How to Get Into Big Data Analytics

by Eric Tsai

How to Get into Big Data Analytics

Albert Einstein once said “information is not knowledge” and data without context is just organized information.

In essence, data is just people doing stuff.

The true value of data is far beyond obsessions with key performance metrics.

For most businesses, it’s about extracting insights to create value that has the potential to drive innovation to improve products and services.

In fact, more companies are shifting their focus from traditional business intelligence (BI) to predictive analytics – using historical data to predict future events.
Understand the World of Big Data
To put things in perspective, according to IBM “we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last 2 years alone.”

There is so much data coming in at such a high velocity in all types of complexity that this phenomenal we called big data is now a problem for most businesses.

In fact, there are so many challenges in dealing with big data that it’s often hard to process let alone understand.

This is especially true for any business that engages with digital

Web Analytics Strategy – How to Use Google Analytics to Gain Actionable Insights

by Eric Tsai

Web Analytics Strategy: How to Use Google Analytics to Get Actionable Insights
Effective Internet marketing strategies are built via insights from web analytics strategies. The goal is to abstract insights from web analytics to improve your campaign continuously. A simple way of looking at is to understand how media (or traffic) flow in and out of your website.

In fact, media can generally be categorized into paid, owned, and earned media concept.
Understand Paid, Earned, Owned Media
The idea is simple, paid media is anything you pay for to gain reach, traffic, viewership, or awareness via search, display, television, radio, print, or direct mail.

Earned media is basically PR you get when someone mentions your brand in the public arena which includes word-of-mouth that can be stimulated through viral and social media marketing, conversations in social networks, blogs and other communities. However; it still requires an investment to generate the PR.

And finally owned media is just media owned by the brand. This includes a company’s websites, blogs, mobile apps or their social presence on Facebook, Linked In or Twitter. Offline owned media may include brochures or retails stores.

The bottom line is that paid, earned, and

Search Engine Marketing: ROI vs. Profits

by Eric Tsai

Search Engine Marketing: ROI vs. Profits
In SEM (Search Engine Marketing) ROI is a safer metric, at the end of the day, than profit.

The pros of going with ROI outweigh profit in the immediacy.

Profit is almost always the primary goal in the long term, but marketers have a lot more control over ROI so programs are designed around this KPI first.

This is a guest post from my good friend David Chung, who used to work with me in Search Marketing and now works for Google in Korea:

Everyone’s getting smarter. Everything’s getting smarter, too.

I recently swapped out my Android mobile device for a traditional flip phone and it took no longer than ten minutes to feel the smart-ness sinking away into a dumb oblivion.

It took ten minutes to feel the urge to enlighten myself with the latest tidbits of wisdom from my social network.

Just ten minutes, and I was already fumbling around with T9 Word trying to reply to a SMS dinner invitation. Instead of “if I’m home by 7” my phone kept trying to write “he im good by p”. So dumb.

Marketers are getting smarter, too.

9 Keys to Increase Website Conversion Rate and Turn Visitors into Customers

by Eric Tsai

9 tips to effectively increase your website conversion rate

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you might remember a post I wrote recently called Why Attention is the New Currency Online. When I wrote it, I had been working to create a process to audit website conversions.

Ultimately it turned into an article about capturing attention online because without attention there would be nobody looking at your links, images, videos and compelling content.

And without people reading your content, you certainly won’t get any clicks. When people read your content online, links and clicks follow.

However; you don’t want just any click, you want qualified prospects clicking on your links, visiting your website and consuming your content.

Let’s be clear, getting attention is only part of the equation to help you increase conversions but it does not automatically equals to conversion.

For those of you who don’t know why qualified traffic is important, let me just say that if you want to increase conversions of your landing page or your ecommerce store, this is crucial.
What is a Conversion?
How does the value of a conversion relate to the return on investment of a

Integrated Marketing Strategy – How to Integrate Search, Social for eCommerce

by Eric Tsai

Beyond Search: Social Customer, Social Commerce, Social Media

It seems as if all the talk in web marketing these days center on algorithm updates, social signals, mobile and display opportunities. Marketers and brands are eager to make adjustments trying new strategies to drive sales and increase profits.

