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Dec. 3, 2021

Know, Trust and Grow Your Numbers With Chris Mercer

Know, Trust and Grow Your Numbers With Chris Mercer

This episode features guest Chris Mercer. Chris is the founder of Measurement Marketing.io, he is a renowned expert helping businesses of all sizes understand what they need to measure to understand their marketing strategies more effectively.

Discover what numbers are important for businesses to know if you are going to understand how your customers are interacting with your website and how you can use that knowledge to take action to grow your business.

Within this episode, Andy and Chris also discuss the new Google Analytics 4 including how it works and why it is an important change to Google Analytics with new privacy restrictions in regard to tracking.

Do you know what the secret sauce is for measurement? It is forecasting. Discover why and how you can apply this success tool to your business.

Episode Action Items:

You can find more information regarding Chris Mercer at Measurement Marketing by visiting https://measurementmarketing.io.youtube or download a free toolbox membership at https://measurementmarketing.io/mecc

ABOUT THE HOST:

Andy Splichal - Make Each Click Count PodcastAndy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.

Transcript

Andy Splichal  0:02  

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. We are happy to welcome this week's guests to discuss today's topic, which is Know, Trust and Grow Your Numbers. Today's guest is the founder of MeasurementMarketing.io. He is the renowned expert helping businesses of all sizes understand what they need to measure to understand their marketing strategies more effectively. A big hello to Chris Mercer. Hi, Chris.

 

Chris Mercer  1:13  

Hey, Andy, appreciate you having me.

 

Andy Splichal  1:15  

You know, we're excited to have you on. Now to start, you specialize in helping companies track their numbers. How important would you say that knowing your numbers is for the success of a business?

 

Chris Mercer  1:29  

Yeah, well, obviously, given what we do for a living, I sort of have to say very important, right. But the way I think to really put numbers in the focus, because I don't think there's a business owner anywhere that would disagree with sort of like, oh, it's important to know your numbers. But it's the why. And so the way to think about this is the way or the way that we think about it is more of a conversation. Like if we had an offline store and you came into my shoe store, and you were asking for shoes, and I was able what kind of shoes looking for I'm looking for sneakers and what type of sneakers and we would go through this whole process. And you and I would have a very natural conversation that hopefully would lead to a transaction at the end of that conversation. And this is normal for offline. But digitally, that doesn't happen digitally, we forgot to sort of listen to our users, we don't actually know how they're using the site. We don't know how they're going through the customer journey, we don't know where in the journey, the conversation went south, right. And that's what measurement is all about. And that's why it's so important to understand measurement and to use tools to measure what's happening on your website. Because it's like listening in to the conversation that's happening between the users and the site itself. And when you know what that conversation is, you're better able to then adjust your marketing to keep the conversation going.

 

Andy Splichal  2:40  

 

You know, that's a great point. I've had a couple of my past guests, they've been  ecommerce success stories. And they say it's so important to know your numbers, but they're talking about your revenue and your cost of goods. And those kind of numbers, you're talking more about?  How are your visitors interacting with your website? And knowing those kinds of numbers?

 

Chris Mercer  3:02  

Yeah  that's exactly right. Because at the end of the day, the website is essentially a replacement for some sort of salesperson or sales process in most cases, right? It's designed to move people through some sort of customer journey to get them from point A to point B. And we cannot improve that process. If it's a blackhole. If we have no idea how the customers are using the site, for example, if it's a product detail page, are they loading the product detail page and then leaving in two seconds? Because they had absolutely no interest? And that's what led to them not checking out? Or did they load that product detail page, they clicked on a bunch of images, they even tried to click on the buttons where it showed different sizes and colors. And then they didn't check out? Well, that's two completely different conversations. And when you can measure for that sort of behavior, which of course you can, that's what allows you as a marketer to make better decisions, including things like oh, we can remark it to a certain audience with certain messages now, because we understand kind of the mindset, one had absolutely no interest in the product. So we can maybe send them with a products. And the other one did have interest in the product. So maybe we send them testimonials or reviews that people have written about that product and how happy they are. And that's the beauty of measurement, being able to listen to the behaviors and make sure that our machinery is working the way that it's supposed to.

 

Andy Splichal  4:14  

When you're finding these numbers, are you using exclusively Google Analytics for the tracking? Are there any other analytics programs?

