Thursday, March 15, 2007

Inviting Metrics to Someone Else's Party

Have you ever brought along an uninvited guest to a party? Maybe he's a great guy who will be a real asset to the festivities and frankly the last few of these parties you've been to have needed the help. Or maybe you just didn't know it was invite-only. When the host admonishes you for being so thoughtless and rude, who tends to look bad, you or the petulant host?

This is sometimes how it feels to bring Web and email metrics to people in your company. They didn't ask for them, they don't want them, and, frankly you're a little rude for bringing them up. Things are going fine in their division and they only invited you to the meeting because they have some more "great ideas" for the Web. But you showed up with metrics and a few questions about their business goals and they don't appreciate it.

A common misconception among business people who have Web property is that Web Analysts are out to get them and take away their Web activities and, sometimes, some of their budget. What Web Analysts are out to get is the truth about Web activity. If the truth leads to initiatives being cut back or eliminated, it's not because the Web Analyst was out to get someone, it's because the initiative was a failure and no one had noticed yet.

However often the initiative simply needs some help and focus to get back on track. Perhaps the audience has shifted. In the case of content sites, perhaps the writing has gotten away from its sweet spot. Whatever the reason, analytics and testing can only help.

1 comment:

Moist Rub said...

"What about when I'm not exercising? "

- which is pretty much all of the time, I gather.

I believe this watch is to be worn while working out and then you switch back to your Timex when you get back to your loitering and your human-being-big-ben duties for society.

What if I don't have a cell phone? How the hell am I supposed to know what time it is if you aren't around?

My last watch stopped working on an airplane on my way to Florida in 1997. That was the last time I wore one, because I didn't know how to replace the battery.

I feel so close to you now.