Monday, November 30, 2015

Google the Behemoth

Founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google has lent its name to a verb: to Google something (or someone) is to search for the thing or person on the Web. Google is also a forward-looking corporation filled with brilliant thinkers and one of the largest companies in the world in terms of market capitalization .
Outside of owning the top-ranked search portal and email services, I want to take some time to explore three news related topics Ethics, Privacy and Security from GOOGLE the behemoth.

Earlier this year, Google was honored by the Ethisphere Institute for their ethical business practices and good corporate citizenship.
Google was the only company in the computer services category to be placed on the list. The influential search and Internet advertising giant has garnered a reputation for being outspoken on a number of social issues.
In February, Google announced it was awarding one of its RISE
Awards to Engineers Without Borders Australia, a nonprofit working on computer science outreach with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal girls. The RISE Awards are grants that Google gives to organizations that promote computer science education and support girls and underrepresented minorities in technology.
Since 2010, more than 200 organizations have received an award, and this year, 37 organizations are receiving a cumulative $1.5 million to keep this vital effort humming along. Honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today.
Corporate social responsibility is not only gaining mind share among the general population, it's increasingly viewed as a business-boosting attribute. From stakeholders, employees and customers to executives and investors understand that ethical leadership drives outcomes ranging from operational performance to corporate integrity, transparency and workforce behavior. 

From my viewpoint 

As a consumer I am increasingly becoming interested in the social responsibilities of the companies behind the products and services I use and buy from. This is just one example where Google is truly going beyond just talking about being ethical.
In 2013 Nielsen surveyed 29,000 online respondents and half of all respondents (50%) said they would be willing to reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services—up from 45 percent in 2011 (Nielsen, 2013).

As of 2014, the global Internet population grew 14.3% from 2011-2013, and now represents 2.4 Billon people.
Can you imagine how much data is shared in one minute? Lets take Facebook for example, 2,460,000 pieces of data is shared every minute in a day! Infographic
Google keeps your personal information private and safe – and put you in control (Google, 2015).

So what data does Google collect?
The main types of data that is collected are based on the actions as consumers take using
Google services such as your basic account details and the things you create.

For example, do a search on Google, get directions on Google Maps, or watch a video on YouTube — they collect information based on the things you do, for better services. When you sign up for a Google Account, they will keep the basic account information you give Google, like your name, email, and password. And they store and protect what you create using their services, so you will always have your emails, photos, videos, and documents when you need them. They also give you tools to control the types of data that is collected and used (Google, 2015).

From my viewpoint 

Should I care about what Google collects from me since I am voluntarily using a mostly free service for things such as:

    Things I search for
    Websites I visit
    Videos I watch
    Ads I click on or tap
    My location
    My device information
    IP address and cookie data
    Account name
    Email address and password
    Emails I send and receive on Gmail
    Contacts I add
    Calendar events
    Photos and videos I upload
    Docs, Sheets, and Slides on Drive

Anyone who cares about maintaining some degree of privacy should pay attention and be aware.
For example, Gmail: prying and spying. In October of 2013, a federal judge refused to dismiss a potential class-action lawsuit brought by Gmail users who objected to its practice of analyzing the content of all the messages on its network and selling byproducts to advertisers. Those suing Google said it violated federal wiretap laws. This issue isn’t new to Google.
In congressional testimony in 2009, Google’s lawyers said its email technology was used for scanning for spam, computer viruses and serving ads within the Gmail user’s experience. U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh held that Google never told Gmail users that Google would create personal profiles and target users with ads. Nor did people who are not Gmail users, but who were writing to Gmail addresses, agree to let Google collect and parse their messages.

Google’s security philosophy
As a provider of software and services for many users, advertisers, and publishers on the Internet, Google recognizes how important it is to help protect consumer’s privacy and security. Understanding that securing products are instrumental in maintaining the consumers trust and strives to create innovative products that both serve the needs and operate in the consumer’s best interest (Google, 2015).

From GOOGLE’s viewpoint 

For the people who use Google services, the Internet offers so many opportunities to explore, create and collaborate. And to make the most of the web, it’s important to keep yourself safe and secure. Whether you’re a new Internet user or an expert, the advice and tools given by Google can help you navigate the web safely and securely.

Things to do:
·      Create strong passwords and keep your information safe.
·      Signing into your Google Account is simple and useful—but know when it is important to sign out as well.
·      Know how to control which account you use, and when.
·      If you use Gmail, you can follow simple steps to help make sure your account stays safe.     
·      Be extra careful whenever you go online using a network you don’t know, and learn about setting up your home router and WiFi network securely.
·      Find out some common signs that your device might be infected with malware—malicious software designed to harm your device or network—and how you can protect yourself.
(Google, 2015).

Lastly, Google seems to be in business to make information accessible and useful. It is up to the user to be aware of how information is being tracked and shared every minute of the day. Be proactive and monitor your online footprint but also know that this is the cost of using these services.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Google Analytics vs. Coremetrics

Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing could become a challenge and there’s always something to learn and experiment with.
Earlier this year at the digital marketing conference analysts from Gartner for Marketing Leaders pinpointed top digital marketing trends. In less than five years these trends will continue to provide value to marketers.

I wanted to list a few I thought would be of interest to marketers I work with on the daily.          
Real-time marketing. Marketing that is based on up to date events. This moves in customer time as consumers create links to each other and to brands.

Super Bowl XLVII was one of the biggest nights in history. Beyoncé had just performed her first halftime show. The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens had taken the field. And then suddenly, everything went dark at the Superdome. More than 100 million viewers turned to social media, and many brands saw an opportunity to light up that space.
Dunk in the Dark.” Oreo acted fast, and they got thousands of people talking. They earned more than 10,000 retweets in the first hour and made headlines in more than 100 countries—all with a $0 media budget.

