theory, but often its only a matter of helping them reframe their initial questions to better direct and organize their overall strategy. When they’ve got the real bulk of data in hand, we begin a long term engagement.

At Soko Creative, we don’t just toe the age old line that predates your PC. Data Insights teaches us to use a far more scientific, truly objective approach. We essentially ask the data a question, understand how the impact could drive a future decision, how it will impact your business, and then set about to prove our hypothesis right/wrong. Most importantly, we take them time to educate you and your staff on how to take the ball and run with it; implementing long-term business processes that you can count on.

Keep your friends close

How much value do your friends bring to you? Silly as this question may be, its one being asked in offices and boardrooms across the country. Companies are trying to understand how much a “fan”, a “follower”, or a “like” is worth.  The most common response is, “I don’t know, but more is better.” However, in this case more isn’t always better.

Social media sites leverage something called EdgeRank to determine what content is shown to people when they log in. On Facebook, it’s believed that only less than 2% of eligible content has the potential to show up in the news feed.  So, the question shouldn’t be how do I get more fans, the question should be how do I get my posts to show up more than 2% of the time. The simple answer is engagement.

When people interact with your content it’s more likely to show up again in the future in their feed and the feed of those that are “close” to them. When companies attempt to gain just any followers via contests and other means, adding them could in fact be decreasing the total value of all their fans.

So how much value do your friends bring to you? Within social media, just like the real world, in some cases less may in fact be more.

Decisions, decisions….

We make decisions everyday. Some big ones, some not so big, and most without really giving it much thought. Should I wear the white shirt or the blue one? What route do I take on my way to work? Do I want fries with my lunch?

Answers: The blue one, last time I wore it with this outfit I received several compliments. I’m taking the backroads, the traffic on the main road is unbearable this time of day. I’ll should pass on the fries, fried foods upset my stomach.

What do all these decisions have in common? While there is no wrong answer, they all rely on past knowledge, or historical information, to make a determination. When we make a decision we take to sum of our previous experiences into consideration to determine what to do next.

Why then do so many expensive decisions in the business world rely on only a small window of data? It’s still typical for companies that have been around for decades to base day to day decisions on only the last 13 months.

Firms that have successful data management strategies in place make data driven decisions based on years, and in many cases decades of learnings. If you can learn from the past you won’t be doomed to repeat it’s mistakes. By choosing to shortcut valuable historical data, you’re only fooling yourself into thinking your actions are supported by the numbers.

Just Go to www…..

“Honey! Can you please Google again…. “

“But I just…”

 

“I know, I know…. but now try!!

Coffee brewing, bacon frying…. this is what my house sounds like around 10:00 am as my wife and I are keystroking the day away. Each generation has its familiar sounds. My grandparents had “Breakfast!!”, my parents “Can you hear me now?”, and finally my wife and I are at “How many page views”.

Remember when building a web page cost an arm and a leg? Or even being found on the web was considered a monumental step? That kind of thinking held true in 1998. You could get away with it until around 2008. As of 2009, more than a quarter of the globe made use of the internet. That’s a lot of content. Today’s virtual world is quite a crowded one, and if people can’t find your webpage then it might as well not exist. However, as the adage goes the three most important things in business are location, location, location.

Use someone else’s computer and Google your business name. Ideally you should be number one on the search, at the very least top three. If your website can’t be found then it will not help generate business for you. In all seriousness, the mere fact that you can’t be found in this day and age will actually hurt your bottom line.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did it actually make a sound? If your services can’t be found by Google then its akin to opening a store in the middle of the forest. Your ranking on their search engine is equivalent to the number of blocks your store is from Main Street. Venture too far and no one will find out.

How much effort have you put into building your online presence? How much dough have you shelled out in advertising? Google can find you for free, and their ranking is priceless.

Why spend on advertising when I’ve got the world’s best search engine working for me? Besides, my wife’s got this whole blog thing down to a science.