Thursday, April 29, 2010

Love at First Site....An Analytical Love Story

Spring is in the air and naturally, so is love! In my case, it's a case of cyber love--and I'm not talking about late night chats with "sexymanlyman."  For me, it was love at first "site" when I first laid eyes on...

INSERT: dreamy harp music... and mist...yes, dream sequences always start out with that misty stuff

The harsh reality of the lab's fluorescent lighting couldn't cool the heat that was igniting inside me. With burning desire, my eyes widened as I took in the beauty of what lay before me, beckoning me to come hither. Eager with anticipation, I reached out, desiring more, more, MORE...

INSERT: screeching to a halt sound FX.

...information and data.

Uh huh. Information and data. Analytical stuff. Love that. So, imagine my delight when I learned about Google Analytics!

I'm a thinker, specifically, an analytical thinker. Sometimes it's annoying and draws processes out longer than necessary. I'm sure by the time I finish this post, I'll have read and rewritten it numerous times because I'm assessing every word. I want the tone to accurately reflect my voice. I want the message to be clear. I want readers to understand and react to what I've written. Kind of like marketing.

Whatever you send out there for the public, you hope will be effective, attention grabbing and interpreted in your favour. Human nature being what it is, reactions will vary. The key is ensuring the majority of your target interprets your message the way you intend for it to be interpreted.

That's where analysis comes in. When it comes to Internet marketing, the world is your oyster. Pretty much anyone with a connection will have access to your message. There are many ways to gather data and figure out how effective your website is, but aside from actual visitor responses (purchases, comments), you might want info on how your site is actually being used by taking a look at its traffic.

Well, that's where my love of Google Analytics stems from. Google Analytics is free and allows you to see who is looking at what on your site, when, where and how many times. You'll know how they got there - was it through a search engine or some other reference? You'll know how many visitors land on your page, explore or don't explore your site. You'll find out which pages are popular, which ones, not so much. Data is represented clearly and is so easy to interpret - yes, as I've said, I like to analyze, but I also like information to be presented so that I can analyze the results, rather than waste time trying to analyze what's been analyzed and how to analyze it - know what I mean???

So, if you have a site and you want to know how effective it is in a sea of sites, you may want to check out Google Analytics.

Totallie my opinion. What do you think?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Yay! Let's hear it for Excrement!!!

Today a TV commercial caught my eye that I just can't resist commenting on. It also caught my ear. It seems the Barbie enterprise has added a new member to the family: Training Pups. Well, that sounds very cutsie, doesn't it? Turns out you get to feed the three little puppies water from a bottle....what little girl wouldn't enjoy that? But...then the really exciting part...let me quote the jingle:

"....what will he do? Number one or number two? ......what will it be? Puppy poo or puppy pee?"

Yes, it turns out you can buy a Barbie doll complete with puppies that simulate excrement production - or as the written product description so quaintly puts it..."reveal a surprise."

Oh, and they are nicely gendered too, according to the online toy description. The girl pup squats when you press on her, the boy pup needs to have his leg lifted (I wonder if he squats too? I mean, I'm not a vet and I haven't had a dog since I was a kid...and she was a she....but I don't think I've ever seen a boy dog poo with one leg up). And just to stay politically correct ...the third pup is somewhat genderless - it will relieve itself if you press its tummy. Hmmm. Yeah, I could see that.

Wow. I think I missed out on something very special in my childhood. I still have my Barbie dolls packed away somewhere, but they didn't have any of these special accessories. One even has super frizzy hair because I decided to wash it...but Barbie hair back then wasn't washable. Another one got an ink stain on its forehead so I used to pretend it was a bruise. Poor thing. I digress. But that's the joy of Barbie.

If you want to check out the commercial, it's been posted on YouTube (some of the comments are pretty funny):

Well, at least the advertising was clear about these toys! I wonder how many kids will actually keep the waste production on the accompanying paper though? There's the catch...only comes with two pieces of "colour changing newspaper" -  no word on if replacement papers are available. Other than that, I guess these puppies can only be abused as tiny, ineffective squirt guns.

I suppose one could argue this is only one step away from the baby dolls that would wet their diapers (or a "number two" step away). It just kind of worries me about what's next...oh, the mind wanders beyond this blog post - excuse me while I go take some notes.

Totallie my opinion. What do you think?