Jen Carroll

Episode Transcript

Show Notes for ‘Yes Buts’ Of Digital Marketing: Data Analytics

This episode is our final in the four-part “Yes Buts” in Digital Marketing. In it, Data Dames’ data analyst (and synthesist) Annalisa Hilliard explains why data analytics are important, as well as why they may be more meaningful for certain businesses and less meaningful for others.


What Are We Drinking?

This episode’s mention of a noteworthy beverage company is for Western Reserve Distillers in Lakewood, Ohio (1:46).

Small Business Shoutout

This episode’s shoutout goes to Cathy Culp Posner of Transition Consulting and Coaching. Cathy specializes in career and job transition coaching, executive coaching, and business and team coaching (3:19).

Resources and Tools Mentioned in This Episode

Google Analytics
Microsoft Clarity
Google Analytics 365
Adobe Analytics
Google Analytics 4
Google Tag Manager
Avinash Kaushik

What Are We Learning?

Writing poetry and making cocktails! (21:38)

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Episode Transcript

Note: This content was created, and is best consumed, as audio, an intimate communication experience. Transcripts fail to capture tone, voice inflection, emphasis, and the other characteristics of audio that make it so personal. So, we hope you’ll listen.

If you do choose to read, please be aware this transcript was created using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and a little bit of human editing; it may contain mistakes and typos.


Jen Carroll 0:15
So we’ve arrived at our final episode in the Yes, Buts series. Yes, Yes Buts in Digital Marketing. Today we’re going to be talking about data analytics. But before we get into that, let’s talk about what are we drinking. Annalisa?

Annalisa 0:36
I want to say that this is going to be the best of the Yes, Buts series because obviously you saved the best for last.

Jen Carroll 0:44
Yes. And we are the Data Dames.

Annalisa 0:47

Jen Carroll 0:49
Nice. So what are we drinking?

Annalisa 0:51
We should be on our second cup of coffee. But when I went upstairs to pour coffee into my mug for my second cup, there was hardly any left. So

Jen Carroll 1:00

Annalisa 1:01
French press was

Jen Carroll 1:02
Who, did such a thing?

Annalisa 1:05
I don’t know. I wonder.

Jen Carroll 1:08
I didn’t try to rob you.

Annalisa 1:11
Yeah. So anyway, we’re, I’m on my cup and one quarter of coffee. And so yeah, we’re not really drinking anything, you know, interesting. It’s, you know, the typical, our typical coffee, but it’s good coffee. It’s great coffee, actually.

Jen Carroll 1:30
Well, yeah.

Don’t be putting down our coffee. This is better than any coffee that you can get in most places, right?

Oh, yeah.

Annalisa 1:40
Just saying we’re not featuring some new coffee shop or anything.

Jen Carroll 1:46
No, but we could talk about a distillery that we recently visited that is worthy of awareness. And that would be Western Reserve Distillers in Cleveland, the handcrafted, artisanal distillers,

Annalisa 2:05

Jen Carroll 2:05
organic. And all that being said, it also tastes fantastic.

Annalisa 2:12
Yeah, they’re in Lakewood. And we had a flight of gin. Right? A couple of their gins

Jen Carroll 2:19
we had we have a couple Bourbons, and we had a we tried the rum also the silver Rum. Wow. Let me just say that was impressive.

Annalisa 2:28
I believe, though they’re not bourbons. I believe they’re whiskey. Kentucky right doesn’t have to be Kentucky for a bourbon to be made?

Jen Carroll 2:39
To be Kentucky bourbon. That’s correct. Yeah.

Annalisa 2:41
Well, yeah. Okay. Thank you, Captain Obvious,

Jen Carroll 2:46

Annalisa 2:46
I but I think anyway, no,

this is not what we’re here for. Right? No, doesn’t want to hear about this. But anyway, yes, they have great, great drinks. The flight, each of the different liquors that we tasted on their own were really, really good. And then I had a mixed drink that was also very good. So yeah, if you’re in Lakewood, Ohio, ever, or nearby, definitely worth stopping at Western Reserve Distillers.

