Developing sites that keep pace with customers’ needs, with Josh Garellek

Developing sites that keep pace with customers’ needs

Episode 174

The last podcast episode was a recap from a 3-part web event I took part in, called OnTap (link in notes). It’s a regular event put on by a premier web design agency, who  has helped me appreciate that There are websites and then there are websites.

Some give User Experience short shrift, slapping together generic templates that look 

Pretty, generic. Others use experts to make interfaces that are optimized for mobile and PC environments, and anticipate what users want and present their content in engaging ways. 

Some with so little security, they’re susceptible to cyber threats. Others invest heavily in cybersecurity – protecting not only themselves, but visitors as well. 

Some sites have clung to technology that’s become atrophied and prone to crashing. Others are kept up to date, and are upgradable as the company’s needs change. Some have a backend that craters when traffic spikes,while others keep humming because of their scalable infrastructure.

Some expect visitors will come back on their own initiative, others use email smartly to coax visitors back

Our guest is going to show us how to see the difference that well-developed websites can make. He knows how the value of our online presence can be unlocked to  produce experiences that lead to revenue.

Josh Garellek is co-founder & CEO of a full-service web development agency that’s spread across North America.

He grew up and started his studies in Montreal, then went on to study at New York’s Yeshiva University.

He did stints in the food service industry and e-commerce before starting  a game development studio, until he and a business partner teamed up, switching it into a web dev company called Arctic Leaf. He’s gone beyond this and started other ventures too. The drive to do all this, he’ll tell you, is probably  rooted in ADHD, or being a natural entrepreneur, or his chutzpah; probably all of these. But after knowing him for over a decade, for questions about what to do with your website, he is THE person to listen to. 

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist Period! 2.0 by Stoney deGeyter | Goodreads

Arctic Leaf’s OnTap: The Future of Data, Part 3

GA4 and the future of data, with Jason Hackenberry

GA4 and the future of data, with Jason Hackenberry

Episode 173

Today, we’re talking about the future of data with Google Analytics 4.

It’s been about 6 months since we all had Universal Analytics. It’s good to talk to others who use GA4 to do their jobs, to compare notes. Although GA4 is here to stay, it still has gaps that need bridging.

That’s why I spoke with Jason Hackenberry, Head of Partnerships from web development agency Arctic Leaf. Prior to Arctic Leaf, he held Digital Marketing and operations roles at Weatherby and Save Khaki United, along with roles in Merchandising.

What you’ll hear is from a virtual event he and I did in December 2023, on topics including

  • How Google is migrating users of its free version differently from its 360 version
  • How to capitalize on the information provided by GA4
  • The data you actually need vs. what you THINK you need
  • Tips on finding insights, reporting, conversion tracking and data retention
  • New GA4 features that can help your lead generation or e-commerce website.

Getting Good at Google Analytics, with Jill Quick

Getting Good at Google Analytics, with Jill Quick

Episode 172

GA4 is now our de facto analytics tool. Regardless of how familiar we were with the previous  tool, GA4 is here to stay so we may as well get good at using it. 

I’ve got just the person to make the transition relatively painless for us. 

Our guest’s love for analytics was a happy accident after she worked in marketing at a company with a sales director. They told the executive team that marketing’s budget would be put to better use hiring new salespeople. But beyond having a warm fuzzy feeling in one’s tummy, it wasn’t clear marketing’s impact could be articulated in the way that executives talked.

Not willing to watch her department disappear, she dug in and found the data that showed marketing was having an impact. She took the evidence to the next board meeting and her department was able to continue with its work.

She chose to go out on her own so she could empower marketers to do as she’d done. She now heads up The Colouring In Department, a consultancy that has completed close to 230 GA audits now, and has trained thousands of people on how to get good at their analytics. 

Joining from London England – here is Jill Quick

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Tools – David Vallejo – Event checker

Adobe analytics

Matomo analytics

Piwik pro

Building AI out of Data, with Yash Gad

yash gad

Episode 171

AI won’t end up being one thing, it will be present in many little applications – hopefully that will help us in our marketing. But what kind of AIs do we want? Are we looking at the ingredients that go into them? 

Those are the kinds of questions innovations our guest considers as he makes AI models for healthcare and the retail marketing sectors.

Yash Gad is a data scientist, education advocate, and foodie. Founder and CEO of RingerSciences and Chief Data Scientist of Next Practices Group. He earned his PhD from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Computational Biology, Neuroscience &, Biophysics and received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins. He joins me from Austin TX. 

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Yash’s company:

Yash also founded a consultancy, here’s the Next Practices Group’s site and their social feed.

