intended consequences podcast

Marketing departments are understaffed, overworked and required to do quantitative and creative work. No wonder marketers are struggling. How does Erin Collis deal with the variety of tasks all marketers face? What can leaders do?

Wearing all of the Hats, with Erin Collis

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F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with saying “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

But most marketers are holding dozens of ideas in their minds, many of which are in opposition. And then these poor souls are expected to be creative and thoughtful amidst all of this.

I experience it. The people that attend my seminars and workshops experience it. And I believe it is a barrier to a culture of experimentation in marketing, product development and more.

I can bring book authors or consultants or titans of the industry on the Intended Consequences podcast any day, but today, I want to help you step outside of yourself.

Erin Collis and Brian Massey on Intended Consequences Podcast

Erin Collis and Brian Massey on Intended Consequences Podcast

Carl Jung defined Projection as our tendency to project subconscious thoughts onto other people. He believed studying our thoughts about others would lead us to breakthroughs in our own life and work.

I want to help you see your own challenges through the eyes of another marketer like yourself or the people on your team. It is difficult to see ourselves in motion, so you’re welcome.

Erin Collis has a lot on her plate, as I suspect you do. Erin is Marketing and Communications Manager at Corradi USA. I picked her almost at random to join me and talk about the challenges of being a digital marketer in 2019.

She attended one of my full-day workshops, but we aren’t going to talk about that. Instead, I want you to listen to the advice you would give her. My guess is that this advice is exactly what you need.

As you listen, pay attention to what you are projecting onto our conversation. Would any of those thoughts apply to you?

As always, stick around after the interview for my “When you get back to the office” segment.

Marketing mix.

From these magazine [ads] we can’t see what’s happening with them, or if they’re even making an impact.

Agency digital marketing data.

The data that [the agency] sent to us, we couldn’t understand. And we didn’t see any uptick in sales or recognition.

Building and maintaining relationships (digitally).

A majority of our business currently is offline business, but the value that we have to offer our customers — our dealers — is offering them services making it easier to sell the product.

When you get back to the office…

I found our discussion about creative time most interesting. When do you get to settle in and write, or design or get curious?

For me it’s Friday afternoons and certain mornings that I delay coming into the office.

But I realized I never put that on my calendar. I never carve out time to let the competing thoughts in my head quiet down and let my curiosity take the wheel for an hour or two.

Do you do this? Should you do it more?

That’s all this week, scientists.

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Barbara Caveness of Uncommon Logic tells us how she builds and manages teams that are both data-driven and creative.

Building a Data-driven Team with Barbara Cavness

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What job description would a marketing manager write if they wanted experimenters in their organization? I think it might go something like this.

Title: Marketing Experimenter

Primary job description: Making people aware of our products and persuading them to purchase them.

You are perfect for this role if:

    • You are not confident in your ability to create digital campaigns that will connect with our prospects.
    • You fail frequently and with minimum impact.
    • You do not consider yourself an intuitive copywriter.
    • Your do not have an intuitive sense of design.
    • You are good at holding off helicopter executives.
    • You ignore the expectations of others, unless they are prospects or customers.
    • You can waste time strategically.
    • You forget past victories easily.
    • You are unmoved by cool agency designs.
    • You’ve master the tools necessary to learn how to speak to our prospects.
    • You are good at talking about data and sharing it with teammates.
    • Must be good at asking questions.
    • You know how to celebrate successful campaigns.
    • You know how to celebrate failures.
    • If this is you, please apply immediately.

If any of these qualifications seem counterintuitive to you, don’t worry. We are all going to have to learn to work with this kind of curious, disciplined and creative person.

Would you want people like this working in your organization. I suspect you may already have these kinds of people on your team. So the real question will be, would this person be delighted to be in your organization?

Intended Consequences Podcast with Barbara Caveness and Brian Massey

Intended Consequences Podcast with Barbara Caveness and Brian Massey

To help understand these kind of people, I invited Barbara Cavness to join me on this episode of Intended Consequences.

Barbara is the CEO of (un)Common Logic – a digital marketing agency that you might be tempted to put into the category of “Search Engine Marketing”. But this is really an organization that enables teams of talented people to do great things. Her team investigates digital marketing data to find the surprising facts that can solve their clients toughest problems.