Jen Carroll 3:19
Nice. So our small business shout out today is going to be colleague Cathy Culp Posner of Transition Consulting and Coaching. I almost forgot what her business name was because I always think of her as Cathy Posner. I mean, what else? Cathy is an exceptional career coach, and she also does some leadership and organizational training. She’s phenomenal with resumes, with working on your LinkedIn profile, with an even more importantly, I think helping for

Annalisa 3:58
preparing you for a career change.

Jen Carroll 4:00
Yeah, well, right, in careers and transition and even, you know, obviously, that’s a big topic right now.

Annalisa 4:07
Any transition, into a career

Jen Carroll 4:09
Right. But I and right, she does work with college students, but I was also thinking specifically, you may not be in the middle of a career transition, but you might be imagining what one would look like and she’s a great–

Annalisa 4:21
If you’re wishing you had something– a different job.

Jen Carroll 4:24
Yeah. And so she’s a great person to consult with, if that’s where you’re at, as well. So in all of those circumstances,

Annalisa 4:33
and an all around great person.

Jen Carroll 4:34
yes, definitely. So kudos to Cathy Culp Posner

And her website is That’s a long one. Yeah, take it slow. Don’t let your fingers get criss crossed.

Just look up Cathy Culp Posner. You’ll Yeah, that works too. Well, we as we mentioned at the at the start of the show, this is our fourth and final.

Annalisa 5:01
[crying] That was my own. I don’t think we have a crying one, though.

Jen Carroll 5:11
True. But this is your favorite,

Annalisa 5:13
but it’s over. This is the last one.

Jen Carroll 5:16
Yeah. But we’re moving on to other really cool and exciting things. So we’ve

Annalisa 5:20
this won’t be the last time we talked about data.

Jen Carroll 5:22
No, I don’t think we’re ever going to stop talking about data. Yeah. So fourth episode of our Yes, Buts (and Yes, Buts in digital marketing), I always forget adding digital marketing for some reason. But the reason that we have done this series is a lot of clients and and people that we, you know, that we that we talk with frequently ask, should we do this technique? Should we do this tactic? Should we? Do you know, these, you know, is SEO good? Or, you know, should I be doing that right now? And the answer to those are always is Yes, But… you need to have some, take some time for some important considerations before you jump in on those on those strategies and tactics. So, the first one that we covered was search engine marketing, the paid side of, of digital marketing, and then we hit Annalisa’s second errr, actually, maybe, I don’t know is that you’re deeper for SEO over data analytics, or

Annalisa 6:24

Jen Carroll 6:25
Ah, okay. So her second–

Annalisa 6:27
But they go hand in hand.

Jen Carroll 6:28
Yes, they do. So and actually also

Annalisa 6:30
They all worked together nicely.

Jen Carroll 6:31
They do. So, SEO

Annalisa 6:33
Kind of a holistic thing, you know,

Jen Carroll 6:35
which is what we emphasize. I know. So SEO is her second favorite topic. And we did that as well. And our last episode of Yes, Buts, we covered content and social media, which is,

Annalisa 6:50
I think I took a nap during that one.

Jen Carroll 6:52
Um, actually, I think you talked an awful lot during that one.

I had to play the interviewer

it’s right. That’s usually my job. But yeah, so we, so we hit content and social media. And so today, data analytics.

Annalisa 7:06
So well, cuz I had to, guys. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I just can’t resist.

Jen Carroll 7:14
It’s all good.

Annalisa 7:15
It’s all good.

Jen Carroll 7:16
Well, let’s talk about one of the most important pieces about data and one that ties my tongue every time: statistically significant data.

Annalisa 7:28
Mm hmm.

Jen Carroll 7:29
What’s that all about?

Annalisa 7:31
Right? So we often work with small businesses, but when you’re talking like super small businesses, like solopreneur size or even really us, if you take our business, for example. Our website, obviously doesn’t get thousands of hits. OhI know, right? I know, I’ve been looking at the data. It’s very sad. But because I like numbers, there’s not a lot of them in there.

Jen Carroll 8:04
But I mean, so that isn’t really, I would say, is it sad? Or are we simply talking about the facts?

