CORRELATIONS by Quantifind

Marketers: Use Data to Persuade the Boss

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but marketing’s data honeymoon is over.

For the last few years, every time a higher-up asked for a progress report, marketers have been able to point to a growing list of easy-to-count metrics: increases in Retweets, Pins, Likes, upvotes, and impressions; lower costs-per-click; improved engagement; and so on. It was grand while it lasted.

But bosses have started demanding something better. The aforementioned metrics might be easy to track but they don’t easily convert into effective strategies.

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Selection Bias: Origins and Mitigation

At Quantifind, we use Statistics and Machine Learning to discover social media data patterns that impact our customers' KPIs. A major emphasis is to ensure that our algorithmic insights are representative of our customers' user base, and not just those users for which we can gather data. In this blog post, we discuss selection bias, whereby non-uniformly sampled data can induce bias on the inferred results, and briefly survey selection bias mitigation techniques.

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Obama, Data & Elections: The Inside Story

Most people who follow politics even in passing are aware that the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns were supercharged by dynamic work on paid Facebook campaigns. There’s the lasting mental image of the Democrats’ best and brightest young people sequestered in the basement of the Obama campaign headquarters, slicing and dicing the American population on Facebook -- propelling their man to the presidency, twice.

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Exclusive Whitepaper

In 2015, marketers saw a massive proliferation in analytics products, escalating hype and overpromises from vendors. In 2016, we’ll see an accelerated maturation of marketing analytics, with companies expecting increasingly granular looks under the hood at how, where, and why marketing is driving revenue.

Today the challenge is to make sure you’re using the right solutions, asking the right questions, and looking to understand exactly how the marketing team is driving revenue for the business. And with growing white noise around marketing analytics, it’s increasingly important to keep your eyes on the trends that matter, not the promises that don’t.

Here are the trends to watch and what to do about them.

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Data-Driven Marketing: Gaining the Upper Hand in a Loud New World

During my ten years in R&D, we often watched as our painstaking efforts to quantify costumer interest were usurped by a marketer’s feeling, inspiration or gut. It was maddening. 

Today is different-- sort of. Over the past year, the number of times I’ve heard marketers use the word “data” easily surpasses the number of tears I shed during my R&D years, when all I wanted was marketers who understood data was important. But there’s a problem: Even though marketers are finally talking about data, it’s still maddening. 

Why? Because so many marketers continue to miss the point. Talking about something new shows you’re with the times. Buying new tools makes you more relevant. But if you don’t focus on the single biggest obstacle to success - culture - you’ll fail.

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Star Wars Box Office: The Problem with Predictions

Movie fans are abuzz over the box office records Star Wars: The Force Awakens might break. Many box office predictions rely on incomplete data methodologies that don’t help studios to maximize grosses, however-- and marketers should take note, as there are lessons to learn from the dark side of the marketing force. 

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IBM Watson Trend and Data-Driven Decisions: What Marketers Can Learn

IBM this week released IBM Watson Trend, an app that attempts to measure how would-be holiday gifts - such as Apple Watches, Star Wars Legos, and Samsung TVs - are trending in online conversations. Fun and interesting, Watson Trend has understandably generated a lot of press— but unfortunately, it hasn’t generated a commensurate amount of understanding. 

For marketers looking to master data, these misunderstandings teach important lessons about the gap between what analytics actually do and how we interpret them. 

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ClickZ Live Chicago: 4 Key Data Sessions

As we wrote earlier this month, the holiday season isn’t just about turkey, football, cold weather and gifts— it’s also full of marketing conferences. Next up: ClickZ Live in Chicago

Kicking off Tuesday, the three-day event is one of numerous ClickZ conferences held throughout the world. All of them focus on disruption in digital marketing, with data dominating more and more of the discussion. The Chicago edition includes a rich variety of speakers from leading, data-savvy companies such as Microsoft, Hootsuite, General Electric, Cisco, and Lenovo— so if you’re a ClickZ attendee attempting to take control of modern analytics capabilities, you should find much to sink your teeth into. 

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Consumer Data and Marketing: 3 Ways to Ask the Right Questions

Conversations about data dominate every big marketing conference. It's time to stop talking about data's potential, and to start actualizing it. Turning data into successful strategies starts with asking the right questions. 

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Ghost Data and Google’s Frightgeist

Most marketing metrics aren’t useful in isolation. When we draw conclusions from incomplete data, our conclusions end up haunted by the ghosts of other data points we should have considered. Google’s new Frightgeist feature illustrates some of the dangers.

Google made headlines this week with the release of Frightgeist, a new Google Trends project that shows the top Halloween costume searches, both nationally and locally.

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