Barbara is very purposeful in her approach to building teams, even though she encounters all of the same obstacles that we do. Learn how this former Duke University lacrosse player became the head of a marketing organization and how she fosters teamwork, curiosity, and creativity.

Fostering curiosity

You know, there are a lot of ways you can free up time and provide opportunities to learn and try new things. TYhere are a lot of overt and subtle ways that you can nurture that.

Gone are the days of the unsophisticated digital marketer.

The vast majority of the clients at least that we serve are very sophisticated marketers themselves so they can spot a fake from about a mile away.

Data can save the day.

OK. Hang on. Deep breath. What does the data tell us.

The importance of pushing your team and investing in your culture.

We have a lot of young people on our team obviously. It is a young company, young industry etc. And so they’re sort of still finding their way when it comes to maximizing their potential. You know, it always comes back to sports for me right. You know I love also being a coach. I love pushing my team.

On doubts

Go run through that wall. You can absolutely do it.

Resources and links discussed:

When you get back to the office…

Take a look at your work day. Write down the top five things you do in your role.

Then, for each rate yourself on a simple Experimentation Scale.

In those roles in which you are the initiator of experimentation, give yourself a 3. These are the roles in which you often say, “Let’s study that,” or “Who could we survey?” or “Do we have any history to look at?”

For those roles in which you are a preventer of experimentation, give yourself a 1. This is not a bad thing. We need people on our teams to help us focus our experimenters. This is like the control rods in a nuclear plant. They slow the activity, and are very important.

For those roles that you’re not sure about, give yourself a 2.

In which of these roles do you find yourself most satisfied. In which are you frustrated? Is there a pattern?

I’ll leave you to decide for yourself what this simple exercise means?

That’s all for now scientists.

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Is analytics really going to make a difference? Will I benefit by getting deeper into my analytics? Find out how exciting one man can make Google Analytics.

Analytics is not one of those words that inspires action. It’s not a word like “Rose” dripping with alternate meanings and romantic associations. It’s not like the word “Disgust”, a word which evokes emotions and even specific facial configurations.

Shakespeare never wrote “A Midsummers Night’s Analysis”.

There has never been a hit pop song with the word Analytics in the title. And I didn’t even bother searching to make sure.

So, it is no wonder that it’s hard for us to imagine ourselves spending time in analytics. It’s a shame. Because, there, amidst the pageviews, conversions, events, and revenue are the hopes and dreams of our visitors. Their trials. Their triumphs, Their frustrations.

If there was anyone who would write an Ode to a Graph I saw in Analytics One Dewy Morning, it is my guest. He is genuinely excited about analytics, and Google Analytics specifically.

He is infectious. That means that, if you listen, you might get excited about analytics, too.

I know this. Your visitors hope you get excited about analytics, because it is the fastest way to make your website better for them.

Getting into Analytics with Chris Mercer

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Chris Mercer Can anyone plug into analytics on Intended Consequences

Chris Mercer aka ‘Mercer’ is not only good at analytics, he’s good at teaching analytics. That’s what he spends his days doing as the Co-Founder of Measurement Marketing dot I-O.

Chris and his team help people like you discover how to grow your business using tools like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio and more.

Chris is my go-to guy whenever someone asks how they should start in analytics. His model is great for small business owners or marketing teams who want to learn and expand their skills and build a system to help them grow.

Essentially, Chris helps people get to know the numbers – to grow the numbers.

So, how can anyone plug into Google Analytics? And where do you start?

You’ll be surprised by some of Chris’ answers. Here are some examples.

Where do we start when it comes to analytics?

I want to know the results. Number one I want to be able to see my results. So which traffic sources are causing which results. How am I getting those results.

It’s not just results.

It’s not only knowing what your results are but it’s knowing how you’re actually achieving those results.

Start with a question in mind.

We say it’s like the myth of the jade monkey. People think their data is like this jungle that they have to hack through and come up on these ruins that they find, and there is this little jade monkey worth of data that makes them a superhero. From a marketing standpoint, that doesn’t exist. Stop looking for that.

When you get back to the office…

Think back to a time that you had to trade off immediate desire for a long-term payoff, something that amazed you.