 

Chris Mercer  4:23  

Yeah, that's a really great question. Because I think that people get caught up in the tools, maybe a little too much. We do actually use Google Analytics. It's a Google platform, let's say exclusively. So it's Google Analytics, we'll use Tag Manager, we'll use Data Studio, but they're all free tools. And they're incredibly powerful. As long as you know how to use them. It's partly strategy of how we use them, and partly just the tactics right of knowing how to like set a goal or conversion event or something like that. But that's kind of the best part is, I think, measurement overall. It's not necessarily the tool that's going to make it happen for it. It's the strategy behind it.

 

Andy Splichal  4:59  

Now when people come to you, and this might be you know, it doesn't seem like there is a lot of cool analytics training out there. And this might come into the answer. But when people come to you, what percent of people would you say they already have a good handle on their Google Analytics? I'm just, I'm curious. And most people have it installed correctly, and they're just don't know how to best utilize it Or if the installation all together is just a mess when they

 

Chris Mercer  5:23  

Yeah, yeah, that's a really, really good question. Because it's a lot of people. It's interesting when we used to start, when we first started training, Google Analytics, training programs, we would ask people like, Okay, on a scale of one to 10, where are you when it comes to Google Analytics? And somebody would say, Well, I'm at eight. And we would say, Okay, well, let's go look at what your goals are. And they would say, like, what's a goal? And you go, Oh, I realize you're an eight out of what you thought you knew about Google Analytics, right. But then they realize how big our platform is, and what's possible, they realize they're probably a two, you know. So from our perspective, when people are coming into our platform, and they're trying to learn this stuff, you know, joining the measure Marketing Academy or something like that, they're typically on the on the low low end, I would say it's it's one or 2%. And I'm not trying to be hyperbole, there it is. It is that low. Where two people yeah, oh, yeah, easily, it's probably closer to zero, but it's but it's one to two is being liberal. And the reason that is, is because they have and this is the number one mistake is they have activated Google Analytics, most companies have activated it, because it's very easy to activate, you go to Shopify, install it with the integration, or use an app or a plugin with WordPress, or you paste the code on your page. And then that thing starts filling up with a bunch of data. And I get why you think, oh, cool, it's now working, I should go use it. But that's actually a mistake. Most people have not taken the time to then customize it. And that's how you actually set up Google Analytics that requires activation. And then you customize that platform, so that it tells you a story. And what happens is most people that are coming to us. And of course, consider the fact that they're coming to us to learn analytics. So that's probably why we're a little more closer to the 0% setup. But obviously, if it was set up, they wouldn't come to us. But most people that we've talked to still don't have a proper setup, because they have activated it. But the problem they have is they have a lot of data. But they have no story. They have a lot of data, but they have no insights. They have a lot of information, but they have no actions they can take based on that information. And that's because it's just collecting stuff, but it's never actually been customized and set up properly.

 

Andy Splichal  7:25  

So what are what is the story? What are the most important things that a business should be paying attention to when tracking using Google Analytics?

 

Chris Mercer  7:33  

We like to keep things simple. I think I think strategy when it comes to measuring, and analytics, in general is the most important thing, right? Even beyond the tool. And so when it comes to the questions that people should be asking, and how they should be using it, it would be I would just say results, and how is the phrase to remember, so you have to know what results you're getting. And whatever business model is for that, for some people will be leads typically clicks somebody, but would it be dollars and cents or products and services sold. But then you also and this is even more important, you have to know how you're getting those results. Because if you don't know how you're getting these results, when things change, and they inevitably will, you won't know what happened, what where the conversation changed and you won't know how to fix anything, because it was all a black box. And that's that's a dangerous place to be so we call a curse of a good offer that happens a lot of times when people come to us is because they had a really great offer and they gave Facebook 100 bucks and Facebook split out $500 with the sales so then they gave Facebook 500 bucks and Facebook gave them $1,000 for that sale and they were like cool, let's give Facebook $1,000 and Facebook gave them $5,000 in sales and then like okay chips on the table all in and they give Facebook $10,000 and then Facebook keeps it and they go and they go what happened what happened all that money and it was like I don't know. And that's because they weren't measuring for it they knew the results but they did not know the how they were getting those results so they can't actually diagnose anything. And now it's a problem it's a panic and that's where Analytics agent.

 

Andy Splichal  8:52  

That sounds like a recent trip to Vegas for me. 

 

Chris Mercer  8:54  

Let's go there you go also important to know results in hell when it comes to gambling. Absolutely right.

 

Andy Splichal  9:00  

Hey, the new Google G4 analytics tracking what do you think about that compared to the old Universal Analytics code, the UA code? And do you have any idea when it's going to require switch is going to happen? I thought it was going to be here for this year.

