Dan Scott’s “One thing I can’t live without…”

We are happy to bring you the second installment of our new series, “One thing I can’t live without.” Our first one kicked off last week with Charlie Cole, VP, Online Marketing, Lucky Brand Jeans. And we have to give him some cred for helping us with the series idea. This week, we’re continuing the series with Dan Scott, Chief Marketing Officer, Scott Kay Inc.

While our series is, of course, business related and therefore less scandalous than, say, your favorite Tuesday night TV, we hope it will be something to look forward to as it will reveal one thing someone in your industry (who you may even know), can’t work without. We’re talking about anything that you and your colleagues, as retailers or multi-channel retail solution providers, cannot do your jobs without. And we’re taking that beyond the obvious. So without further adieu, we bring you Dan Scott’s, “One thing I can’t live without…”

1. As an online marketer and retailer, what’s something you can’t live without? And we don’t mean coffee. We mean anything from a technology tool to a partner to a cool trick you do on Excel to a shortcut you take. Anything you think your job would be impossible to do without.

I cannot live without Google Analytics but not just the surface reports for the parent site, all the drill-down reports for sub-domains that makes quantitative analysis rewarding and even fun.

Dan Scott

2. Why can you NOT live without this?

Seeing spikes and dips and determining why is essential. Understanding traffic flow and the time spent on key web pages makes for successful marketing. Without this tool, or one like it, we would be in the dark on the who, how and whys of consumer online visitation.

3. How often do you use it and how long have you been using it?

I review Google Analytics each week, and often daily, if a press release was placed on the wire or a certain promotion started or ended.

4. If lightning struck tomorrow and you suddenly didn’t have this one thing, what would you do to improvise?

Find another web analytic program – there are many. A digital dashboard of visitation, SEO/SEM is critical in today’s marketing plans.

5. Why Google? Is Google Analytics BETTER than other analytics platforms?

Within our website’s Google Analytics, we add a large number of profiles to enable us to segment the data in different ways and gain a much better understanding of the traffic on our sites. On the majority of occasions we will choose to create a profile for an existing domain.

One of the benefits of profiles for existing domains is that they need no extra code to set them up.

My Top Five Profiles (and Filters):
1. Excluding internal visits
2. Collecting organic ranks
3. Detailed PPC keywords
4. Traffic from specific sources
5. Traffic from new or returning visits

I should note with traffic source segmentation, one may further analyse traffic from key sources. It can be beneficial to set up a profile with a filter to include traffic from each of these. For example, we have a Website Analyser App for iPhone, iPad etc; to see how traffic from this source varies from other sources, we use an advanced segment within our main profile, but we also track these visits through a filter specifically for this traffic. Using a filter over a segment enables even more in depth analysis as segments can sometimes limit the amount of analysis and breakdown that one may do.

Another tip is within “New vs. Returning Visitors.” Here, we note how consumers interact on their first visit and how this differs to the visits of returning visitors. It can be handy to have a profile set-up to track each of these on their own – one for new visitors and one for returning visitors.

6. What did you do BEFORE Google Analytics?

Manual and daily reference checks of subdomains. This means we printed “www.scottkay.com/br” on a print ad we would run in Brides Magazine (abbreviated “br”). The link would redirect to our home page, but we could see on our server where the traffic was coming from (a reader of Brides) and the day and time. We also did this primitive form of traffic analysis with contests, sweepstakes and promotional offers including POS (now done with custom QR codes) or direct mail (which still works with a healthy double-opt in email list).

7. How can other people get this too?

It’s free and fast to subscribe.

BONUS: And what’s the non-work related thing you can’t do your job without? This is where the coffee, or anything else comes in…

Working out. I need the tension release that going to the gym offers. A solid two-hour muscle burn always helps the stress of the day.