  • Did you ever watch Sea Monkeys grow as a child?
  • Did you ever plant bean seeds and water them daily?
  • Did you ever care for an ant farm.

These are all examples discovery over time. This is the gift of analytics. Your website is the ant farm and the glass is analytics.

No, your customers are not ants. But they want to understand them. Analytics is the way.

Watch Mercers Quick Start “How to” video –for free — and get some other freebies at MeasurementMarketing.io/ICP

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How is Curiosity related to Creativity? What are the barriers to your curiosity? Find out how to spur the curiosity of yourself and your team.

Experimenters. You know the type.

As children, we call them “precocious”. They’re the ones who are always asking, “Why? Why? WHY?”

In middle school, they were sometimes called “mischievous,” seeming unable to resist finding out what would happen if…

In high school, they were called “nerds” because they seemed to obsess about the most unusual things.

As adults, they brew beer, collect anvils, travel, rebuild car engines, watch birds, and join fantasy sports leagues. They seek to understand the rules of some endeavor, and then figure out what happens if they break those rules.

Yes, this is pretty much everyone. In some area of our lives, we all find ourselves obsessing about how things work, why they work that way, and what we could do to make things better.

Unfortunately, the area of our lives that we spend the most time on isn’t the one we are most curious about: our work. How many experimenters do you work with — the kind of people that make you ask, “When did you have time to do that?”

If your answer wasn’t “I am that person,” I have to ask the question, “Why?” What has dampened your curiosity?

It turns out there are four factors that limit our curiosity. My guest, Dr. Diane Hamilton documents them in her book, “The Curiosity Code.” She evaluated me, and I was surprised at what I learned about the limits of MY curiosity.

The Relationship Between Curiosity and Creativity with Dr Diane Hamilton

The Relationship Between Curiosity and Creativity with Dr Diane Hamilton

Curiosity with Dr. Diane Hamilton

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Dr. Diane Hamilton is an expert in emotional intelligence and behavioral science. She is an author, radio host of “Take the Lead Radio,” and creator of the Curiosity Code Index – which we will dive into on today’s episode.

Curiosity is a topic that is at the core of everything marketers do. We’re all about experimenting, discovering data, and getting answers when it comes to website redesigns, launches, and campaigns.

More importantly, I think that curiosity is a doorway into the mystical peak experiences called “Flow.”.

So anything that limits my curiosity is something that needs to be addressed. Let’s find out what the four limiting factors are and how I scored on her evaluation.

We all start off curious.

When you get back to the office…

When do you feel it’s OK to put your work down and play? Or learn something new?

For me it’s often on Friday afternoons, when the deadlines are met, and things are winding down. I’ve gotten purposeful about tapping these natural times when the bonds of my mind relax, allowing me to follow my curiosity.

The other time for me is when I’m on a deadline. I allow myself to renegotiate a deadline if I’m learning something that will improve my performance long term.

When do you find yourself following rabbits down holes?

Do you feel guilty?

Does your team support it? Do they even know about it? Why not?

How could you configure your work world to indulge these moments of exploration?

I recommend you take Dr. Hamilton’s Curiosity Code Index and see what’s in your way.

An example of Brian Massey's Curiosity Code Index

An example of Brian Massey’s Curiosity Code Index

Resources and links from the Podcast

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Should you be stealing ideas from your competitors? Wouldn’t you like to know how their website is converting first? It turns out that you can, and Mike Roberts wants to make it cheap and easy.

Novelty Bias.

It is the tendency of new things to increase our interest in them. For a digital marketer, it means preferring one design over another because it is cool, interesting, or just new.

We are rapidly leaving what I call the era of the carousel. This was a period of time in which rotating carousels were added to the top of almost every business website on the planet.

One person did it. It was cool. Several more followed suite. Before long website templates made this a standard part of their designs.

And for many of you, it actually lowered conversion rates.

This is Novelty bias at work. It often involves stealing ideas from others without knowing if they work, simply because they are new or interesting.

We’ve always said you should “steal like a scientist” riffing on the title of Austin Kleon’s book “Steal like an Artist.”

This means testing any ideas you want to steal from your competitors or other sites.

But, what if you could just see the analytics of any of your competitors’ websites?