Annalisa 8:11
Yeah. So obviously, it’s always good to know what’s going on on your site. And any kind of data analytics is better than none, when you’re looking to see what’s happening. And so Google Analytics is great tool, because it’s free to have set up on your site, and then you’re able to, you know, see how much traffic you’re getting, and where that traffic is coming from, and what devices people are using. And that can give you a lot of insights, just in and of itself. But when you’re talking about doing testing, to know whether or not something that you implemented is, if you’re going in the right or wrong direction. It’s really hard for smaller sites that don’t get a lot of traffic to do that testing, and to base any kind of strategy going forward upon that data.

Jen Carroll 9:16
So is, so that’s the Yes. You know, yes, let’s you should have in other words, you’re saying you should have data, you should be, you know, getting, you should have it set up on your site, no matter what the size of your business. But as for how much it influences your business decisions, you’re saying it might not be statistically significant enough on

Annalisa 9:41

Jen Carroll 9:42
on sites. What would you say, you know, I guess, how, where does it rise to the level of statistically significant?

Annalisa 9:50
That’s a great question. And I don’t think that there is a hard and fast answer to that. I think it just depends and, I mean, I’m sure like scientifically there’s an answer for that. But I don’t have like, a hard and fast answer.

Jen Carroll 10:09
Do you need to rise to a level of like hundreds of of visits in a month? You know, is it like you need more obviously?

Annalisa 10:17
Probably. I mean, again, pride depends on what you’re trying to test, what information you’re trying to gather, and what decision you’re trying to make based on that information. And all those things are, are factored into what is statistically significant.

Jen Carroll 10:32
So that’s the first, Yes, But to consider: is it statistically significant? The second, yes, to data, but is What’s worth collecting? What? You know, data can be overwhelming. And apparently, it can be underwhelming, depending on the size of your, you know, the size of your business and the traffic your site gets. But what is worth collecting? When we’re talking about data?

Annalisa 11:01
Well, it depends on what your objectives are,

Jen Carroll 11:05
Ah, we come back to that at least once every month.

Annalisa 11:07
People are probably tired of hearing it, but it’s true.

Jen Carroll 11:10
And we’re not even just talking about marketing objectives, we’re talking about even bigger ones, which is the direction you want your overall business to go. So big time, big, big picture objectives.

Annalisa 11:22
But when we’re talking about data analytics, and a website, obviously, you know, whatever ties into your website objectives is what you’re gonna want to build your your reports around, you know, what, what metrics do you need to look at, in order to determine whether you’re, you’re achieving or moving in the right direction of those objectives?

Jen Carroll 11:48
Well, there’s a lot of tools out there. There’s a lot of are there more, I guess, are there are more paid tools then there there are free ones?

Annalisa 11:56
There are a lot I mean, yes, analytics, I would say over the last 10 years has really grown, especially when it comes to like, talking about marketing and websites. Obviously, Google has their free tool, Google Analytics,

Jen Carroll 12:16
Microsoft’s just came out with their Clarity, which I know you’ve been playing around with a little bit.

Annalisa 12:24
And there’s probably some other free ones. Google’s obviously the, the most well known and, and most used. And each of those platforms, if you’re a big site and have like enterprise level traffic, you have to kind of get into you’re forced to go into, like Google Analytics paid platform, which is Google Analytics 365, or Adobe analytics is a paid platform. And there’s, there’s a ton of paid platforms, depending on again, what you’re trying to measure, you know, every tool, like anything else that you use a tool for, has their, you know, strengths and weaknesses. So it’s really dependent on what you’re trying to measure.

Jen Carroll 13:11
Well, in Google, just, I guess, I feel like it’s almost like a rebrand sort of, but they were going with Web Plus App

Annalisa 13:23
App Plus Web.

Jen Carroll 13:24
And now they’re calling that Google Analytics 4. What’s, I guess, what’s the deal there with their new approach?

Annalisa 13:32
Yeah. So obviously, analytics has been around long enough that things are transitioning into kind of the next generation of analytics. And part of that push is coming from privacy laws. And I think we talked about this or alluded to this in one of the other episodes.

Jen Carroll 13:53
Yeah, I think so.

