The Art of Marketing: Relationships and Metrics

Last week, I was at the Art of Marketing conference in Chicago. With speakers like Seth Godin, Mitch Joel, Randi Zuckerberg and Avinash Kaushik, the event was nothing short of amazing.

If you weren’t there, you missed something special. But I’m not just gloating. Read on if you weren’t there, for I’m going to share what I captured  and what inspired me in all the sessions. You’re welcome!

Keith Ferrazzi on “Relationships for Revenue Growth”

Relationships are critical to success but we don’t know if demographics relate to relationship styles. Your “circography” was locked by about age three and it revolves around a basic question: are people safe? Another consideration is whether you are conflict-avoidant or confrontational. From that age on, we are basically looking for examples to reinforce what we thought was true back then.

What overrides this psychology is the fact that we are all human and long to be connected and tribal—to belong. We also need to influence and our relationships are an indication of our ability to do this.

When someone else gets a promotion, we often think that the boss likes him or her better. That is likely to be true because “likes better” translates to the boss seeing the person as being vision-aligned with him or her, getting to the point quicker, having the boss’s back, telling the truth, being better engaged in dialog and so on.

When there is a good relationship between you and a colleague, there is 30% more employee engagement and 17% more productivity. If you are the leader of others, these numbers double. Employees need to feel you care about their success. Relationships are a part of your job.

Ironically, we have to-do lists but no people plans, yet relationships are the greatest lever for success. We should have a list of the 25 most important people to our lives, hopes and aspirations this year. Then we should evaluate what we are doing to enhance these relationships.

In the past, we stumbled into intimacy because we were all in the same office. Now we need to build relationships virtually as individuals. This approach should be taught to team members. We should also know who are the 25 people needed to accomplish our jobs.

People rules have changed. Now we have phone or online meetings with people we don’t even know. Teams used to be silos (i.e., tribes). Now we have matrices or ad hoc projects.

On top of that, meetings suck more than ever before. Previously, while waiting for the last person to arrive, we would have small talk. This contributes to building a feeling of “us” and not just “them.”

We have increasingly less practice being tribal and quieting our reptilian brains. We are hyper-individualized and increasingly guarding against others. This is making all of us alone.

We haven’t put new rules around technology, such as email, mobile phones, etc. Even if virtual, we should take five minutes before any meeting to do a professional and personal check-in to share whatever we want (e.g., I’ve been working on this project and just overcame this obstacle. My son just won an award and I was blown away!).

Despite our instincts, we need to empathize and even care about idiots in the workplace. This enables us to contend with and disarm them. The relationship mindset includes candor, accountability, intimacy and generosity.

CRMs don’t track relational quality and management. The average relational quality of a sales force is 1 on a scale of -1 to 3. Every improvement of a half point makes a measurable difference in results.

People need at least three deep relationships, which are defined as people who won’t let you fail. Having these relationships predicts the ability for us to have a broader network because it provides practice time.

If a work team is safe enough and has each others’ backs, it can create effectively and have a tribe.

We have to start with a “how can I serve you” mentality. In other words, we lead with generosity. Think about where a person is going in their career and advance them. The goal is to serve their hopes and dreams versus just thinking about their business objectives. This requires some vulnerability.

Ask yourself if there is an essence of humanity to your brand. For example, a car is not just a means to travel. At its core, it is about a lifestyle choice.

Think about the three people who are most important to your success this year. What are you doing to cultivate those relationships? They could even be people you don’t know yet.

Who are the 1,000 or even 100 most important people for the growth of your company? Marketing is not just broadcasting. It is personal. Relationships are one of the most under-managed assets. Be the change agent for your company.

Avinash Kaushik on “Brand Measurement: Metrics & Analytics”

Avinash began by talking about the importance of influence, experience and value.


Today we spend 23% of our time on mobile but only 1% of the marketing budget. We spend 6% of our time on print but 29% of our budget.