UPDATE: Nacho Analytics No Longer Available

In July of 2019, the data feed that powers Nacho Analytics became unavailable. As a result, the Nacho Analytics service is no longer available. Nonetheless, I hope you’ll enjoy my conversation with Mike Roberts.

Nacho Analytics with Mike Roberts

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Your online competitors are now exposed. Intended Consequences Podcast

Your online competitors are now exposed. Intended Consequences Podcast

Who is the most curious person you know?

I make a good living trafficking in curiosity, and it’s been on my mind for several episodes of this podcast, Intended Consequences now.

Tim Ash told us how to build a curious business (Listen).

Dr. Diane Hamilton tested me using her Curiosity Code Index (Listen). Would you be surprised to learn that my curiosity is quite suppressed?

But, who is the most curious person you know?

For me, the answer is Mike Roberts. Mike called me late last year and told me about a new product he was launching that would let me see the analytics of any website. Then he told me the name: “Nacho Analytics.” I’m sure I woke up babies all over the neighborhood.

I knew that companies would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for this data. Mike wasn’t interested in this.

Mike is the Founder and CEO of SpyFu and Nacho Analytics. He is a digital marketing pirate, if you will. As I’m writing this, I realize he could be the “Dread Pirate Roberts” from “The Princess Bride.”

Find out why he’s pricing this so ANYONE can access it, and what Google said when they learned he was pumping his data into Google Analytics for easy access.

When you get back to the office:

If you’re afraid of Google Analytics, you are double handicapping yourself. Not will you not understand your own visitors, you’re missing out on understanding your biggest competitors’ businesses.

When you get back to the office…Subscribe to this podcast.

Because next time, I’m talking to Chris Mercer of MeasurementMarketing.io. My question to him is this: “How can anyone plug into Google Analytics? Where do we start?”

You’ll be surprised by some of his answers.

Resources and links from the Podcast

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Every business wants to know their customers better. Yet many businesses are inward looking. What has to change?

When you want to save a file in your favorite application, which icon do most apps offer up?

Why it’s the image of a 3.5″ floppy disc, of course.

The Save Icon is typically a 3.5" Floppy Disk. Find out why.

The Save Icon is typically a 3.5″ Floppy Disk

Why is it that the universal icon for saving a file is an image of a technology that breathed its last breath sometime in 2007? This is a technology that most users today have never even seen.

The reason is that Apple burned the 3.5″ floppy “Save” icon into our brains with the release of the Macintosh in 1998. Adobe, Microsoft and other software manufacturers followed suit.

By the time the 3.5″ floppy started being phased out just a few years later, the most primitive part of our brain had solidified this as the easiest to recognize icon when we didn’t want to lose our work.

Every time we clicked it, and got confirmation that our work was saved, we got a feeling of relief — and a squirt of dopamine. This cemented it in our mind and made it instantly available.

The image could have been a picture of a flying pig and we would still be using it today.

The save icon could have been a flying pig. Learn why this would work.

The save icon could have been a flying pig

Primal Brain with Tim Ash

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This is the behavior of our limbic brain, called “System 1” by Danny Kahnemann in the seminal book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. It’s been called our lizard brain and our monkey brain. It’s the knee-jerk decision maker, fight or flight.

My guest, Tim Ash, calls it the Primal Brain.

Why not something more intuitive? Like a file folder?

Or even a cloud?

Because, when our lizard brain doesn’t have a quick answer, it turns to our Executive brain. This part of our brain analyzes things to make decisions. And when this happens, it creates cognitive load.

This makes our applications harder to use and less satisfying.

We make few decisions with our Executive brain. It’s our Primal Brain — our emotional, fear-based brain — that gets the first shot.

So why are we using logic and rational thinking so much in our marketing?

Tim Ash started his career in the ‘interwebs’ back in 1995. He and I have a lot in common. For one, we both built web companies back in the ‘OG’ internet days.

On top of leading his CRO company SiteTuners, Tim is a digital marketing keynote speaker, founder of the Digital Growth Unleashed conference, and author of the book Landing Page Optimization. It’s still one of the first books I recommend to anyone who wants to get up on the learning curve when it comes to LPO….And back in the day, I learned quite a bit from it myself.

To begin to understand how our visitors think, Tim suggests we stop looking inside  our companies, and start looking outside.

