Analytics, Meet “Mad Men”

Mad Men TV program

More than the two-martini lunch and workplace smoking has disappeared since the days of Mad Men. Creativity has been swept aside by a tide of analytics, according to online and offline communications expert, Damien Mulley (@damienmulley).

After showing the video below from the TV show, Mad Men, Mulley echoed a point I heard earlier that the spend on Google advertising has now overtaken the television spend in the UK. But despite the constraints imposed by online ads, he said there is no reason creativity cannot be re-introduced to advertising.

The CEO of Mulley Communications was speaking at the latest Cornflakes and Commerce breakfast meeting organized by the National College of Ireland (NCI @ncirl) in Dublin.

Ironically, the analytics’ numbers can be a source of this creativity, Mulley said. Decisions on website appearance and functionality based on hard facts will provide a better experience for customers and a competitive advantage. “Numbers can help us to be creative,” he said. “We can come back out the other side and have way more understanding of our customers.”

Examples include the theCorkscrew.ie (@corkscrewnation) website that unearthed just how much of their custom was coming from mobile, Mulley said. They prioritized an app to make shopping by phone easier.

Businesses using Facebook should pay attention to analytics on that site, Mulley advised. They can show the level of reaction, good and bad, to status updates.

Noting demographics are also provided, Mulley cited the example of a company trying to get in front of young people. “You could go back to the boss and say we got 500 new fans and the boss would be happy, but if he looked at it closely he mightn’t be because there are no teenagers,” he said.

When using Twitter or other social tools, Mulley suggested using URL shorteners that clearly show the source of your traffic. (Paul Cooling, CEO of Ubecha.com, told the Last Tuesday meetup that his site keeps very close tabs on which tweets bring in the most traffic).

Asked if newer sites such as Google+ or Pinterest provide analytics, Mulley said they will when they try to raise revenue. “We all need money. We all need a return on investment,” he said.

Mulley suggested people start off by using free tools provided by Google, Facebook and Bit.ly. Those can be downloaded to Excel and merged if necessary, he said. He also suggested the Occam’s Razor website as a good resource.

Image is a publicity still for Mad Men. Copyright belongs to the creators.