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May 2016 - Posts

  • A Beginner's Guide to Google Analytics

    May 18 2016

    The Google Analytics (GA) dashboard is quite intuitive, and it's easy to collect basic information (number of users on the site, average time spent on site, etc.) without having a deep background in analytics. But what about specifics? Inexperienced users may derive misleading insights from powerful yet raw data.

    Here are three ways beginners can take advantage of Google Analytics for better data analysis:

    • Know your terms. New users can be confused by the terms used by GA — they all seem to mesh together. Sessions, pageviews and unique visits can be difficult to decipher for a beginner (That is, a group of interactions that takes place on your website within a given time frame; an instance of a page being loaded; and an individual user).
    • Custom reports. These are absolutely essential for digital marketers to hone in and present the metrics that are most important to them. Monthly custom reports that focus on a certain set of data provide valuable insight into trends over time. Segments allow marketers to assess data based on specific lenses — e.g., how do user location and device change your website reporting? This slicing of data is a simple tool for marketers to focus on the data that's most important to their goals and campaigns.
    • Google Tag Manager. The simplicity and flexibility of Google Tag Manager makes it a must-have for digital marketers. Google Tag Manager allows you to quickly and efficiently tag events or insert pixels into pages without changing the code on a website. The tagged event data is then sent back into Google Analytics to amplify your reports (e.g., how many people from this campaign clicked on this button).

    If you find yourself flummoxed, take advantage of GA community forums. It's rare that a new user will come across an issue that hasn't been resolved and shared online by a GA enthusiast.

    Brandon Ballew - Marketing Data Analyst

  • How Well Do You Know Gen Z?

    May 18 2016

    Generation Z (Gen Z) — sometimes called iGen — are those born in the mid-'90s to about 2010 (ages 6-20), currently making up 25 percent of the total U.S. population. They're NOT Millennials and marketers can't speak to both audiences identically. With a spending power of $44 billion annually, here's what you need to know about Gen Z.

    Gen Z learned to swipe a device before they could speak, making them more connected and tech savvy — usually with five devices. Technology allows them to proactively create solutions on their own. They're willing to work for their success and create new jobs rather than to wait to be discovered like Millennials.

    Since coming of age, they have known a war on terror, multiple economic crashes, frequent school shootings and a fear of global warming — simply put, chaos. Their reality has made them hardworking realists, unlike the optimistic Millennial generation. The diverse Gen Z kids are self-educators, do-gooders, entrepreneurs and extremely open minded.

    Unlike Millennials, they do not want all their personal business online and they're extremely selective about what they post to social media. They're choosing Snapchat over Facebook for a higher degree of privacy and visual communication.

    Here are three things marketers should know before speaking to Gen Z:

    1. Be open-minded. Gen Z is growing up in a culture hypersensitive to racial, gender and marriage equality conversations. Don't assume Gen Z will fit into a concrete (or immovable) set of beliefs.
    2. Understand snackable, private media. The sharing economy stops at Gen Z, whose eight-second attention span reflects self-reliance. Content will get shorter and one-on-one engagement will outpace shares.
    3. Visuals > text. Gen Z prefer emojis and imagery to text. They're on Snapchat, Whisper and Instagram for heavy visuals, but also private messaging and anonymity.

    Danni Johnson - Research & Strategy Coordinator

  • Surprise and Delight Your Users

    May 18 2016

    Whenever a new website, app or digital product launches, it's expected that the development team did research, defined the requirements and mapped out user needs. However, many product managers don't fully understand which of their features narrowly meet their customers' expectations versus those that truly differentiate them from the competition.

    Noriaki Kano, a professor in quality management, developed a model in the 1980s to help distinguish and rank essential attributes related to customer satisfaction. He believed that products with particular attributes could correlate to a user's happiness. While there have been several interpretations of the methodology, here are three key pillars to gauge your own applications' features and functionality:

    • Basic Features. These are absolute must-haves — users depend on them. Usability expert Jared Spool likened this to having hot water available in a hotel room. It's something a user expects to exist, and basic features often take great effort to build and maintain.
    • Linear Features. Users expect these, too — think heating or air conditioning in a hotel room. Where you can help differentiate your product or service here is by providing more quality, as this typically translates to greater end-user satisfaction.
    • Delightful Features. These are attributes that customers would love, but don't necessarily expect from you. If that same hotel room came with complimentary Uber service, most people would be delighted. These types of features do not necessarily have to be complex or significant time investments — small moments of delight can have large impacts on customer satisfaction.

    Use the Kano model to help prioritize features you should invest in, which will help create your digital road map and align your team on where to focus next. While this can help guide your digital product evolution, make sure to continually assess your customers and the market, as one day what was once a delightful surprise, will ultimately become a required expectation.

    Jonathan Orosco - Interactive Producer

  • Getting Unstuck: Brainstorming Techniques for Resonant Communication

    May 18 2016

    So you're launching a new campaign to accomplish a specific marketing objective. You start by outlining strategic direction, communication mandatories and the key consumer target. But then you're stuck. How do you get your agency the quality information they need to create brilliant work?

    Here are some fun and easy brainstorming ideas to help you get unstuck:

    • Analogies. Sometimes it's helpful to step out of our own categories to identify ways in. Imagine your company is up against stiff competition and new entrants into the marketplace. Step outside of this situation and take a look at a business case such as Apple's declining revenue with iPhone. If you were a marketer at Apple, what types of tactics might you employ to get the business back on track?
    • Get inside your target's head. Create a story about your target. Who is he/she? What are their values and pain points, activities and habits, lifestyles, goals, attitudes, needs, etc.? Map out a day in the life of your target(s) on a timeline. Indicate where he/she goes, what they do, activities they enjoy, etc. Get granular!
    • Identify touchpoints. On that day-in-the-life timeline, indicate all media touchpoints the consumer interacts with over 24 hours. For instance, if he/she commutes to work on the bus in the morning, he/she will likely encounter bus shelter signage, bus wraps, billboards, ads inside the bus, etc.

    It's important to remember that you aren't alone in this. Pull your agency in early to help you work through these exercises. Involving more brains from the beginning will not only help brainstorming for campaigns, but will cultivate true integration.

    Laura Bernier - VP, Account Planning