 

Chris Mercer  9:19  

 

 Keep they keep threatened rattle that save a little.

 

 

Andy Splichal  9:21  

 

 But I haven't I haven't heard anything about it for months. 

 

Chris Mercer  9:24  

Yeah so the the Universal Analytics is the sort of the the original analytic some people are calling a GA3 now because there's like GA4 you know, so everyone's on to where the four come from. So there have been multiple versions of analytics. They just never gave numbers until this newest one. But I like it I so I like the direction of it and it is necessary and this is what I think the biggest lesson on GA4 is for Google Analytics for is if you're using universal that is absolutely fine. I think it will be fine for probably another year or two even. However, it every every month In that it becomes less and less viable in today's environment where we have, you know, tech that's constantly changing how things are being measured ala, Apple and Facebook earlier in 2021 tip that they went through, right, you have Google Chrome, that's going to be adjusting third party cookies in 2023, which is why I would think the timing is probably going to be around there. Because there will there will certainly coordinate that would be my guess anyway. And then the, just the fact if you've got that's just tech, then you've got laws like GDPR, California's law and other countries sort of follow. And then you've got users who just are using different browsers, like brave or adding plugins or extensions, to keep their data private, so they can't be measured. So in this environment, we're almost every day, there's less people that we can measure now than we could yesterday, you have to have a platform that is built for that you have to have a platform that understands it's going to have this sort of sample of data. Now, it's not going to get every little thing like it used to be back in the you know, when this whole thing started on the internet, it's just not like that anymore, the world has changed, and it's gonna, it's definitely turned a corner, it's never gonna go back. So we know we got to work on a platform that can take a sample of data, and then model behaviors and model conversions and give us something that's useful. And that's the biggest, biggest, biggest benefit to Google Analytics for is that it's built for a world where every day, there's less data that can be measured because of privacy and everything like that. It's built with machine learning and AI at its core, so that it can predict and model for you so that you don't have to do it on your own. It's built to measure users across devices. In a world where we all have 15 or 20 devices, it feels like sometimes, and that's the world that Universal Analytics wasn't able to really keep up with at a certain point, the architecture sort of that's that that original code that analytics was built on and rebuild on and rebuild on, it just couldn't be updated anymore. They realized, like the infrastructure is just it's cooked, it's not going to work anymore. So they would Google Analytics for, and this, this is an important point for people to hear this Google Analytics for is a completely different Google Analytics. It's Google calls it an upgrade, I think that's a mistake. It's not an upgrade. It is a company, the only thing it has in common with Universal Analytics is the name Google Analytics. That's it. Everything else is completely different. The model is different, the reports are different, how you get the details in there are different, there were it's radically different. And it will have a learning curve back there. Now the things you can do are amazing, right? It can do funnels, you can go through and you can see who's seen on a certain page, clicking on a certain button and watching a video 50% of the way like you can do some crazy cool stuff with this thing. But it takes time to learn it because it is so radically different. And I do think there's a lot of people who are looking at, at the messaging that Google is putting out and they're saying, oh, Google Analytics for upgrade just like universal. When, if you remember back in the day, a few years ago, Google went from classic universe or Classic Analytics to Universal Analytics. And that was a very simple upgrade, nothing really changed the user interface. It was just Google Analytics. But better, right? And GA4 is Google Analytics, and better. And by the way, completely different. So it's going to require time to get used to the platform. So the sooner that people start to at least play around with that, my I'm just ballparking it, it'll take most people three to six months to figure out how to effectively use that tool. 

 

Andy Splichal  13:17  

You know, I haven't I didn't, I don't know much about it. I gotta admit, I know that it doesn't do some of the things that UA does that I use, especially when it comes to looking at the search terms. For your Google ads it doesn't. Now is that because GA4 is using modeling, of course actually using the data that's convenient?

