19 Jan Get to know the team — Craig Monson
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.
My first big win at Omniture was Gannett Publishing. When I brought them on, they owned over 100 newspapers and television stations across the country. Because of their large size and power, Gannett, along with a few other big accounts, helped to launch the company and drive a swift transition to analytics services. During my tenure we grew to own the publishing media space, newspapers and magazines. I worked with Media News Group, McClatchey, and many others.
While at Omniture I won some high-profile sales awards and spent several years in the President’s Club (>150% of sales quota)–I also went without a lot of sleep. The pressure was just enormous. It’s interesting now to consider the growth that happened during the time I was there–I was one of the first few dozen employees, and by the time I left 10 years later, I found myself in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with more than 300 other sales quota-bearing people. What a change!
Omniture wasn’t the only one that offered a SaaS platform, so we competed on usability. We were able to pitch people on the idea of real-time usability, tracking repeat visits, unique visitor counts across domains, and the fact that accuracy in measuring could increase revenue. We were able to break down site visitors by geography, and to give insight into whether it’s the same person or a new person clicking through from a given geographic area.
When Omniture got into e-commerce, our use of e-tail metrics, classifications that provided the ability to refine the efficiency of what vendors were producing, allowed us ultimately to overtake Coremetrics, who had dominated that sector of analytics.
Over time, clients went from tracking a handful of classifications, to saying, “We should also track this, and hey, what if we added this parameter… ” And so on. Social media also emerged during that period. There has been just an explosion in the level of complexity, to the point that some of Omniture’s clients — senior analysts — are now spending the bulk of their time managing tracking code spreadsheets. The renewed focus on data accuracy and data governance seems inevitable to me.
JR: That’s a great story! You’ve worked at small companies, and large companies, and small ones that became large. What drew you to Tracking First, and back to the world of Analytics?
CM: The fact that Tracking First is in analytics and big data feels comfortable. I’ve worked in other sectors, but I like this industry. It’s one I know. With Google Analytics adding additional abilities to increase what marketers can measure, I think there will be opportunities for us to help those analysts who rely on Google, too. Who knows where we’ll go! There is a certain entrepreneurial spirit that draws me to companies like Tracking First. That startup mindset, the kind of maverick, get-up-and-do-it view, really suits me.
JR: Thanks Craig. We’re glad to have you on the team.