Annalisa 13:56
But with people wanting their personal information to be kept more private and and not being able to be used to be remarketed to or advertised to. So with that transition, or with that new focus, they’ve had to develop, you know, new products and an app plus web and why I was calling that originally is it worked with Firebase, and it was able to help you collect data across different platforms. So if you had an app, obviously, and then a website, yeah, you were able to kind of track track users across the two.

Jen Carroll 14:48
But apparently, they felt like that name wasn’t quite clear enough.

Annalisa 14:53
Yeah, and I think it’s just because again, it’s the direction that analytics is is going in overall it’s not like, Hey, you have a, you have a choice between, you know, collecting app and web data or just collecting web data, it’s gonna be, you know, they’ve kind of merged it to be one product. Yeah. And there’s there’s a lot to be known about Google Analytics 4; it’s in beta. It’s in testing. And that’s what I’m doing with it. I’m have clients set up and I’m starting to learn, you know, how to how to best set up Google Analytics 4.

Jen Carroll 15:37
So we talked about what tools are important. Once you, you know, once you’ve established the tools, your tool or tools, you’re going to use that the big question is what’s worth collecting? That’s huge

Annalisa 15:57
Right. So that’s it, that’s a consideration. And obviously, something that whoever you’re working with on your digital strategy should be established from the start of that strategy. And obviously, it can be adjusted, as, as you kind of get into implementation, and you see what’s working, what isn’t, what opportunities there might be to make improvements, and, etc. And so, you know, that should be that should be guided, obviously, you know, what you want from to get out of your website, and the strategy the strategist should bring to the table, their knowledge of what data needs to be collected in order to measure the success of those implementations.

Jen Carroll 16:46
Well, that really kind of brings us to our third point, which you’ve kind of really already summarized a little bit, the need for having focus with your data, understanding how it aligns with the strategy that you’ve mapped out, and then obviously, you know, collecting and analyzing the outcomes. Because, you know, if there’s one thing that’s important, I know, to every marketer should be important to every marketer is how is what I’m doing impacting, impacting the business that I work for. I mean, in just like, bottom line kind of way, that could be sales. I mean, that’s, that’s a, it’s a huge business impact. But there are other ways that that marketing can and should be, you know, making an impact on your business. And then, you know, what, what outcomes show that that’s actually happening?

Annalisa 17:47
There’s a lot of I mean, obviously, with, with analytics platforms, and I mean, I know Google Analytics, probably the best of all of them. There are hundreds of different reports, different ways you can slice data, different things, obviously, you can, you can add custom tracking through Google Tag Manager to track things that Google doesn’t track out of the box, which I highly recommend. And again, that should be something that your digital strategy team or your digital analytics team should be helping with. But really, there’s so much data and, and reporting and ways to look at the data, that it’s important to be as focused as possible with the strategy and setting those goals or setting setting the metrics that you’re going to track at the beginning, like we just talked about.

Jen Carroll 18:44
Mm hmm. Well, was it Avinash Kaushik? Who’s famous term is the data puke? Right? How little value that brings

Annalisa 18:58
Right. You can talk all day about data and numbers and looking at things different ways. But at the end of the day, it’s like, so what? So you have to you have to define this “so what” from the beginning. Yeah, because you can spend a lot of time in your analytics team can spend a lot of time creating reports and looking at data. But it’s so important to focus.

Jen Carroll 19:22
Yeah. trying to think if there was a good example that we could come up with?

Annalisa 19:27
Well, I mean, I guess what comes to mind is not necessarily a specific example. But anytime you’re redeveloping a website, one of the critical things before you start or at the very start of talking about redevelopment is to look at Google Analytics to see, you know, what are your top pages? How are people engaging with those pages? What are the goals of those pages? And are those goals being met? Are people moving through the site in the way that you want them to? And so when you answer those questions, or you think about those questions, you should be able to go into Google Analytics and look at the data and see if you know, those the data that should be kind of telling a story and giving recommendations for the redevelopment, whether it’s a sticking to the site architecture that’s working, or it’s making these changes, or it’s, you know, reorganizing the way that the pages are structured, etc.

