• ChadSummerhill

    George, I feel understood! I’ve worked with a very lean in-house marketing team for the past 4 years and my primary responsibility is our AdWords account. One of the first things I did was throw out a bunch of monthly reporting that someone requested two years ago and offered no insights into decision making or actions. I also canceled our 3rd year of Hitwise (which isn’t cheap) after no one could tell me when we actually did anything differently based on the data (but the VPs liked to look at the report?).

    In response to your comments about “Studying data = analysis” and CTR, CPC, & QS, I agree that studying these metrics can be a dead end unless you look at them in right context.

    With the right context you can do some fairly powerful analysis. You need to ask the right questions (i.e. what is the CTR of this keyword when compared to its peers in the adgroup for a given timeframe?). By doing this type of analysis you are disregarding the overall CTR trend and focusing on something that can be actionable. Even CTR trends when compared to last year, or last week, or last month can offer insights.

    Regardless of the metric, CONTEXT IS KING, and market fluctuations outside of the advertiser’s control are disregarded by assuming an even distribution of these market fluctuations across the entire campaign, adgroup, etc (think landing page testing).

    One more thing, you forgot to mention meetings. More meetings always seem to help.

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    You’re absolutely right, Chad, meetings always add value, that deserved a bullet…literally :-)

    And of course, smart folks can figure out contexts in which any metric might reveal something of interest…it’s just that they’re rarely the ones in charge of what numbers should be studied!

    Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.efrontier.com sidshah

    George,
    You article resonates a lot with my philosophy. I often hear people talk about “reports” and “analysis” but these “analyses” dont answer the question “So what ?”. “What can I do about it ?”.

    I always like to quote John Wooden “Never mistake activity for achievement”.

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Thanks Sid. I’ve often found that the folks who spend the most time staring at numbers are often the folks who understand numbers the least. Folks who get it know what to look at and what not to look at; folks who don’t get it can’t make that distinction so they look at everything.