Between data and psychology

Do you think Netflix is cool? What about the data: do you think Netflix, with their (presumably) huge team of data analysts, has way more data than you? Think again. At least, not if they do not use Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. That’s how you know not only that a video is played on your landing page, but that 34% of people that clicked play, watched 90% of the video and 36% watched only 25%. So, you can then send a different message to each population. They are like sniper e-mails: you do not know their names, but you know everything – and you understand, by proceeding into the course, really everything – they do on your landing page, or website.

I finished by Google Analytics training, I am half-way through Google Tag manager and started Heuristics analysis: not a walk in the park, let me tell you. Especially for those out there that are not really excited when they see percentages, statistics and normal curves.

On the one hand, you understand that this is essential if you want to become a CRO expert: on the other hand, you start to grasp the fact that this is not a course for those that want to have some general notions on the topic. Actually, not even an intermediate-level notion on the topic.

What if you do not want to do everything by yourself? (Actually, I would not suggest it…). Or what if you, like me, are a digital marketing entrepreneur that does not normally work with Google Analytics, or Google Tag Manager, and does not want to start – or does not have the time to do that? Well, let me tell you just how advanced some of the portions of the Conversion Optimization Minidegree are. Last week we were choosing the SEO expert that would support us in the launch of a new Digital marketing Academy in Italy. With the notions I had just finished learning from the Google Analytics chapter – the “basic” Google Analytics chapter, mind you – I started firing very specific questions to the person interviewed. You should have seen their faces: they are surely not used to talking to entrepreneurs that not only speak the Google Analytics lingo, but that knows the details and professional tricks of the trade. One of the consultant told me, when I asked whether the estimate they sent me included UTM set ups, that she is not used to doing that and so she will refer to one of her colleagues In theory, I know how to do that, and I have never used Google Analytics in my life, and she has to ask a colleague. Well, I felt well: I felt cool, in a geeky way.

The Google Tag Manager course starts well, it is understandable, clear, and seemingly easy to use, after the conclusion of the Google Analytics course where you have the impression that there are so many data points you will never have the time and the resources to measure them all, although now you have all the know-how to do that.

References to Google Analytics start putting everything together so that a picture starts to form: I felt overwhelmed, but now I already feel more in control, more knowledgeable.

You learn how cool Tag Manager is – actually, you learn that there are many Tag Management Systems out there, and Google Tag Manager is just one – and how many things you can learn by using tags and data layers.

If you have a company or offer services as a professional, you bite your lip at the idea that you missed so many opportunities for growth and optimization. You really realize the amount of data and information you just did not analyze, and how your decisions were based on “hunches” and “experience” which do not stand a chance against statistics and numbers.

I haven’t finished the Google Tag manager course yet and I skipped to another course – I am studying two, simultaneously, as I really am not a data guy – and the Heuristic Analysis Framework chapter does the trick of putting everything together: quantitative analysis and qualitative assessments, to find great opportunities for optimization and growth. You learn to do beyond data and pages, and to delve into motivations, needs, biases and the psychology of the consumer. You understand at which level you must operate to find the “gold”: for example, dd you know that working on the “motivation” to buy is 5 times more effective than just working on usability of the website? Data tells you what happens, but it does not tell you why it happens. That is why you use heuristic evaluations: to really understand the performance of a landing page, what works, what doesn’t work, and why, so that you can put your data to use.

You have yet another perspective on the work of a CRO expert: after learning everything there is to know about Voice of Customer copywriting – great chapter! – you learn also that Voice of Customer evaluations have a limited reliability. Does this mean that you should skip the  and a half hour course? Absolutely not, there is a huge number of tools to do copywriting really well. This just means that you need multiple tools in your toolbox: if you are a copywriter, you should not overlook data and if you are a SEO expert, you should not forget the psychology of the average consumer and how you can influence decisions with words and not just with the change of a button.

Different perspectives that make you understand that with CRO, tests and insights are essential: what works for one e-commerce site might not work for another and what works for a sector or a customer might not work in a different sector, with a different customer.

It reminds you to analyze – yes – test – yes – watch data – ok -, but also to think: to evaluate everything you do from different angles and not just the angle you like.

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