I think it’s important to know the difference between a sales channel and how sales are made.
Search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO) and social media are all channels to engage and carry out your message with prospects and customers.

Simply put, the medium is not the message. It’s a venue for you to generate demand and drive qualified visitors to your conversion funnel.

And we all know what conversion funnel is all about – getting those sale!

This is why it’s important to figure out how these channels work together (and independently) to help drive qualified traffic to your web properties.

Not only will this increase the chance of converting that traffic into sales (higher conversion rate), it will also bring clarity to your marketing investments.

The key is to realize that social media is turning customers social as a result transitioning eCommerce to

Learn to Extract Marketing Insights from Data

by Eric Tsai

Learn to Extract Marketing Insights from Data
In working with many smart business people and analysts in the past few months, I came to appreciate the ease of accessing web analytics.

Who knew that math and data would become a main revenue driving force for businesses big and small?

Every business is fast becoming a data-generating machine.

From upstream to downstream, data rewards us with actionable insights to make profitable decisions via controlled experiments allowing us to advance our business models.

And yet, this is just the beginning as the number of people connected to the web continues to grow, so too does the vast amount of information about those individuals.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, “collecting, storing, and mining big data for insights can create significant value for the world economy, enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of companies and the public sector and creating a substantial economic surplus for consumers.”

Collect and Analyzing Data for ROI
We can’t mine data we don’t have, so now is the time to focus on data gathering.

Simply put, data will produce new value for businesses whether it’s setting up web analytics, collecting email addresses or compiling

A Holistic Approach to Marketing: Integrating Social, Search and People

by Eric Tsai

As the dust begins to settle on the endless possibilities of social media, marketers are gearing up for the next wave of digital growth.

From Google’s report on mobile is finally making an impact on search to how social media is used by 25% of the companies worldwide, I’ve always focused on opportunities that align with business objectives. Especially if there is a win win situation for both consumers and brands.

As the demand for businesses to be more transparent and social media becomes mainstream so has the technology that supports it. This is happening both in B2C (business to consumers) and B2B (business to business) verticals creating a massive disruption to challenge traditional business models.

It’s also the reason why the future of marketing will require media channels to integrate into a dynamic attribution model that supports business intelligence.
Information influence learning and learning = behavior change
Today, consumers demand quality services, accountabilities and value for money.

Whether you’re an agency, a consultant or a business owner (trying to do your own marketing), marketing now demands you to back up your assumptions about your

The Two Essential Elements for Online Marketing Success

by Eric Tsai

Much has been written about Internet marketing strategies and how marketers can leverage techniques to get the desire outcome. What isn’t discussed enough, at least from my perspective, is the need to go beyond techniques, tools and analysis to get a long-term sustainable ROI (return on investment).

To be success in Internet marketing, you need to have the ability to see the big picture strategically and zoom in to the details tactically with your execution.

It’s what Steven Schussler calls the “helicopter view,” so you gain enough mental altitude to see the overall objectives while still be able to descend, hover, and see the details, too.

Sustainable ROI goes back to the roots of direct marketing and direct marketing focuses on measuring, iterating and never stop testing.

But where do you start and how do you know what you’re doing is right?

Well, I’m going to share some tips that have guided me for years.
Understand Significance vs Success
The key to online marketing success isn’t just about getting the ROI, increase conversion rates or fascinating content that gets viral social media sharing.

It’s your ability to

Why Attention is the New Currency Online

by Eric Tsai

Like many digital marketers, I consume and create large amount of content daily. Whether it’s doing research or analyzing data, I’ve come to realize the economic value of attention.

It’s relatively easy to create and publish content nowadays because technology has made it cost-effective and efficient.

This isn’t the case when it comes to consuming content because our attention simply doesn’t scale. Just like our personal values have to be sorted and ranked in order for us to make wise and consistent decisions, so do our values for consuming information.

As more and more businesses and individuals continue to produce digital content, one trend is starting to emerge as the explosion of content proliferates – the role of curators.

Moving forward, it’s important to look beyond the value that content creates but also how it gets consumed.
The gatekeepers to quality: Content curators
Unlike traditional media authorities such as The New York Times or Wall Street Journal, new media curators are the barometers of quality content that help harness our inherent need to consume personalized information.

Think of it as a filter for personalized content from