Jen Carroll 20:34
And that speaks to a previous episode that we, that we had, where we talked about the difference between website marketers, website designers, and website developers. Designers, you know, make the website look pleasing to the eye. And you know, and then the developer, you know, implement the code. And that’s usually where most companies start with their website redevelopment, they start with the design, and the and then the code, and they forget the the the importance of the marketing piece, which is again, what a what data analytics can bring to the table. So I mean, in summary, thinking about, you know, your Yes Buts with data analytics, the importance of statistically significant data, knowing what you should be collecting and what tools you should be using to collect that data, and then having your focus your strategy and your outcomes all in line. Those are, those are pretty key.

Annalisa 21:33
Indeed. So that brings us to our last segment, yeah,

Jen Carroll 21:38
What are we learning? Which we also now have included, What is bringing us joy, or what’s bringing us energy right now. For me, I’m returning a little bit to something that I used to do a lot more of years ago, and that is writing a little bit of poetry.

Annalisa 22:00
Oh, watch out Shakespeare.

Jen Carroll 22:02
I don’t think Shakespeare has anything to worry about. But something so completely different than what I do on a daily basis is incredibly refreshing. I know, that’s kind of a theme that we’ve had with this segment, you know, needing that, that time away, whether it’s a nature or just giving your brain a break. Yeah, poetry is just a completely different way of thinking. And what I love about it, I think is that every word in a poem is has has meaning and you know, so it. I guess I get like all obsessive compulsive because I’m just, you know, I’m thinking on a very granular level when I’m when I’m writing poetry about every word that’s, that’s going on the page and…

Annalisa 22:47

Jen Carroll 22:49
“Iambic” pentameter.

Annalisa 22:51
Iambic, right?

Jen Carroll 22:52
That’s just one and there’s many meters. We won’t even go there. Okay. We won’t even go to all those meters. But

Annalisa 22:59
are there multiple Pantameters? Or just iambic?

Jen Carroll 23:05
Um, there are different types of, oh Lord, you’re killing me here! That’s taking me back like 25 years to two all my English classes. But uh, yeah, so great. Yeah. So what are you doing? What are you reading?

Annalisa 23:25
I’m reading books about making better cocktails. Because I know that that is learning. And then also the outcome will be joy. I’m trying to hit two birds with one stone.

Jen Carroll 23:44
And You are doing a marvelous job.

Annalisa 23:47
So I just I just ordered some new bar gear.

Jen Carroll 23:50
Oh, oh, we’re even go into the gear.

Annalisa 23:53
Yeah, to make like those little citrus peel twists curly things. But it’s interesting because it’s actually similar to Samin Nosrat’s book Salt, Fat Acid Heat in talking about

Jen Carroll 24:07
which we’ve highlighted before.

Annalisa 24:09
Yes, the basics, the components, the foundations of making good drinks, and there’s different things that make up that foundation. One of the things being quality ingredients,

Jen Carroll 24:22
And once you know, then you can feel free to experiment, right? That’s

Annalisa 24:26
right, then you can kind of adjust based on your, your preference, so obviously I like strong drinks.

Jen Carroll 24:37
Might be just 2020

Annalisa 24:39
You know, a little sour sweet. And yeah, those things you can kind of tweak or adjust as, as you like.

Jen Carroll 24:47
And I think you know, a great part of that whole process is there’s even a little bit of money savings.

Annalisa 24:55
Well, maybe savings in it that you’re making at home versus getting it out but

Jen Carroll 25:02
and so much better most honestly most of the time, so I don’t know where all the great bartenders have gone but

Annalisa 25:09
Where have all the Cowboys gone?

Jen Carroll 25:11
I don’t want to know about that

Annalisa 25:13
Isn’t that a song, probably from the 90s?


Jen Carroll 25:24
I don’t think I do. Maybe

Annalisa 25:27
I was. Oh my gosh, okay. Anyway, anyway. Yeah, so I’m gonna be making great drinks. And maybe you’ll benefit from that. And if I hope so. Right. Yeah, if I make a drink for you, but I would love that. Thank you. I didn’t offer but Yeah,

Jen Carroll 25:47
I jumped the gun on that. Yeah. All right. And that wraps this episode up.

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