[RECAP] Digital Analytics Dubai: Meetup # 1 - 27 May '14

Thanks to everyone who turned up at the first meetup event for Digital Analytics Dubai. It's always good to put a face to the id. Since this was the first meetup, a lot of interesting topics were discussed, so here's a rather detailed recap for those who could not attend:
  • Attribution for success of offline marketing: While attribution modeling within digital itself is a topic on its own, the fact remains that offline marketing still accounts for a major chunk (Perhaps 95%? in MENA). How can a site know that a offline channel really worked?

    • A common solution could be coming up with unique voucher codes for each channel (online or offline). What if there's no voucher code involved?

    • Another way around it can be the use of 'Vanity destinations' that can then be redirected to the original website to understand which channel worked. e.g. Website ABC.com runs a billboard along the highway and wants to know how many people saw the billboard and came to the website. What if the billboard read as ABCIsTheBest.com. A person landing on the latter page gets redirected to ABC.com and hopefully, converts on the site. Now, we have some attribution going on for the offline channel. Avinash Kaushik has discussed this in great length on his blog (a very old blog post but still relevant): http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/multichannel-analytics-tracking-online-impact-offline-campaigns/

    • A third way would be the use of Custom User ID in Universal Analytics (by Google Analytics). In simple terms...To identify a user, GA places a cookie that has a unique identifier for that device (same user will have different unique cookies for his/her laptop/tablet/smartphone/desktop...thereby, being counted as 4 users)...What Universal Analytics does (now out of Beta) is allow sites to have a Custom unique identifier (Custom User ID dimension) that truly tracks a user across channels and devices. It has to be non-PII (personally identifiable information)...Think of it as using the primary key in a table to identify the row in table which has all the possible data...when it comes to sites, that would be Email addresses used in log-ins...for a telecom provider, it would be the phone number of the user. Even though the use of this feature requires some dev work, it is live and very much available  https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/user-id
  • YouTube Analaytics: We also had a small discussion around how the 'Audience Retention' tab in YouTube Analytics can help channel owners find out the drop off rate for viewers as the length of content increases. What the audience retention rate tells a channel owner/advertiser is the average percentage of a video that was viewed and where did the drop off happen. For advertisers, this can be further broken down by Organic and Paid Views to see the difference in audience retention rates - Something which I think is a good metric to add to Views (BFF to it...)
  • Frequency of meetup events for Digital Analytics Dubai...We aim to meet once a month (probably 2nd Tuesday of every month) and starting with the next event, we hope to tackle one topic at a time. 
Stay tuned for information on the next event. To end the blog post, here's my favourite quote from Avinash Kaushik "All data in aggregate is crap!". Enjoy.