Multichannel attribution. From a retailers standpoint being able to identify conversion taking into account all the different channels that the shoppers were exposed to leading up to the actual purchase. This set of techniques link specific actions marketers take to consumer actions.

Content marketing. Marketers need to build a content marketing supply chain and determine how to create, curate and cultivate content (Levy, 2015). 

So what is more important than keeping up with emerging digital marketing trends? Measure, Measure, Measure!!! The key is to find a way to influence new people and engage them to reach your conversion goals correct?
Well just like these trends there are also a ton of web analytical tools to help you with your marketing efforts and measurement. I wanted to compare and contrast Coremetrics to the functionality inside Google Analytics that is used by majority of marketers.             

According to digital evangelist Avinash Kaushik, buying a web analytics tool is like buying a car, you can do all the research on the web you want but you have to get your butt into the seat of a real car and take it for a test drive and see how you feel about it. Press the buttons, get a sense for how your hands feel on the steering wheel, what happens when you take quick turns or go over potholes on the road. Then you start to get a real idea of what the difference is between a Saturn Ion and Toyota Matrix.
Each web organization is unique when it comes to its culture, existing systems, IT skills and infrastructure, the need for reporting or analysis etc (even if different organizations are in exactly the same line of business). What works in your favor is that in our world you don’t have to take the tools you want to compare for a 30 min test drive. Any vendor, especially one that wants your business, will let you implement their tool on your site for free for a few weeks and take it for a spin (Kaushik, 2015). 


By now everyone knows Google, a company that owns many products for consumers (email) to businesses using Google analytics.
Google Analytics helps you analyze visitor traffic and paint a complete picture of your audience and their needs. Track the routes people take to reach you and the devices they use to get there with reporting tools like Traffic Sources. Learn what people are looking for and what they like with In-Page Analytics. This will help you tailor your marketing and site content for maximum impact.

Google Analytics has the latest in full-credit measurement. Sophisticated features like:
·        Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution show how all your campaign elements work together — so you can give the most credit to those that work best.
·        Remarketing can help you reach your most engaged viewers and see the impact of your message at the moment it’s delivered.
·        Site Speed, Alerts, and In-Page Analytics let you reach peak capacity by helping you avoid slow page loads, poorly placed content, and site crashes due to high visitor volume.

Google Analytics helps you understand which digital marketing strategies perform best. Make changes, re-measure, and test some more to meet your performance goals. Have more than one group weighing in? Share valuable insights and dashboards with your colleagues and generate reports tailored to the needs of different teams. If there is a dip in traffic patterns, Custom Alerts lets you know so you can act immediately (Google, 2015).


IBM® Coremetrics® Web Analytics is the complete, cloud-based digital analytics product that sets itself apart by providing marketers with not only data, but with answers for increasing ROI. Marketers gain a competitive edge because they benefit from state-of-the-art analytics, comparative benchmarks about industry peers, and advice on how the best performers are actually achieving success.

Coremetrics Web Analytics is at the heart of the IBM Digital Marketing Optimization Suite. Marketers are provided with a data warehouse on visitors’ digital journeys, across marketing touch points and channels, even offline, so that marketers can go from insight to personalized marketing action with just a few clicks.

Coremetrics Web Analytics removes barriers for going from analytics to action so marketers can increase revenues by targeting prospective customers with relevant content across digital channels. It helps marketers increase visitor reacquisition and retention rates, improve multichannel strategy formation and implementation, and optimize budget allocation and marketing mix, including email marketing, mobile marketing, display advertising and social media marketing.

Unique features:
Powerful marketing attribution capabilities
           Understand attribution with intuitive visualizations and “touch point pathing” to determine what campaign combinations lead to the greatest return.
           Compare side-by-side different models of attribution logic with limitless flexibility.
           Present complete boardroom insights using add-on options to include view-throughs from off-site ad or brand impressions and online/offline conversion scenarios.
Coremetrics LIVE (Lifetime Individual Visitor Experience) Profile
           Coremetrics LIVE Profiles, provides a data warehouse of customer and prospect interactions with your business over time and across digital channels.
           Marketers go from Core metrics LIVE Profiles to delivering highly relevant recommendations, and personalized email with just a few clicks to increase advertising ROI, cross-sales, retargeting success, and customer lifetime value.
This data positions businesses to serve customers highly tailored experiences based on their individual history—on a website, through email and throughout multiple ad networks. Profile mining, multi-channel integration, behavior-based marketing, and campaign attributions are some of the initiatives that LIVE Profiles make possible.
(IBM Digital Analytics)

Which one is better?
In summary, campaign attributions delivered by Coremetrics provide an exceptional opportunity to improve marketing sales.
·        Optimizing keyword inventory, bids, advertising text, landing pages and website conversion based on individual business objectives with LIVE Profile data.
·        Delivering relevant offers, automate the offer generation process to save time, and measure and improve cross-sell effectiveness with IBM Product Recommendations.
Export LIVE Profiles to email service providers to segment and target visitors and customers based on their behavior to deliver the right message, to the right customer, at the right time.

In contrast, Coremetrics is expensive and depends on your server load. You could spend up to $10,000 per month (Bernhard, 2011). Very happy to report that Google Analytics is a great tool that marketer’s from all sizes turn to and use for FREE. It provides various high level reports, information on site visits, and their behavior and track what they are doing on your site.

Coremetrics operates from the perspective that websites are online retailers. And Google Analytics operates from the perspective that there are content sites and ecommerce sites, and they should all track the same general success metrics. Pick which perspective matches your own the best!