SES San Francisco is just a couple weeks away, and Bryan Eisenberg will be one of the featured speakers. His session, Mad Men of Search: How They Leverage Data to Rock the Customer Experience, will show marketers how to leverage big data, what tools are available, and how to act on data insights in real time.
Eisenberg is a professional speaker and an authority in the online marketing world, with expertise in conversion rates and persuasive content. He is also the co-author of the bestselling books "Call to Action", "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?" and "Always Be Testing". He has worked with various large clients, including NBC Universal, GE, WebEx, and Overstock.
In this interview, Eisenberg offers a preview of what he'll teach attendees during his SES San Francisco session.
Victoria Edwards: What is big data and what do marketers need to know about this term?
Bryan Eisenberg: Perhaps big data as a buzzword is used too often and inappropriately, but please don't ignore the idea. I don't know of a term that became such a crossover catchphrase based on anything analytics-oriented. The term is no longer reserved for quants. It generates a lot of buzz and captures non-analytics people's imagination. If this catchall phrase can get more people interested in analytics, then we should support it. There are several factors that determine if we are truly talking about big data:
- It's Big: Until recently, massive amounts of data were analyzed by sampling. Companies looked at subsets of data and made assumptions based on the results of their analysis. With today's data toolset, companies can analyze this massive volume of data all at once.
- It's Real Time: Most often that data was analyzed after the fact. Today, the data can be analyzed in real time. This allows agile organizations to act on the data to generate additional business value out of it, no matter the velocity at which it comes into the business.
- It's Also Unstructured: All the data that was being crunched was structured data. The kind of stuff that you could input into an Excel spreadsheet. Today, companies like RetailNext are making it easy for retailers to analyze unstructured data like in-store video. Companies are also analyzing gobs of unstructured data like phone conversations, images, etc. We have a great new variety of unstructured data to analyze.
Most importantly, Big Data can now become the great equalizer for smaller businesses as well as larger ones. The cost structure for using these data tools has now made it more widely available and accessible to a greater number of businesses.
VE: You mentioned in your session summary "No analyst skills required." What are some of the steps a marketer must do to gain insight on producing the right type of content to their consumers?
BE: The nice part about being a marketer today is that a number of tools can analyze the data stream before us and provide us with insights into what we should be presenting to consumers and what is and isn't working on our websites. I'll share some of these during my session at SES San Francisco.
VE: So, how can Internet marketers keep Google happy?
BE: I recently shared the magical secret behind great rankings and high quality scores at Google. The answer really is simple. Companies that will get great rankings won't think of their websites and digital content as the center of the universe. They will think about the customer as the center of the universe. At the end, a great magic show is about giving the audience a great experience. Google works diligently to provide their users just that. Will you do the same?
VE: You mention in your session summary that you will mention some tools. Could you share one of those tools with our readers right now?
BE: Many people know me for being a tool junkie. While there are many free tools to improve the website experience, many of the big data tools haven't dropped their prices down so that they are accessible to a larger audience. One freebie I'll share here is BTBuckets that allows you to do some pretty cool segmentation/personalization on your website.
VE: What are some ways marketers can take advantage of real time data to influence their customers or search engines?
BE: Marketers could use real time data to personalize the customer experience, as well as spend time on content creation and ad targeting and retargeting. There are many ways, they just need to be creative – hence the title of my presentation being the Mad Men of Search, not the Math Men!
VE: What are your top two apps that you're using right now?
VE: What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to people who wish to write a book?
BE: Start writing. It's the same for those who want to lose weight like I have (over a hundred pounds). Start eating better and moving more. Like Nike says, "Just Do It!"
VE: Do you have a favorite social media platform?
BE: I don't. They all have unique aspects and pros and cons. That's why I try to engage in many of them as often as I can.