Marketing Productivity Blog
Newsletter #75 1/2007
Drilling Down - Turning Customer
Data into Profits with a Spreadsheet
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Marketing Productivity Blog
Hi again folks, Jim Novo here.
Yes, I have done it. I have finally entered the world of blogging,
after a very long stint working on the WAA / UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics courses.
For more info, here's the first post on the blog.
What's this mean for you? Let's get into it.
Q: What happens to the e-mail newsletter?
A: I know a lot of people like the newsletter format because they prefer to read the newsletter text offline.
Don't worry, I will continue to publish a full text newsletter until such time as people
don't want it anymore. I will still answer your direct questions on
how to do the Drillin' in your own particular situation in the newsletter.
But I will also offer this same content in the blog format with an RSS feed, along with
additional content that simply wouldn't work in an e-mail newsletter.
Q: Like what kind of additional content?
A: Like stuff that unless it is commented on in a timely way, isn't
really very useful. Like more frequent short form content that would be
bothersome in the newsletter format. And of course, direct interaction with you (if you
choose) through the blog comment system - "many to many", as opposed to the "one to
many" format of the newsletter. The blog format is a lot more flexible in some ways.
For example, here's something that works much better on a blog than
in an e-mail newsletter. I will still do the "Best Customer Marketing Article
Links" review, but it will come out continuously not once a month, and you can access the
entire list of reviewed articles by clicking a single
That's a much easier interface to deal with for this particular content and
a lot more timely.
Q: Do I need to learn about RSS / how to use a feed reader to have the blog content
automatically delivered to me?
A: No! You can be alerted to new content by e-mail. The e-mail
will be sent a maximum of 1 time a day (not for every post) and only when
new content is created. Each e-mail contains a clickable title for each post and the first
paragraph or so of the post so you can get a feel for the content.
To sign up for this e-mail service, go to the blog
and check the right-hand navigation for the e-mail sign-up box. You
will probably have to scroll down a bit to see this box (under the Feed and BookMark buttons).
Q: How do you handle feeds?
A: I'm using a universal sign-up interface called AddThis to access
feeds for both the blog Posts and Comments. You can also bookmark
the blog or individual posts using it. Simply click the Subscribe
or BookMark button and you will be presented with a list of all the popular
Web-based and Desktop feed readers or BookMarking sites. You can also select a favorite
site so it only presents you with one alternative. You do not have to create an
account to make this service work for you.
Personally, (and perhaps for those new to RSS), I find using my Google HomePage to be a
very easy way to monitor and read feeds. When you are presented with the feed reader
list just Click "Add to Google" (3rd down from the top on left list) and add to Home Page;
you can also add to Google Reader this way.
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: So I can stop the e-mails from people who want me to "get with it" and "provide an RSS
feed". Doing a blog is the easiest way to do just that, though as I pointed out the blog
format has other advantages. I'm looking forward to direct interaction with more of
you and hopefully you will all feel free to interact with each other through Comments.
I think collectively, we have a lot to say about what is going on in Marketing these days and the world
of Analytics in general; I guess we'll see!
Q: Why is the blog "Marketing Productivity"?
A: Because I want to take a broader view of this overall discussion
than just talking about the tactical "How To" all the time. We'll
still do "How To" but I want to get into some of the other challenges surrounding data-based
Marketing optimization, ideas that may be out a few years but are important to talk about
*now* because the best of breed companies are beginning to embrace them *now*.
If you know what is coming, you will be better prepared to take advantage of it.
As long-term subscribers know, "I have seen this movie before".
The blog format will work quite well for this direction because if you want just the "How
To", well, you can have just that. You can customize your own content around whatever
topics you find interesting, and that has to be a good thing, right?
Q: Why did you wait so long to do a blog?
A: Primarily, because I was waiting for the platform to mature to the point I thought I
could take advantage of it and make the content experience better, not worse, than
e-mail. Also, I'm not a programmer and so the platform can't be a "No worries,
here's a hack for that" environment. And finally, as I said
above, I was buried with the WAA course development for quite a while.
Q: What else do we need to know?
A: Well, I think I have covered all the "Need to Know", but here's some additional info.
There is a group of very smart bloggers out there and we have had some great material going
between us (the blog has actually been up about a month for a "shake-down" - I have a
leaning curve, ya know). Check out my BlogRoll for these folks.
In particular, most of the back and forth has been with:
Adelino de Almeida - Profitable Marketing
Marketing ROI - Ron Shevlin
And, in case you're into web analytics and don't know this one:
Occam's Razor - Avinash Kaushik
I'll be adding others as we move forward.
So that's about it on the launch of the blog. There's quite a bit
of content up there for you to get into in place of this month's newsletter.
Check it out and let me know what you think of the Marketing Productivity topic and
And please, let me know what you think of this idea and the way I have handled the transition.
Also, if you have suggestions on the technology side for "customer functionality" you'd like to
see added to the blog, please let me know. Send feedback here:
blog at jimnovo dot com
'Til next time, keep Drilling Down!
- Jim Novo
Copyright 2007, The Drilling Down Project by Jim Novo. All rights
reserved. You are free to use material from this newsletter in whole or in part as long as you include complete credits,
including live web site link and e-mail link. Please let me know where & when
the material will appear.