 

Chris Mercer  13:39  

Yeah, that's a great question. I don't think it's because of the modeling aspect of it. I think it's just because maybe they just haven't connected the dots between Search Console and Google Analytics 4 because that's how that stuff is getting into Universal Analytics is through Search Console, right? But it does do a lot. But to your point, and this is again, this is an important point for people to hear. It's I don't, you know, it depends who you talk to. I think in the Google verse, there are some people were saying, Oh, it's cooked, it's ready to go. I think it's, it's cooked enough to start practicing and using and learning on, I don't think it's cooked enough to be a production platform, as of like, you know, right toward the end of 2021. And it's because of things like there's not a simple landing page report. You have to create it, you can you can create it, but there's not a simple landing page report. There's not as simple way to go see your search results, you have to go use universal still for that. Well, if you have to use universal anyway, what are you going to use for everything else universal, right, you're just gonna stay in that platform, right? So that but that is important for exactly the reason that you mentioned where it's like, you haven't really been back to that much to play around with it. But it is a radically different way of thinking about data. And it's not to freak anybody out. It's just to put everybody on awareness that it is different and just don't don't put any pressure on yourself to learn it in two days. But hey, you know, when the next six months we're gonna get kind of used to this. And then as all these features come out, which they will, things will be much much easier or to use because you're already be ahead of the curve, including things like, Oh, now it's connected. Hopefully they bring it backwards connected to Search Console.

 

Andy Splichal  15:06  

So you would suggest that people put them both on the website at GA4 and there's no no harm in doing so?

 

Chris Mercer  15:14  

That's exactly right. 

 

Andy Splichal  15:15  

slow down

 

Chris Mercer  15:16  

Yeah that's exactly right. You run them in parallel, you write them together. And that just goes to as as a testament to say, to prove the point that it is a completely different analytics platform, it just happens to share the same name, but it's completely different. So that's why you can do both at the same time, and one doesn't affect the other, which is kind of cool. So you can see you can practice and learn stuff. Meanwhile, you obviously still use Universal Analytics to guide your production decisions, whatever it is that you're doing for your main site.

 

Andy Splichal  15:41  

So let me ask after a business is sure they can trust the numbers, everything's going well, they're familiar with Google Analytics. What is the next step for using those numbers to grow?

 

Chris Mercer  15:53  

I love this question. Because it is, to me, I think it's the secret sauce of measurement. It's what it's where people don't realize what measurement is really for. And so in a one word answer to that question, in terms of what should they do next is forecast, they should forecast. And here's what I mean by that. So when I run my my forecast as a company, and how measurement applies to it, I'm not setting goals as an organization to say, Oh, we're gonna make $10,000 Next week, like, yes, those are in the budget. And then we have projections out that have revenue, etc, etc. But what really I'm doing is my projections are set up on the activities that need to happen to do that. So we are forecasting, let's say, 100,000 hits go to the ad and of the ad 20,000 hits might come to the offer page, and of those 10% are gonna go to the cart of those half, we're going to complete at an average cart value of whatever it is, which will equal $10,000. So we have that forecast. So what basically we're saying is next week, and this is what's important about measurement is measurement is no longer telling us what's working, or what's not. Measurement is telling us what's coming next. So we can say, okay, next week, here's what should happen with that Facebook budget we're about to spend, here's how it's going to work. And then we measure against our forecasts. And then at that point, we will very, very easily see if something's not working, you're gonna see it, and you'll be like, Oh, not all, people were clicking the ad to go to the page, or, hey, they're going to the page, but they're not going to the car, or they're going to the cart, but they're not completing, right? Or they completed but not at the average ticket, we thought they would. And each of those is a different solution requires different resources. But the important thing is, I know exactly where to focus the company's resources, because I measure against my forecasts. So forecasting is the thing that people should really focus on once they have a good grasp of their initial benchmarks.

 

Andy Splichal  17:40  

Do you have any success stories from clients? That what they've been able to do after they've been able to grasp their numbers?

 

Chris Mercer  17:51  

Yes, but so yes, and I don't know that it's, it's all that useful. So far, we have lots of people that will come to us and say, Oh, we just made seven figures because we did this, or we did that. Or we did the other thing. We certainly have success stories on our own of of ways that measurement has saved us and made things more efficient. So we weren't wasting a bunch of money on Facebook. Because we just knew it wasn't gonna work. We didn't, we didn't need Facebook algorithm to tell us it wasn't gonna work, we could tell it wasn't gonna work, right before we spent a ton of money. And the reason I say it kinda doesn't matter in a way is because measurement is very much like learning how to use a hammer. Some people build really cool benches, some people build houses, some people just knock down stuff and put holes in walls, you know. And so it's not so much that measurement makes you successful. Measurement gives you the potential to do more things. It's like asking, like, what's the difference between wearing glasses, if you have a prescription and not wearing glasses? Well, wearing glasses is going to give you a bigger world to interact with. Because you can move faster, you can see things clearer, you can take more actions that you couldn't otherwise take because you can't see stuff. And that's what measurement is measurement is like a crisp pair of glasses a great prescription. So you can see kind of where you stand, you can see where you're headed. And then you can see a path of actions between those, whether or not you take them, that's up to the company, but that is what measurement allows.

