Why I Am Running for the DAA Board of Directors
It is with great pleasure that I announce my nomination for the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) Board of Directors. The DAA is an organization that’s dear to my heart. I’ve been in the analytics space for the past 15 years. Before co-founding Tealium, I spent eight years at WebSideStory, a major web analytics vendor that was eventually acquired by Omniture (now Adobe). I held several positions, including product management and consulting with some of the company’s largest and most strategic customers. A lesser-known fact is that Tealium originally started as a web analytics consultancy, which is why analytics is so personal to me.
Over the years, the DAA has brought together people that I have the utmost respect for. Its accomplishments include a well-established analytics certification program, career development resources, local events and more. Its past/present board members include visionaries such as Bob Page, Shari Cleary, Joe Megibow, Ned Kumar, John Lovett and Eric Feinberg just to name a few. I know them personally and have tremendous respect for what they’ve done for our industry. It is an honor to follow in their footsteps.
Why am I running?
I’m running because I’m seeing first-hand how the nature of marketing and analytics is changing. It is changing because the way people interact with brands is changing. Marketers can no longer rely on web analytics solutions to understand their users interactions with their digital assets. Only 10 years ago, the way that many consumers interacted with brands was to search for a product or brand, visit the web site and convert either in the same session or an ensuing one. Their interactions with the site were restricted to the same machine so it was easy to follow their behavior from one session to next. Having an omni-channel view of the customer was a factor mainly if you were a brick-and-mortar.
Today’s consumer interaction is completely different. Consumers today do most of their research on social media (media you don’t control). This includes product and brand research. They visit your site on their smartphone, tablet and computer and they may switch from one device to the other in the same session. I myself cannot remember the last time I clicked on a Google ad (not kidding), and I often find myself going to the same site on three different devices depending on where I am and time of day. Today’s web analytics tools completely fail at capturing my interactions with sites.
In order to get a true understanding of customers, analysts will have to find ways to collect data from multiple sources, stitch the data together, and use visualization or data analysis tools on top of this holistic data. This is far more complicated than what we used to do just 10 years ago. Much of the trainings around analytics are still using rules that applied back then. Unfortunately I don’t believe the web analytics industry has kept up with these changes.
Ironically, the digital marketing vendor ecosystem has been able to keep up with many of these changes. As an executive in a tag management company, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with many of them and feel very encouraged about what’s available to analysts and marketers. The future looks bright.
I have a front row seat to these trends because of my position at Tealium. Marketers and analysts can stay on top of the latest trends by keeping a close eye on industry resources or attending conferences and trade shows where these vendors participate. I don’t believe this model is scalable. Not everyone has the luxury to attend conferences in order to learn about the latest trends and techniques.
This is where I believe DAA can play a more active role. As a board member, I’d like to invest in initiatives that bring the latest trends to members. I’d like to leverage the relationships that I’ve formed with other technology companies to create an education series for DAA members. For example many companies are talking about shifting their attention from a channel-centric view of marketing into a customer-centric one. But how do organizations accomplish such a transition? The DAA should take an active role in getting its members more educated about making this transition.
Such changes will carry many challenges, including technology adoption, new ways for analysts to look at data, new ways to segment users, new reports and KPIs, new skill-sets required, etc. Again, I see this as a tremendous opportunity for the DAA and how I can contribute to the cause.
I welcome your thoughts and comments on how I can help our community. I promise to have an open mind throughout my tenure if elected. So please vote for me if you feel this is the right path for the industry.