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What we learned at MeasureCamp Brussels 2018

Imagine giving up your Saturday to meet up with one hundred people to share knowledge back and forth. Not really giving up - right? That’s the premise of a MeasureCamp: an unconference focused on digital analytics. Since its inception in London in 2012, there have been MeasureCamps all over the world. From Auckland all the way around the globe to San Fransisco.

MeasureCamps are free events. You show up and we’ll have breakfast ready. There’s coffee, tea and other drinks available all throughout the day. We’ve got lunch prepared and some sweets and cakes for the afternoon. And afterward, we take you out for a drink or two.

Obviously, it’s not all food and drinks. The object is to learn: That’s where the sessions come in. We had 35 session slots available at MeasureCamp Brussels this year. Unlike other conferences, there’s no line-up for the day: The participants contribute the content.

Anyone is free to contribute a session. Anything goes, but most of the time you’ll see that people either hold a presentation, a discussion or a workshop. Some people will prepare a talk weeks in advance, other people will think of a question or topic they want to discuss same day.

I’ve never attended a MeasureCamp where I didn’t come home with a bag full of new ideas, or things I want to try out. It’s a chaotic but inspirational day. It’s one of the reasons why I joined the organizing committee for MeasureCamp Brussels.

So, what were some of the ideas I picked up this year?

Cross-Channel Attribution

This remains the holy grail in Digital Marketing: Defining what role a channel or a campaign played in the end results. We had a couple of sessions on it this year. For example, someone presented a case on how they tried to identify the influence of retargeting campaigns on conversions.

It was an ingeniously simple plan: Let’s replace some of our regular ads for vacations with completely unrelated cat food ads and see if the performance holds. The cat food ads did claim a few views through sales, but the regular ads did provide a larger lift. It’s a simple way to find out if a particular ad works.

I ran a discussion to ask a question a client originally asked me: We know what works, now I want to know how much of it works when we need it to. I got the confirmation I feared: what they want isn’t currently possible.

Let AI take over your CTA design

One participant showed results on a test they were running with AI-powered design. They gave the system a few variables to play with, and then let it do its job to find a winning combination. It speeds up creation and results. Very impressive.

Tracking content like e-commerce

Did you know you can track your regular content, just like e-commerce in Google Analytics? Your blog posts can be your products. Your category listings can be your product categories. Sharing or commenting on a blog post can be a purchase. Google Analytics’ powerful e-commerce tracking can be used to group authors, categories and usage flows.

It’s surprisingly easy to find use cases for that part of the tracking. It’s a bit of work to set it all up, but it’s not at all difficult to do.

Conversations throughout the day

I always look at the sessions at a MeasureCamp as the starting point for interesting conversations. That’s why it was great to have Klipfolio sponsor our After Drinks. Meeting and talking to colleagues about the ideas they shared and picked up throughout the day always brings out more inspiration.

One of the most creative ideas I picked up during a conversation was at my very first MeasureCamp. Sometimes you need to limit the number of calls you make. The person I was talking to was using the Fibonacci numbers to determine when to send data. When looking at the usage of a landing page they would track on seconds 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21,… ensuring they had all the details they needed, without wasting calls.

Attend a MeasureCamp

There’s bound to be a MeasureCamp near you next year, if you live near Istanbul or Nantes you can even go to one this year. It’s an event I definitely recommend.

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Originally published November 1, 2018, updated Jun, 17 2019

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