 

Andy Splichal  19:13  

But you might might still walk in front of the bus, even though you can see exactly right?

 

Chris Mercer  19:17  

Exactly right. You still have to pay attention, right? So it's not it's not like it's not unfortunately, it's not like a push button. Simple thing, right? You have to learn this stuff. And it and that's why we try to teach like a measurement culture in an organization. Everybody should sort of think about measurement. But it is it it is it is very much like having a very, very clear prescription to be able to look around and say, Okay, this is what we should do now because we can we know that's happening, because our users are telling us that because we're listening to the conversation. If that makes. 

 

Andy Splichal  19:42  

You know, I gotta say listening to you. You are weirdly excited about this. How did it happen now? How did you get there?

 

Chris Mercer  19:51  

That's a really great story. I think the you know, when we started I started teaching WordPress. And we would teach people how to how to build WordPress sites that lead into people saying can you just build it for for me, so we built an agency. And I wanted to differentiate. So we moved into conversion rate optimization. And to optimize, you have to measure. So we got really good at analytics, and we would set up analytics stuff. And then that's all people cared about was like, Can you spit out my analytics for me. And so that's where we pivoted. But the reason that I like numbers, I think it comes from my background, in terms of sales, my backwards always been sales, and specifically, mostly in sales management, which is always running by the numbers we're measuring through a pipeline. So I'm very comfortable with customer journeys, just a series of steps, everything is a sale to me, it's a sale to get you to visit my page and stay there for 10 seconds. And it's equally as important for me to get your credit card. They're all just sales, right in a customer journey. And the beauty of numbers is that it lights up the map. It's like a GPS that says, you know, if you're at your house right now, and say, I'm gonna go to my favorite restaurant, and you type in that restaurants name, and then the map sort of lights up and says, here's the path, here's where you go, just follow these directions, and you'll end up here, that's what measurement is for me. And that's why I'm, that's why I'm so excited about it, because it is it is very much like that. I mean, it sounds kind of like that, how's he doing that, but that's because we forecast because we use measurement to tell us what's coming next. And when we see. And you get really used to trends and patterns. And so when you when you aren't using measurement, you have no visibility and everything. And then there's a lot of drama, and there's a lot of guessing. And there's a lot of well, I asked my friend and they said we should change the funnel, or ask my friend and they should we should change the headline. Well, my other friend said we changed the offer. And like how do you know? But the only people who really know are your customers. So if you measure properly, right, those customers, those users on the site will gladly tell you. So one of the most valuable lessons I ever learned is that the marketplace will tell you thumbs up or thumbs down. And if you're not sure what they're saying, it's because you're not asking, and you think you are, so you get better at asking, and they will tell you the thumbs up or thumbs down, and then you know what to do, you don't have to guess and I love marketing without the drama. And that's that's kind of what measurement helps us do.

 

Andy Splichal  21:55  

Now personally, have there been any business books out there that you would attribute to your success as a, as an entrepreneur?

 

Chris Mercer  22:04  

I have a little bit of everything. I don't know if there's one that because I think all of them I'm real big on the one idea concept. Like if you go to our YouTube channel, we have a lot of different free training videos. And I always talk about the one thing which is sometimes it's just you hear an idea in a slightly different way. And you go, Oh, that changed everything for me. And I try to get at least one of those from every book, every blog post every video course whatever the thing is a speaking engagement if I'm out a conference or something. So I'm always trying to get that. But I will say from an author perspective, which is the pattern where I like an author, because they consistently say really smart things. One is Dan Sullivan, I love Dan Sullivan stuff, I think he writes, he writes very quick, easy books. And I buy them all, because he's just sometimes it's like some of them are a little better than others. But they all give me at least one new thought that I can use to grow a business. And Keith Cunningham is the other one. So Dan is more management and entrepreneurial thought, Keith Cunningham is incredible when it comes to just numbers in general and financial numbers. And so I think the one of the books he wrote was The Business Blueprint, if I'm not mistaken, which is amazing. And he is doing the same thing, just not so much with measurement in a marketing perspective of measurement from your financials. And that was that was really nice to see how he thinks about that. And the structure behind that. So those two guys, Dan Sullivan and Keith Cunningham, I'd recommend anything that they do.

