CMO Management Tip for 2014 – Learn Google Analytics

I am in a LinkedIn Group – the CMO Network.  Kim Whitler, the CMO of David’s Bridal posted an interesting question for an article she is writing:

What are your top Marketing, Career, and Management tips for CMOs going into 2014?

There are a bunch of tips for 2014 one could write about and others should contribute to her posting.  It is an interesting question.  My career recommendation is to learn Google Analytics.

Perhaps this is too unorthodox for a CMO, but every CMO with a strong online presence should be fluent in how to analyze, understand and evaluate at a high level their online traffic. A CMO who understands this and can at least walk the talk with their team will gain significant credibility. But there are solid business reasons why CMOs need to understand this level of detail in their online operations.

Many CMO’s came up through the marketing ranks too early to have spent significant time in online marketing.  Yet today, online competency is a requirement for successful marketing management.  Relying on the “online” team for answers and analysis is a missed opportunity to really dig in and observe the online flood of prospects that pass through your company’s doors each day. Learning Google Analytics forces a CMO to truly understand the concepts of traffic sources, conversion rates, keywords, bounce rates and online advertising spend.  The market insight gained from this learning process goes well beyond the online world and will help paint a fuller picture of what customers are interested in both online and off.  CMOs know branding since they grew up with it.  Not growing up with online analytics isn’t an excuse to not understand this critical part of the business. Should a CMO routinely spend time in Google Analytics? Probably not, but understanding the concepts of online analytics will make a CMO more effective in all aspects of their job.

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