I was fortunate enough to attend the eMetrics Marketing Optimization in Toronto this week. It was a great learning experience that really hammered home the idea of having a scientific approach to online marketing metrics. Whether it was listening to industry leaders speak, or conversing with other delegates, it is apparent the online marketing analyitcs is a fascinating and rapidly expanding space.
I was particularly impressed with the keynote session put on by Shaina Boone and Scot Cottick (with some help from conference founder Jim Sterne). They worked on the launch of Nissan's first electric car, the Leaf, and shared their story from the initial phases of their campaign to the product launch. What really stood out was their scientific approach to monitoring their campaign and willingness to act on what the data was telling them.
Another interesting theme I noticed from talking with other delegates was figuring out social media metrics. It's not that we don't know what metrics we want to measure, it's that accurately measuring that data is difficult. The impact of social media isn't as simple as noting conversion paths or measuring how your Facebook campaign is pointing visitors to your website. Jim Sterne pointed out in the keynote session that he first learned about the Nissan Leaf via social media, but didn't take action immediately. Those types of scenarios are tricky for online marketers to measure, especially if you aren't using an expensive tool to do so. That's not to say that there weren't some great ideas put forward on how to deal with this problem - just that it's one area we all are very interested in.
For myself, the highlight of the trip was getting meet Klipfolio partner and analytics guru Stephane Hamel of Cardinal Path. You're going to be hearing a lot more about Stephane and Cardinal Path in the coming weeks (hint, hint). They've been working on some really exciting stuff, and getting the chance to chat with him was really cool. Never one to miss a photo-op, here's a photo of us at the conference.
I am already looking forward to next year's conference in Toronto, and recommend anyone interesting in online marketing metrics to attend, too!