Students in a Recession
Yesterday I had the pleasure to talk about my work at the Medill School of Northwestern University in
I learned a few things:
- After presenting some of my more recent Web Analytics initiatives one Medill professor asked a very smart question: “How much do you think on a scale of 1 to 100 have we mastered Web Analytics as a discipline?” After thinking for a few seconds I said “20”. There is still so much to be learned and understood within Interactive Marketing and how to measure the impact of Online Programs. We still don’t have even a standard and simple way of measuring Unique Visitors to Websites. There are a lot of siloed approaches across a wide range of very different companies (e.g. Microsoft, Digitas) to advance Web Analytics but it still feels like an open green field.
- The Medill school is doing a lot of work around “Integrated Marketing”. My argument that we do need a new theory of “Integrated Marketing” found some interested listeners. My observations is that over the last ten years our discipline has put “Integrated Marketing” in the center of our thinking but our progress is much less that we all assume. My plead to the students was to enter the field with fresh thinking, new methodologies, and out-of-the-box views, so our marketing discipline can make some real progress over the next years in building a new theory of “Integrated Marketing”.
- I was positively surprised that most analytical minded students in the audience understood that analytics needs to center around building data driven stories, and not the most complex algorithms. The modeling and analytical work is just a tool to tell the smart and insightful story but not the centerpiece of our work. But you still need to know how to build a multivariate regression analysis and much more.
Despite the rough economy, it’s a great time to be a marketer and innovate of how brands interact with consumers and how consumers build and change brands.