Analytics

The C Major Scale of Analytics

Michael Wiegand

Anybody who’s been in this business for a while knows their ABCs:

  • Acquisition
  • Behavior
  • Conversion

It’s built into Google Analytics, for God’s sake:

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And it’s a tried and true methodology for measuring.

Problem is, we’re measuring to take action. If the lifecycle begins and ends with acquisition and conversion, we’re missing a lot of workflow steps as marketers. Every campaign needs planning and post-mortem phases.

That’s the real job — not the numbers, but what we did to attain those numbers and what we’re going to do in the future to beat those numbers.

So I think we need to evolve the ABCs into something a little more critical, a little more holistic and a little more, well, musical. (You weren’t expecting that word to go there, were you?)

Back to Basics

Campaign planning and optimization is very much a creative exercise. And for me, creativity is joined at the hip to music.

Whenever I feel like getting back to basics in music, I think of the first thing I ever learned — the C major scale on the piano:

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It’s insanely simple, yet it is the key for unlocking complicated music theory.

Instead of starting with ABC, like the alphabet, the C major scale ends with ABC:

c-major-analytics-760

There’s some key work to put in before the ABCs and I’m going to tie that part of the scale, now, to marketing campaign creation and execution.

Campaign Planning

c-square-dashed-xxl-75

Context — What are we doing? Who will buy this?

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Difference — Where do we fit in the landscape of competitors? What makes us unique?

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Explanation — Explain C & D to key decision-makers in the company that can fund the campaign.

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Fine-Tune — Firm up the philosophy for specialists and managers that will drive the campaign.

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Gameplan — Get your nuts and bolts in order.

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Acquisition — Take this campaign to the people!

b-brain-xxl-75

Behavior — Observe how the people consumed your campaign.

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Conversion — Make some money! Once that’s all said and done, we need a campaign reporting and evolution phase. We’ll use the same scale there.

Campaign Post-Mortem

Context — Stack up our performance against our goals and/or previous campaigns. (Only use goals for your context if they were set in some basis of reality. Past performance is the best context.)

Difference — Did it exceed or fall short of our expectations? Put hard numbers on that, not percentages.

Explanation — Explain why your campaign performed the way it did to your higher-ups. Don’t just vomit C & D at them!

Fine Tune & Fix — Tweak your campaign to compensate for what went right or what went wrong.

Gameplan — Give your team nuts and bolts, Pt. II.

Acquisition — Take this new campaign to the people.

Behavior — Observe how they consumed your campaign. Particularly the things you changed!

Conversion — Make more money!

So remember, it’s all about ABC. But it’s also about CDEFGABC.

c-major-analytics-760

It’s a constant process. And if you’re doing it right, you should reach each subsequent octave with higher and higher results.

Michael Wiegand
Analytics Architect

In 15 years as a marketer, Michael's experience has run the gamut from design, development, direct mail, multivariate testing, print, and search. He now heads Portent's Analytics practice, overseeing everything from Google Tag Management, to CRM integration for closed-loop analytics, to solving ponderous digital marketing questions. Outside of work, he enjoys recording music, playing JRPGs and supporting Seattle Sounders FC.

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