EMU Search Marketing 2014: Start with the Data You Have

So much has changed in my life from when I attended Eastern Michigan, a place that set me on my current path. Returning there always holds a lot of emotion and memories. That’s why being asked to speak on November 7  at The Search Marketing Workshop, a conference that has been formed there over the past four years (starting from just one class that I was lucky enough to be a part of six years ago) was a little surreal. I was honored to be considered and am always looking for a way to give back to current Eastern Michigan students.

In the Detroit metro area (including Northwest Ohio), The Search Marketing Workshop is quickly becoming a premier event in the digital marketing space. The program Eastern Michigan University is cultivating throughout the region is ground-breaking for young students and professionals alike. The knowledge base that presented at this workshop is great for small businesses and students, but the networking at this event is what can really broaden your overall reach.

The topic of my presentation, in the search marketing track of the workshop, was audience segmentation.

My main message was this: no matter how much data you have, you have enough to get started.

A lot of companies are reluctant to get into the analysis side of metrics because they don’t have any advanced tracking on their site, or their site doesn’t receive thousands of visits per day. But even with basic tracking and minimal visits, the analytics of your site can show you many patterns of users and improvements that could be made.

One of the most interesting aspects of this year’s conference was the fireside chat. This involved the Pure Michigan campaign and their social outreach. A big part of this conversation was the need to have an overarching brand strategy that then drills down into a marketing strategy, then to a digital strategy, and then to individual channels, such as Facebook.

Going to conferences and workshops is always a great experience. There are so many concepts that different people in the industry are exploring, and in the digital marketing space this is never ending. What I am bringing back from this conference to the metrics department at Hanson is exploring different ways of looking at data. That’s a broad concept, but each presenter took a  different approach, and it was all fascinating.