 

Andy Splichal  23:23  

What problems? Are you guys solving for your clients? And how does your agency stand out from the competitors?

 

Chris Mercer  23:31  

The so our agency is primarily training. So we are here to help people learn these tools. So the number one problem that we that most people have is they have tried to use Google Analytics and or platform like it. And they have a belief that they're kind of like staring at a do analytics report. And they have a belief that if they only knew how to use this tool, if they only knew how to quote unquote, read the report, they would mysteriously see all of a sudden these incredible insights that'll change your life as a marketer. And that's not exactly true. It's because it's not set up properly, that they cannot see it. And if they set it up properly, it will tell them a story. So what our sort of secret power is helping people who have tried this before and are frustrated or overwhelmed by it, and they don't consider themselves numbers Perce people, they are normal people, right? They're they're marketers, they don't want to live in a spreadsheet all day long. But they know that they kind of have to take their medicine, this is a necessary thing. And but they have to learn these tools, right, but they don't need to learn it to the point where they're a data analyst, because that's overkill. So we are the people who do this. We do this training for normal people, we help normal people access these programs and use them and get enough juice from the squeeze so to speak. So they can actually take action and insight and it's and it's from little things of the things about learning that you have to set it up and thinking about it as an example. Just kind of to think about as a kind of analogy, I guess would be if I gave you a kid's book, and I said could you read this kid's book to me? You probably could. But then if I take that book back, I rip out all the pages. And I rip those into pieces. And I smashed them between the covers. And I give you that kid's book back. And I said, Can you please read me this book now? Could you read it? The answer is yes. But there's a lot of people who are thinking, No, I couldn't read it, why I didn't change your ability to read a book, you're still a good reader is just, it's a lot harder to read when it's a bunch of ripped up pieces of paper, right? What is a bunch of ripped up puzzle pieces in a way? Well, that's what Google Analytics is, by default, it just starts collecting data in ripped up pieces of puzzle, that's all it is. And you have to work with it to customize it to structure it in a certain way. And when you do that, it's like, if you could paste all the pieces together again, you go, Oh, it's easy to read now. And they're all put together you see the story, you don't have to you don't have to think badly about yourself for not being able to read that book. You it's easy to read now, when all the pieces are together. That's what you can do with Google Analytics, when you follow certain strategy and learn how to use the tools. And that's that's what we do is we help with.

 

Andy Splichal  25:55  

Are there any struggles that you have with getting results for your clients?

 

Chris Mercer  26:01  

Yes, I'd say the struggle is, I tell you the struggle, and I'll tell you how we're solving the struggle, the struggle is they compare themselves to somebody like us, like if you're coming in, and you see the setup that we have, and the things that we can do, that's what you want, or you want that you're like, oh, I can do this, do that do this other thing. And there is a lot that we have done to do that we've been doing this for many, many years, we have measurement muscle, right, we've done this a lot, we've gone to the measure marketing framework 1000s of times in our in our setup, so we know how to do this. And you cannot do it at the level that we are because you don't have that muscle when you're first learning this stuff. So the the challenge that people have is trying to do too much, too soon before they had the muscle for it. And so they tried to get it all done. And they see what the sort of the Promised Land looks like. And they just try to make that happen. But it is so much work to do that. But they never actually make progress. And that falls into frustration. Again, they start going this is too much work, I'm just going to try to get somebody else to do it or push button simple program or something or just come back to in a couple years when we got resources, which is a shame. So the way that we help solve that is we emphasize that there are stages to this. So we call it the cave, the valley and the summit. So the cave is where everybody starts, which is you don't know what's working or what's not, you have really no visibility in anything and you kind of feel like you're walking around in the dark. That's the cave, and that's okay. But when you're in the cave, the first step is activate, get used to where everything is start learning the bells and whistles, right, but you're not going to dramatically change your company when you're in the cave. You're at least getting used to the tools, though. So we train for that, and you get that least a little bit of muscle. When you're when you get comfortable these platforms, then you get into the valley will be called a valley visibility. You can look around, you can see what's working, what's not. And you can answer your basic questions that you've been asking. But as soon as you get those answers, you're gonna start asking bigger questions now because you can. So then you start asking bigger questions, and then you have to start maybe improving your setup a little bit and you realize like, okay, my measurement setup is designed to answer the questions that I'm asking, sometimes my questions are going to outgrow my existing measurement setup. And I'll have to improve things like maybe change how my goals are created, or maybe bring in another platform to help me out, like Tag Manager or something like that. And then you start leveling up your permutation. But remember, it's easier to do now, because you already have the muscle from when you were in the cave. So you go through the valley, and you stay in the Valley for a long time. And most people most people don't ever have to get out of the valley. They stay there, they get all their answers. And you go through this process, and you build muscle and you build muscle and you build muscle and it gets easier and easier and easier. And you build momentum. And then finally there's the summit. And that's where really complicated stuff gets answered very complicated questions, something like we call it velocity of return, which is kind of like what's my lifetime value on day zero and day seven on day 14, on Day 30, on day 60, on day 90, like you can get those sorts of answers, it's important to ask that stuff. But it is not the easiest thing in the world to get an answer too, right. And so you have to have really big muscles. In order to get those sort of answers, you have to understand measurement, you have to understand platforms, you need other people and resources on the team who understand that to make sure that those sort of numbers stay consistent. So you don't try to do that on day zero. That's something that might be you know, 90 or 120 days down down the road. So the the freight, that staging helps a lot. And just that phrase of get good enough to get going and then come back and make it better later is super important. When it comes to measurement. It is more important that you make progress on measurement, then it is perfect. You have to make progress. So get good enough to get going on stuff, come back and make it better later, because there's always going to be opportunity to make things better.