Listen in as Tim explains why you should always work backwards when it comes to a redesign. Start with your end users. Understand your audience. Then build.

Warning: Tim doesn’t pull any punches.

Digital Growth Unleashed Conference

Las Vegas – June 17- 19

For more information, head over to digitalgrowthunleased.com

Intended Consequences listeners will receive 15 percent off your registration for the conference by using the code ST15 

Interview with Tim Ash: Which part of your visitors' brains makes the decisions. Listen to the podcast.

Interview with Tim Ash: Which part of your visitors’ brains makes the decisions.

When you get back to the office…

You team has data, insights into your visitors, prospects and customers. It’s time to let this data out into the open.

Invite your PPC team to talk about what ads work and which don’t.

Invite your email marketing team to talk about what subject lines are killing it and which are not.

Ask your sales department to tell you which customers buy the most, and which products are most popular.

This is the beginning of understanding your audience from THEIR point of view.

Resources and links from the Podcast

You can visit TimAsh.com for more information on Tim’s new book and to join his pre-announcement mailing list.

Unleashing the Primal Brain by Tim Ash. Book coming soon. Make sure to bookmark this page..

Unleashing the Primal Brain by Tim Ash

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How do you bring a data-driven approach to your website redesign? BigCommerce hired Chris Nolan to do just that. Here’s how he used data to drive a Market-first redesign.

When we lose an employee to another company, I feel a mix of pride and saltiness. I’m proud that working here turns otherwise ordinary men and women into highly valuable data-driven performance marketers.

But I hate getting my employees poached.

In 2018, it was time for one of our employees to step into a bigger role. After working with us for years, Chris Nolan (not the Batman director) stepped into a big role in a company with Big in its name.

Chris was tapped to be the cornerstone hire for the growth team at BigCommerce. We miss him, but have enjoyed seeing how a Conversion Scientist takes on a big organization like BigCommerce.

His challenge is the same challenge that “woke” marketers are facing in every industry. How do I get an entrenched culture to adopt data and testing.

“Market-First” Strategies with Chris Nolan

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You might say that Chris jumped out of his lab coat and into the fire with BigCommerce, as they recently redesigned their entire site. There is no bigger challenge to a growth marketer than an “all in” redesign.

BigCommerce homepage before the website redesign

BigCommerce homepage before the website redesign.

BigCommerce homepage after the website redesign

BigCommerce homepage after the website redesign

I invited Chris to come onto the podcast to share the challenges and triumphs of a new hire nudging a culture from the bottom during a website relaunch.

Buckle up.

Chris is the Senior Growth Strategy Manager at BigCommerce. Businesses build their e-commerce websites on BigCommerce technology. They recently completed a website redesign.

Chris started his marketing journey because he had a passion for human behavior. This episode is jam-packed as he walks us through agency relationships, differentiating mobile from desktop sites and how to think ‘market-first’ to get the right site experience for your next redesign.

Self Care Tip

Championing change in an organization is a long journey, but the victories come all along the way. So, when you get back to the office, do something to take care of yourself. Book a massage. Put a meditation session on your calendar. Invite a close friend to your favorite restaurant. Get a jog or workout in.

These are scientifically proven ways we make ourselves better marketers, too.

Resources and links discussed

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It’s hard to interview really smart people. They have great things to say, but can run them by you at a fast clip.

It’s like trying to savor a seven-course gourmet meal served on a conveyor belt.

Dan McGaw is one of those smart people. He sees the threads that connect customers to websites to campaigns to decision makers. We call these “stacks” and they are the hot topic in digital marketing these days.

Martech Stacks with Dan McGaw

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We all have stacks. Email platforms, marketing automation systems, customer management systems, analytics databases… And then each of the services we work with adds to our stacks — Facebook, Google Ads, Instagram, Amazon.

Most of our stacks come together piecemeal, one part at a time, independent and unintegrated. This means we spend hours drowning in spreadsheets as we try to answer simple questions, like, “Should I run that campaign again?” and “How many times do I have to touch my prospects before they buy?”

Fortunately, Dan is sitting down with me and I’m going to wrestle as many insights from his brain as possible. He knows all of the tools. And he doesn’t mind telling you what he thinks.

Buckle in.