From 2001 to 2010, the newspaper industry dropped to $20B, erasing 50 years of growth.The same drop will happen to TV that happened to newspapers. It’s just a matter of when. So what is the marketing strategy for finding and influencing people where they spend their time?


You need to give tiny little orgasms constantly to people because that is how you make money. There are companies that spend millions on TV advertising but have a site that does not render properly on an iPad. Don’t let your campaigns write checks your digital experience cannot cash.


If you provide value, customers can’t help but give you money. Data enables this strategy. We have tons of data. Clicks, impressions and page views are all garbage. But that is how people make decisions. Followers, fans and likes are all crap. Same for “engagement.” HITS = How Idiots Track Success. You should expect more.

We should measure bounce rate: I came, I puked, I left. If you know how much you suck every day, you might be able to improve.

For every one second it takes to load on a site, there is a 7% reduction in conversion.

The home page for the New York Daily news has 347 links. Newspapers are trying to compete with each other for longer pages because this gets more page views and enables them to sell more ads at a higher price. Instead, they should be tracking visitor loyalty.

The average checkout abandonment rate is 70%. This is something that should be tracked by companies.

Change the lens through which you see and look at the context of total traffic, your percentage and that of competitors.

Measure share of search:              XXX/290 million

Some companies measure voice of the customer with a 40-question form. All you need to ask is two questions: why are you here and were you able to complete that task? The measurement is task completion rate.

Other strong measurements are: loyalty, recency, conversion rates, days and visits, unaided brand recall, etc.

The goal of analytics and data is to help us to make decisions faster. Instead of default reports, use custom ones in Google analytics. Every report should have three things: acquisition, behavior and outcomes.

Owned, earned and paid media should be in balance.

Ultimately, you should not data puke.

Spend time acquiring content. The average conversion rate for a top 50 site is only 2%. That means we end up spending all our time and solving problems for a tiny percentage of visitors.

Instead, implement a series of micro-conversion events and then measure them. For example, email sign-ups are micro-conversions. You should care about the 2% that convert but also the 98% that will never convert and change the strategy. Viewing of videos, use of price calculators, downloads and the like, are all micro-conversions and have economic value.

You have to understand what are the near-, medium- and long-term potential for conversion with these micro-conversions. When you do, it makes you magnificent!

There is also direct response and there is branding. Divide and balance which micro-conversations contribute to each.

Multi-Channel Attribution: You have to optimize the digital marketing budget but today people don’t find you just by Google. There are coupon sites, sites about reputation, etc. Marketers tend to optimize in silos but have to understand how these different sources work together.

Use stream graphs, chord diagrams and sunburst diagrams.

You should measure, value, test and start again.

This will help you to

  1. understand,
  2. test, and
  3. be less wrong.

To win in social media, think differently. TV and magazines are about shouting without knowing who is viewing. The winner shouts louder and more frequently. The internet is about intent marketing. The social-web revolution means brands and people talk to each other and people talk to other people. That is why we have to think differently about data.

There are four social metrics:

  1. Conversion rate. Measure the number of audience comments per social contribution.
  2. Amplification rate. Your first level followers might be 1,000 but the second level with their followers is 3.7 million. (BTW, less than 10% of your followers on Twitter actually read what you write). Provide real contributions to first level and measure the reach to the second level. Measure the number of forwards per social conversation.
  3. Applause rate. Measure the number of positive clicks per social contribution.
  4. Economic value. Measure the short- and long-term revenue (later conversions) and cost savings of social contributions.

Drive optimum behavior with a dashboard. Information is important but how we use it defines us.

And that’s the first two sessions. Like it? Check again tomorrow for the rest!

About Kelly Glass
Kelly has been vice president of Marketing at Affinity Express for nine years now. She drives company strategy and all marketing activities.

One Response to The Art of Marketing: Relationships and Metrics

  1. Pingback: The Art of Marketing Chicago - Digital Marketing and Social Media Advice from the Experts

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