Adam Singer, the Measurement Man
Adam Singer is an Analytics Advocate at Google (uhm yes, how cool is that?) who has been a digital marketing consultant for everything from SEO to PR to social media to measurement. On his journey, he’s worked for companies ranging from Marketo to International Dairy Queen.
The University of Florida alum took some time to interview with Lisa Buyer, who teaches Social Media Management in the Gator Nation. Singer is passionate about educating new marketers, and shared some key learnings and advice here:
So yeah, dude knows his stuff. But what now? How should you act on what he says?
ROI, it’s Tough
When someone like Adam Singer admits that one of the biggest challenges in social media management is ROI, take it to heart. In our ever-changing social sphere, there are so many different places consumers can go to get their content fix, and each of these worlds have a unique feel. We’d all do well to remember that.
Conversion is anything that you would define as a success for your brand. This could be buying a product online or signing up for a newsletter. It’s a marketer’s Mecca. And it’s not as easy as it used to be.
A couple years ago, a consumer would see a banner ad and purchase right there. One click. Super easy to measure.
Now, there’s not always a linear path to conversion. On top of the multiple channels consumers can go to, Singer reminded us that web and customer journeys have become more complex. And oh yeah, don’t forget a little thing called mobile devices. That leaves marketers with one big question: Who gets the credit for conversions? Google? Social media?
Solving ROI with Attribution
Singer clued us in on this magical thing called attribution, which is basically just giving credit to the different touch points that lead to conversion. And that complexity is a good thing for marketers.
Singer said, “It’s not just one thing anymore. We can’t just say that, ‘Oh this one channel is all that matters.’ All of our channels work together holistically. And that’s a great thing for social media marketers — especially now that we have tools to sort of help qualify this.”
One happy little social media puzzle. 😂 *Cues happy tears.*
Google meets Social
Google is this crazy big search engine we all love. But how does that affect social?
According to Singer, Google Analytics is this unique product, this “Switzerland,” within Google. It’s going to tell social media managers and marketers in an unbiased way what’s working, whether that’s Google or another social platform including Snapchat. For example Warby Parker offered its Snapchat followers a perk with a Snapchat only promotion using a custom URL leading to a mobile only product page and the results… didn’t suck. The eyeglass retailer sold out in less than 24 hours. Who said you couldn’t measure Snapchat?
Great thing is that Google Analytics is free, unless you want to be super fancy and get the paid version, which will allow you more features and account support.
WWASD — What Would Adam Singer Do?
Buyer straight up asked what Singer’s suggestion on measuring would be if he was in charge of a social media department, and he laid it all out on the line. Like everything you would ever want to know. It. Was. Awesome.
Start with a Goal
This goes back to ROI — what is your return on investment? Are you looking for sales, hits on links, consumers signing up for a newsletter? Have the right goals set up.
Processes for Measurement
Every marketer should go through “measurement planning” bootcamp. In a nutshell, have a process for the way you measure your success.
Singer has written some articles on ClickZ about this.
Objectives are Kind of a Big Deal
Going back to starting with a goal, we need to address what we want to accomplish before starting a marketing campaign or communications program. Our objectives should be centered around this goal. Do you want to bring brand awareness? Do you want to make sales?
Under each objective, you should define the KPIs (key performance indicators). The KPIs could be everything from web traffic to new followers on Twitter.
Singer describes KPIs as, “All of those things that will eventually roll to purchase.”
He also notes that KPIs are binary — they’re either getting better or worse, improving or not. Marketers need to be able to track that their KPIs are going in the right direction.
Set objectives with defined KPIs leads to more structured measurements and a complete capturing of information.
Tools and Tactics
Once you’ve set your goals, established your measurement processes and detailed your objectives, it’s time to look at which tool fits your data best.
Singer mentions a couple of options:
- Google Analytics (this wasn’t a surprise to anyone I hope)
- Google Analytics in tandem with a tool like Sprinklr.com, which is a social media management platform
- Tools within social media sites, such as Facebook Analytics or Twitter Analytics
Knowing which tools you’ll be using for specific objectives will help you have better benchmarks — which is important for consistent measurements.
Reporting Results: Frequency and Context
Singer suggest that marketers set a specific frequency in which they report data to managers. Whether this is monthly or quarterly, it’s important to establish this rhythm.
However, Singer also emphasized that the context of what you’re reporting is key. Make sure that you’re not only sharing dashboards, but putting your data in context. Create an executive summary that explains what your results mean.
Singer sums up what your executive summary should include better than I can. He said, “Here’s what we did this quarter, here’s how they impacted these metrics, and here’s how we see using this data to improve on it and go forward.”
Outlining these specifics makes your job easier. They create a set of expectations of what you need to report and when. It’s strategic. And like Singer said in the interview, it makes it easier to celebrate with your teams and keep improving things.
Lisa Buyer said in the interview that social media marketing is a constant evolution of adjusting and evolving. And one of the most fun things with evolution is ~trendspotting~
Vanity Metrics are OUT
As Singer put so eloquently, you can have a big following or a big community, but if they’re not engaged, it doesn’t matter. While marketers used to be obsessed with vanity metrics, such as the amount of users who liked a Facebook page, that is mattering less and less nowadays. Relevant followers > millions of followers.
“Dark Social” (dun dun DUUUN)
It’s not as scary as it sounds.
This term that Singer used basically refers to the situation in which a user would send a link to a friend via Snapchat message, for example. That link will show up as direct traffic in analytics, which means it won’t get captured as accurately as when a user clicks on a link from a tweet.
Luckily, Singer has a solution to getting around “dark social” (dun dun DUUUN). As a brand, you can “campaign tag” your links (appending the links you share with a special tracking code at the end).
Mobile (but you knew that already.)
Consumers love to mess up that purchase path for the marketer by jumping from their mobile device to a desktop. Well now there’s such thing as cross-device reports in Google Analytics. The world is a beautiful place after all.
Users love video, and with the rise of Live streams, they love them even more.
Some tools Singer mentioned:
- YouTube Insights (he does work for Google afterall).
- TubeMogul.com — this analytics platform can track your video ads across the web, AND can track TV ads, too!
More Resources and Advice
Another resource Singer mentioned was MOOC — Massive Open Online Course. You can find these online courses, which cover general information about analytics, here.
There are also a couple Twitter users Singer suggest we follow (of course you should be following him already @AdamSinger, but you knew that…)
Great analysts understand that digital ecosystems are always in flux & metrics they don't control should be directional/KPIs at very best.
— Adam Singer (@AdamSinger) August 15, 2016
Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, @avinash.
— Avinash Kaushik (@avinash) August 9, 2016
Analytics Advocate at Google, @danielwaisberg
— Daniel Waisberg (@danielwaisberg) July 11, 2016
Analytics Evangelist at Google, @justincutroni.
"It’s not what the data tells you; it’s what you do with what the data is telling you that makes the difference." https://t.co/GGIKvLkLKY
— Justin Cutroni (@justincutroni) July 20, 2016
Analytics Advocate at Google, @louisgray,
Twitter is a tool to discover and listen. These are 80+ excellent people (to start) which will lead to millions. https://t.co/h8uVI3fI2w
— Louis Gray (@louisgray) July 6, 2016
Last Words of Advice
Measuring everything you do can advance your career and can help you be more strategic with marketing.
Do you have anything to add to this? Share it in the comments!
Reported by: Taylor Maloney