Utilizing the Vice Framework for Marketing Stacks with Dan McGaw Intended Consequences Podcast. Click to listen to the mistakes marketers make in their stacks.

Utilizing the Vice Framework for Marketing Stacks with Dan McGaw Intended Consequences Podcast

On today’s show, we’re talking about the ICE Framework, what it means and how marketers can apply it as they experiment. Dan McGaw from Effin’ Amazing will also tell you how to include the “hippo in the room” [there’s always one of them]- while still giving everyone a seat at the table.

  • What do companies THINK they need to accomplish vs. what they actually need to accomplish.A lot of companies do have their priorities kind of backwards, so the first thing that we really try to look at with a company is what do they actually need to accomplish to drive impact.
  • ICE Framework. The ice framework of course is Impact, Confidence and Effort.

It’s easy to come up with a long list of ideas. How do you figure out which ones you’re gonna work on next week? Which of these is is a of quality to take to an AP test?

  • On Prioritization

Hey, listen. We could boil the ocean, but that’s gonna take 16 years or we can do these two projects right now. It can take two months but we’ll get something done.

  • Human Capital Expenses.

Tip for evaluating your Martech Stack

You’ve seen the bulletin boards in movies used by detectives to help solve a crime, covered in pictures and connected by strings tacked together.

Brian Massey front of his martech stack diagram.

Here’s my marteh stack diagram.

You should do something like that.

When you get back to the office, bring to mind your most recent campaign. On a bulletin board, or whiteboard, draw the path of your prospects through the various systems in your stack all the way through to purchase.

Even if the systems aren’t in your control.

Draw green lines (or string) if you can track your prospects from one part of the stack to the next.

Draw red lines if you must manually move data, or if data is not available.

For us, the Marketing Scorecard is where we analyze all of the work we’ve done. There are several red lines leading into it. It’s in a spreadsheet and I manually enter data weekly to answer questions like, “How much is a new subscriber worth in dollars?” and “How has our new landing page changed acquisition cost?”

Then get to work on the red lines. Some of them are red simply because you’re not using the data. I rarely log into Sprout Social to see how our campaigns are driving new subscribers and leads.

Reach out to sales to see if you can get a regular report of sales. Figure out how to tie web campaigns to closed deals by passing campaign identifiers with form data.

Then listen to this podcast again. You’ll see Dan in a whole new light.

OK, scientists. That’s it for this week.

Links and Resources from the Podcast

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What is the role of data within a digital agency? Should you collect data if you’re redesigning a website? We discuss these issues on Intended Consequences.

When we redesign our website, we are given a rare opportunity to change the bones we build it on.

Imagine that your website is a doll. You start with a generic, human-shaped form and begin to turn it into something. You choose the clothes, the hats, the shoes, the shades for it. Some you buy. Some you make yourself.

Your website is similar. You rent server space from a host and drop a content management system on it. This is a generic website-shaped form that you can begin dressing. Lest you think you can do anything with this digital doll you’ve purchased, be careful.

You can’t put Barbie clothes on an American Girl doll. You can’t put GI Joe clothes on your Star Wars action figures. Likewise, the host you choose forms the bones of your site, and limits what you can make of it.

Data in Digital Design with David Vogelpohl

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And this is why we often find ourselves frustrated that our Mr. Potatohead host can’t deliver a chic Bratz website.

If you want your website to fit into WordPress clothes, my guest today has the host for you. WPEngine is a host dedicated to WordPress websites. David Vogelpohl is responsible for marketing these hosted services.

David Vogelpohl WPEngine Intended Consequences Podcast Featured Image

David Vogelpohl WPEngine Intended Consequences Podcast Featured Image

David is the VP of Web Strategy at WPEngine. This conversation builds off the conversation Joel and I had on the last episode about website redesigns.

I’ve known him for a long time. I knew him in a previous life when he founded and built a design agency here in Austin. I’ve spoken at the meetup he founded called AUSome. So it’s rather ingracious for David to come on my podcast and counter what we preach here about Website redesigns.

David says that data doesn’t really matter for him and his team when it comes to website redesigns. He says no matter what, an agency has to use data to show customers the results – and as an agency, you have to live with the good – and the bad. Listen in as he explains…

Data-driven Design Tip

We don’t always get to research our campaign and website designs. That’s just the way it is. But every launch is an experiment.