 

Andy Splichal  29:34  

That is a great analogy. Now when people are putting Google Analytics on their website, and aerials, does the platform matter? Are there some platforms that you'll find customers have a lot of frustration, getting analytics to work properly?

 

Chris Mercer  29:52  

Specifically with Google Analytics? 

 

Andy Splichal  29:54  

Yeah.

 

Chris Mercer  29:54  

Not really. Because it is it because it is a platform that is so widely accepted. After that, it's kind of one of the originals, right. So it's the web sort of built around Google Analytics. Everybody integrates with it in some way, shape, or form. And so that's that the Google Analytics by itself is pretty decent, that the challenge with it is sometimes how it is integrated on the pages. So, as an example, if you have a plugin, like on a WordPress site, and you sort of install the code with that plugin, and let's say later, Google Analytics updates their code, but the plugin doesn't update the code, well, the plugin is doing all the work. And it makes it easy for you to get analytics sort of activated. But it's harder now for you to actually customize analytics and take advantage of the new stuff. Because you have to wait for the plugin developer to do the code. So that's where it's like, it's always possible, I think, to get analytics activated, I think it's very easy to get it activated. But some some ways of doing that can restrict your capacity to set it up. And that's what makes it a little harder to use.

 

Andy Splichal  30:58  

Yeah, I guess I was just thinking of, you know, I got started nearly 2000, with Yahoo stores, which was a little bit difficult with the analytics, and it had a third party checkout on it. And I didn't know if there were any others like that, that might be a bit of a challenge?

 

Chris Mercer  31:15  

Not yeah, again, not so much with analytics, because most platforms nowadays are integrating with them, where the challenge will lie on some of those is Tag Manager. And that's kind of like a level up. But that's a platform that every company should eventually start using, not on day zero when you're first starting out. But eventually you will want something like Tag Manager because it it kind of 100x is your power to measure. It's amazing the level of visibility you can get. If you think about like Google Analytics is a flashlight in the dark cave. Tag Manager is like having your own sun behind you that just lights up everything around you like it's an amazing platform when used properly. But not every cart system will allow Tag Manager code on the pages. So it's tougher to get visibility into something like that. And you'd have to rely upon their built in integration with Google Analytics and hope that it's good enough for what you need, you know, so that's that's sort of where you will see some platforms not playing as nicely in the in the measurement world, specifically with Tag Manager.

 

Andy Splichal  32:15  

So let's let's talk about your agency for a bit measuremarketing.co. Now, first of all, why is it Co? Why I see a lot of Cos why not? 

 

Chris Mercer  32:23  

Well, it's not. So that's good. I'm glad you mentioned that, because it's not it's io. So measurementmarketing.io

 

Andy Splichal  32:29  

.io?

 

Chris Mercer  32:30  

Yep, .io

 

Andy Splichal  32:32  

Okay, why io? What is io means?

