This past weekend, my 15-year-old was mowing the grass in our yard -- a Memorial Day tradition for generations of American teenagers. About half way through the job, the lawn mower died. It turns out he had used the wrong fuel for the engine. Though it was taken from a can that was sitting in the garage next to the mower, it was fuel that was intended for use in a chainsaw. Not only did using the wrong fuel cut short that day’s mowing -- it appears to have burned the motor out, permanently.The experience reminded me of the much-discussed challenge in marketing analytics of “garbage in, garbage out.” We are at a stage in the marketing automation revolution where we have a multitude of sophisticated tools. They can handle audience segmenting, attribution tracking, re-targeting and micro-targeting, allowing us to use consumers’ past behavior and preferences to predict their behavior to the finest level of detail and market to them just when they are at the point of considering a purchase.
Tracking First is hitting a growth spurt. Since the new year we’ve renewed six annual contracts and brought on three Global 500 clients, two financial services companies and one leisure and hospitality provider.We are actively seeking agency channel partners to help us develop a white label partnership model that will allow us to work seamlessly with other analytics consultants.
A friend of mine recently shared a post about what it’s like to work for one of the Super-Innovator companies: Google, Apple, etc. It’s a great read (you should check it out), but one paragraph in particular jumped out at me “At Netflix...there is no expense policy. The only policy is, ‘Act in the best interest of Netflix.’...They tell employees to assume their best judgment, and they can be more productive if they’re not held back.”Think about that for a minute. What would it be like to work for an organization that truly prioritizes innovation over cost controls? It means the company trusts and values their employees enough to empower them to act on their unique insights. Kinda makes me want to cry. Maybe you’re lucky enough to work for such an organization. In reality most companies, for one reason or another, can’t follow this model fully. Tracking First for example, is a lean, boot-strap startup. I hope we get to the point where innovation is our most advantageous use of funds. I expect it to be a while. If you’re not one of the lucky few who ends up working in a super-innovator culture, there are still guidelines you can use, to evaluate if the culture is a fit for you. Here’s what I watch out for:
We are proud of our team at Tracking First — collectively we have decades of experience in digital media and technology. I recently sat down with our new Vice President of Sales, Craig Monson, to learn about what led him to Tracking First.JR: Tell me a bit about your background in the digital analytics world. I know you’ve sold analytics tools to a lot of big companies over the years.CM: In 2001, I was hired at MyComputer.com, the predecessor to Omniture. MyComputer.com mostly built tools for mom and pop websites. One of these tools was a small web-based analytics application called Super Stats. During that time most analytics were clunky, IT-driven and run off log files. Because it was web-based, real-time, and meant to be utilized across the wider base of an organization, Super Stats was compelling. Even so, compared to today it was really basic.
We are proud of our team at Tracking First -- collectively we have decades of experience in digital media and technology. I recently sat down with Chief Operating Officer, John Boyd, to learn about what led him to Tracking First.JR: Tell me a bit about your background in the digital analytics world. How did you come to be selling the Tracking First product?JB: I started off with Omniture (now Adobe) in 2004, in enterprise sales. I sold what’s now the Adobe analytics product for a few years until the IPO in 2007. Following that I founded a technology startup consultancy -- helping small companies with their sales strategy and execution. As part of my consulting I continued to find and close deals for some of my clients, as well.
I’ve worked in digital media and marketing for almost two decades -- but I’ve only been on the data side for a few months, since joining Tracking First. There’s an astonishing amount to absorb! As I’m going through it in real time, I’ve decided to write down my observations. It will be fun to check back in a couple of years, to see how my perspective continues to change. Here’s what I’ve learned so far: