I was asked by my friend Rob Huisingh to participate in AIMWest’s panel discussion about da Vinci style marketing at Grand Valley State University’s Eberhard Center tonight.

Below are the questions and my response:

Q – For those of us who are new to the concept of da Vinci Style Marketing, what does it mean in practical application to you?

A – For me, it means a creative approach justified by analytics. It’s the numbers and the data to back it up. The best creative in the world is useless if it doesn’t generate results.

The best thing about the web and why it’s so attractive to businesses is because of its measurability. Using tools such as Google Adwords, you can create multiple messages and test their impact in a matter of hours by viewing impressions vs clicks. Quickly discover the message that produced action.


Q – Everything online can be measured. For some, that’s the best thing about interactive marketing. For others, it’s their worst nightmare. Where does one begin when looking at all the data?

A – The only reason I could imagine it’s their worst nightmare is if it’s not producing results and shows the approach is ineffective.

The first place to look is at your objective. What do you want visitors to do? Do you want them to buy product? Do you want them to send an ecard to a friend to spread your message? Do you want them to donate? Every site can have a different objective. And the most important part is meeting that objective. I don’t care if you get 1M visitors to your site, if they don’t do what you need them to do, their visit is wasted.

Within Google Adwords and Google Analytics you can setup goals or conversions. The goal is getting the person to view a specific page. As an example, if your objective is to sell product, your goal is to get them to the receipt page. When they view this page, you get a point. If your goals are met by a good percentage of your traffic, you’re probably doing well.

As for stats, again, there is a lot of data that is important for different company. Important items include number of visitors, traffic sources, keywords/phrases, but specifically the bounce rate. If someone bounces from your site, it means they visited one page and one page only. This is bad. If your bounce rate is high, it means people are not getting the information they anticipate. So it either means you’re not communicating very well, or you’re attracting the wrong visitors.

The last place to look is at hits. Hits and visitors are completely different. Unfortunately from the early days there was a big value put on hits, which means nothing except how efficient your site is today.


Q – It has been said that we are data rich and analysis poor. Ok, so now we can gather all sorts of data, what in reality are the three key metrics you think we need to be concerned with?

A – Again, I think these metrics are going to be different based on the company. I also believe they’ll be different as time passes and new marketing techniques appear.
1. Converstion/Goals – Are they doing what I intended for them to do?
2. People’s Needs – finding out what people are searching for, what their problems are, and providing the clear solution to them.
3. Bounce Rate – The percentage of people who get to the site and only view the first page they land on and don’t go any deeper.


Q – How do you go about using the information that you gather? What do you recommend your clients do if the path they used is not producing results?

A – The web is incredibly flexible. If you see the message is not working, change it and try something new. It’s very cost effective and can be turned around quickly. If clients get serious about their web marketing, they must be willing to experiment. For example, getting into social media marketing. Be willing to create a position in your company called Social Computing Manager or Community Manager that spends their time scouring the web and chatting with your potential customers. Yes, pay them to be on FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


Q – Can you give us a real life example of da Vinci Style Marketing you have been involved in within the past 6 months and can you tell us about it?

A – We have an e-commerce client who sells multiple manufacturer product lines consisting of thousands of products. They’ve been very successful. Over the past couple years, they’ve acquired over 100,000 customer email addresses who have opted to get receive more information. Unfortunately, these are just sitting there. Due to the shopping cart system they use (not developed by Mindscape), we don’t have any information about these customers except their email address. My suggestion is this:
1. We develop a landing page that includes a survey that will start to give us a picture of who these customers are and what they are interested in, ie brands and products of interest.
2. We send an email to the customers driving them to the landing page to complete the survey.

The data we collect from the survey will allow us to better understand who our customers are and segment them, allowing us to create a marketing campaign that speaks directly to each segment (ie people interested in Ford will only get our Ford email. Chevy people would only get Chevy info, etc.).

Next, we create landing sites that cater to each segment and create the marketing message around the data we have (their interests). We setup goals (sales), send out the email, and analyze the data we get in and start again.


Q – How does “Social Media” like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others like those fit in with da Vinci marketing?

A – Social media is all about conversations. da Vinci Marketing is about the analytics, and in this segment of the web it’s monitoring the conversations for either your brand or topics that influence your target market.

Did you know that over 1 million new articles are posted to the web each and every day?

It’s impossible to read it all, so you need a tool to help oversee these communications. Learn the good and the bad and act on it. Analysis of these services can report if someone is talking negatively about your brand. If this is the case, it gives you an opportunity to intervene and help that person with their problem. It shows you’re responsive to their needs, but also influences the people around them who are a part of the conversation. Studies show if you do them right, they’ll go from your worst nightmare to an advocate. Example: Dell Hell.