When you get back to the office, think back to some of the campaigns or web pages you launched. Take the time to drill in on how that effort performed. Not just the results graphs you presented to the team. Ask yourself what you can learn from it.

Did your emails have different open rates? The ones with higher open rates may have had more relevant subject lines.

That service description page you launched… is it a factor in getting more demo requests from your visitors? Analytics can tell you.

The change you made to your home page, did it reduce the scroll rate? Your heatmapping software can tell you.

If you don’t know the answers to any of the questions you have, you get to figure out how to collect that data next time, on the campaign or page design you’re doing right now.

You’ll gain some insights. But more importantly, you’ll learn how to learn from everything you do.

Then get back to work, scientists.

Resources and links discussed

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How is conversion optimization ensuring that website redesigns always deliver an improvement in performance? Brian Massey and Joel Harvey can tell you. And they do.

Poker is one of those games that, like digital marketing, requires a left-brain/right-brain approach. To begin with, good poker players know the percentages. They know that the two four’s in their hand gives them a 12% chance of winning in a typical game. That’s their left-brain, data-driven knowledge.

Then you add in all of the right-brain stuff. Emotion. Reading the other players’ faces. Controlling your own face. Tells. And past behaviors.

Yep, that’s digital marketing. But there’s one move that throws all of that out the window.

Taking the Risk out of Website Redesigns with Joel Harvey

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You may have seen it in the World Series of Poker on TV, or in a James Bond movie. One player pushes his entire stack of chips into the center of the table and says, “All in”. What he’s saying is, if he loses this hand, he loses everything. All of the other players have to ask themselves, “WIll I match his entire stack?” or should I get out now.

Going all in smashes everything. It may mean that you’re ignoring the data in one big high-stakes bluff. Or it may mean that you’re trying to ratchet up the emotion, scaring the rest of the table into making a bad decision.

There is an equivalent to “going all in” in digital marketing as well. It’s called a website redesign.

This is one of the biggest budgeted projects a company will do. When someone throws a lot of money at the marketing department, it can be hard to resist.

Sure, it could have a huge impact on the financial prospects of the firm. It can also cause you to lose everything.

Poker players have one advantage over digital marketers when going all in: They can see their cards. They know their percentage. Digital marketers? Well, they have past performance from the current site..

But do they use it?

Joel Harvey and Brian Massey Intended Consequences The new way to redesign

Joel Harvey and Brian Massey Intended Consequences The new way to redesign

On today’s show, I’m pulling in Joel Harvey – Chief Operating Officer at Conversion Sciences. Joel’s role is to make sure we live up to our company motto: “Always deliver remarkable results.”

Check out our conversion-centered website redesign method that guarantees results in weeks, not months.

Joel and I are talking website redesigns today. And we’re going to tell you something that may blow your mind. Website redesigns don’t have to be an all or nothing hand. You don’t have to push all of your budget in and wait 3, or 6 or even 12 months later.

Listen to find out how we stack the odds in our favor, guaranteeing a winning hand.

  • The website redesign needs to be profitable – not pretty.
  • Users tell you what they think you want to hear.
  • Slow and steady wins the [website redesign] race.
  • Demand data.

When an agency comes to you and asks you to pick something, that’s an opportunity for you to say, “Wait a minute! You guys go off and collect some data and tell me which one of these is going to be victorious.” You shouldn’t be guessing. They shouldn’t be guessing.

Website Redesign Tip

The all-in approach isn’t just limited to website redesigns. Individual campaigns are usually all-in affairs as well.

When you get back to the office, open a spreadsheet and start writing out the assumptions that you’re making when designing that email, social media ad, or landing page.

You should quickly have a few dozen.

  • “We need to be clever in our headline”
  • “We need to have a picture on the page”
  • “We need icons on our website.”
  • “Video is required.”

Many of these may be well supported by past experience or best practices.

For each, you should ask, “Do I have a way of finding out if this assumption is a good one.”

You may be able to look at the performance of past pages. You may be able to see which email subject lines worked best in the past. You may create different versions of ads and see which delivers the best result.

Now you’re looking at your cards, and you’ll rarely win a hand if you don’t.

Resources and links discussed

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