 

Chris Mercer  32:34  

So did, we did the.io, honestly because the.com was already taken, somebody won an insane amount of money for it. And at the time, I wanted to make measurement marketing a thing, because people would talk about measuring their marketing, but most people were doing tracking and analytics and you know, data driven stuff. And analytics, and tracking and data are very geeky hard words for people, they don't really like them, right? They're kind of sharp sounding to measurement is a softer thing anybody can measure. And when you think about measurement, you don't think about good Analytics, you think about a ruler, you know, and it's like, Oh, I'm gonna measure this thing, I think about a tape measure or something like that. So I wanted to change the conversation, from instead of going about tracking and analytics, everything else to talk about measurement and really make it how to measure your marketing. So that's where measurement marketing came from, right, listening to the conversation, the marketing is how we adjust the conversation. So measurements, listening, marketing is adjusting of the conversation on our side to keep the conversation going. And I did the .io partially, of course, because the.com just wasn't available. But then that's why the company name is measure marketing.io And not measuring the marketing. So we made the company name, the website name, and it made it from a brand perspective made it so much easier to brand the company, because that's what everybody knows we have a good amount of direct traffic coming to our site, because people are typing in measuremarketing.io where they're typing in measurement marketing. So we that's the biggest reason I like the.io is because they kind of carve out a niche is it forces you to think differently. I just would if anyone's trying that or thinking about it, the only suggestion I would do is make it part of your name. What would make it a part like like we did like our company's not measuring marketing, it's measuremarketing.io is Oh, okay. So I'm always the co founder of measuremarketing.io. I'm never measured from measurement marketing. I teach measure marketing, measurement, marketing to IO helps people learn measurement marketing, but it is not measure marketing, if that makes sense as a company.

 

Andy Splichal  34:24  

Now, who are most of your guys's clients?

 

Chris Mercer  34:29  

Most of them are the people who are it's kind of like that, that Facebook situation I talked about earlier where people spend so much money on Facebook, almost like the stops working or like what happened and was like, I don't know. And then you're like, Okay, well, we have to make sure this doesn't happen again. And so then they start learning measurements. So the way that we really think about it is, you know, there are some people who get ahead of the curve for sure, that are using SEO as their primary method or they have a lot of email traffic and they they really just they understand that they need to hear the conversation that's going on and so they can adjust it. And so they will come to us. Most people, though it's when they spend $1. on anything, and they want to know what happened to that dollar. And then they go, Well, we don't know. Exactly right. It's like, especially when Facebook says, Oh, I, that dollar, I sold something. But then Google ad says, Yeah, I sold the same thing. And then they go, Well, you couldn't have both done it, you know? And then and then you go to Google Analytics, Google Analytics, as neither one of them did it, email, did it. And then you're like, Okay, what's going on? And that's where they come to us. And they and we help them sort of think that thing through.

 

Andy Splichal  35:29  

So how can somebody learn more about working with you and getting, getting their analytics go and get it rolling?

 

Chris Mercer  35:35  

Great questions, I'll give you a couple of links. So one is just we have a ton of free training on our YouTube channel. So if you go to measurementmarketing.io////YouTube, it will take you there. So measuremarket.io////YouTube ton of free training, and use as much as you want there. The other suggestion is, if you are kind of past that, you're definitely interested in this. And you want to have some tools, like we have a traffic tracking toolkit, we have a dashboard planner, we have a marketing behavior toolkit to help you think through the strategies and to plan out your measurement and sort of see what's possible. That is something we call our toolbox membership, and it's free. So we offer that as a free level, we give out all of our tools for people just to help support the community and, and help people where we can. So if you're interested in that, just go to measurementmarketing.io. So measuremarketing.io, and then make each click count as mecc. So it's measuremarketing.io////mecc, and it'll take you right to the toolbox membership.

 

Andy Splichal  36:27  

Okay, great. Now, is there anything else you'd like to add? Before we wrap it up today?

 

Chris Mercer  36:32  

Just give yourself permission to be good enough to get going. It is the hardest thing to wrap your head around. Because you see, it feels like when you're starting this out that you're the only one who can't get this thing working. You're the only one who runs into this news, especially when you come into a training platform like ours is, you see everybody else he feels like everybody else is so far ahead of you that you're never going to get there because like this insurmountable mountain ahead of you. And you just realize you're on a path and think in your that keep that phrase of get good enough to get going and come back and make it better later. You can, you will come back better later. It'll, it'll definitely happen. It'd be a natural process. And you just make progress one bit at a time. You look back in a few months, and you'll be in a completely different mindset. Doesn't take long, but it does take consistent progress.

 

Andy Splichal  37:16  

Well, that was awesome. Thank you for joining us today, Chris. 

 

Chris Mercer  37:19  

Thank you, Andy. Appreciate you having me. 

 

Andy Splichal  37:21  

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