Yash on Twitter

Frederick Winslow Taylor

Boston Dynamics


Marketing Mix Modelling, with Jim Gianoglio

Jim Gianoglio

Episode 170

Whenever your marketing is being assessed by an analyst, they will use one of two approaches. 

The first is called Multi-touch attribution, which takes a customer who’s made a purchase decision, then puts weights on the touchpoints they had on various channels (Google calls their model ‘Data-driven attribution”) on the way to that point, to say which touchpoints were most influential. 

The other approach they may use is Media Mix Modeling. From what previous podcast guest Kevin Hartman told me about MMM, it’s a ‘tremendous undertaking.’  It involves collecting and analyzing historical data in different geographies at different times of the year: sales figures, both legacy and digital marketing channels, and external factors like economic indicators and even weather. It has its own jargon: Incrementality, ratios, betas, impact on objectives. Then there’s the math. It uses regression methods, both linear and non-linear, Frequentist vs Bayesian statistics. 

I get so overwhelmed with these modeling solutions, it’s like the old Who’s On First skit. I needed someone who would sort this out for me. 

Our guest has been a consultant in the marketing and digital analytics space for 15 years. I’m currently focusing on helping clients quantify the impact of their marketing efforts using Marketing Mix Models, experimentation, and various attribution methodologies.

He is so passionate, he started a newsletter called MMM Hub

He graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a Masters degree in Information Technology, focused on Business Intelligence & Data Analytics.

Jim is great at showcasing other people in the analytics community -He truly believes that all of us are smarter than any one of us. He, along with Simon Poulton, co-host the MeasureUp podcast

He talked with me from his home in Pittsburgh. Let’s meet Jim Gianoglio.

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Jim’s Cauzle Analytics consultancy

The MeasureUp podcast.

John Wallace

Randomized Control Trials (RCTs)

Bayesian Statistics

Media mix modeling ratio:

  1. The Marketing Channels Being Used
  2. The Money Being Spent on Each Marketing Channel
  3. Campaign Results & Insights
I tell you, Multi-Touch Attribution isn’t real!

Episode Reboot – articles & videos shared by Jim:

What is Marketing Mix Modeling? 3 Benefits and Limitations – this is a very high-level article, explains some of the basics (but none of the ‘how-to-do-it’ pieces)

Market Mix Modeling (MMM) 101 – This is a good intro-level article highlighting the important high-level concepts of MMM

A Complete Guide to Marketing Mix Modeling – although this article/site is littered with a bunch of ads, the content is actually pretty good. It touches on the concepts as well as providing some code snippets for R, Python and SAS.

Videos / Courses to help get started with modeling:

MASS Analytics – Marketing Mix Modeling Master Classes – (free) 14 courses (YouTube videos) – very well done, starts at a beginner introduction to MMM and goes all the way through advanced modeling techniques. It’s about 3 hours in total.

Marketing Mix Modeling 101 – (free) online course (YouTube videos). This is 2.5 hours over 5 courses that focuses on MMM using Robyn, so is good if you’re comfortable using R.

Vexpower – What’s the impact of TV ads? – (free) this is a good intro into the concepts of modeling and MMM, and should only take 1-2 hours to complete 

Vexpower – Can we try Facebok Robyn? – (free) this one walks you through a complete example of using Robyn to do MMM

Your data is f*%#ed, with Mark McKenzie

your data is f'ed Mark McKenzie

Episode 169

You did everything just the way you were told. 

You took the tags the free tools gave you and installed them on your site, you configured platforms and poured over their reports, you connected the systems and even hired developers to hook everything up to a database. And yet, you have little value to show for all the work you’ve put into your company’s analytics 

You feel the analytics platforms are backing away from their responsibility to streamline all this. Instead, the answer from the largest of the bunch, Google, is they’ll hold onto your data if you use their newest tool, BigQuery, and pay them money to store your data …or is it their data… on it. 

The bad news is summed up in a 2023 book whose euphemistic name is “You’re data is flawed”– don’t want to get an explicit rating for using the actual name 

It was written by someone who empathizes with our situation and who lays out in the book the steps needed to generate positive financial returns for our analytics investment.    

Our guest Mark McKenzie started his career in London, but moved in 2014 to sunny New Zealand to work for a data-focused digital agency. That led to him founding and growing an analytics firm that served clients locally and in the UK, Australia, and the US. Following the sale of that firm in 2022, he moved with his family back to the not-so-sunny UK.  where he’s consulting with  on digital analytics

His focus on analytics can be seen through his volunteering at events such as ‘MeasureCamp’ and ‘Web Analytics Wednesdays.’ Let’s talk with Mark McKenzie.

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Mark’s MckTui consultancy

Avinash Kaushik

Cambridge Analytica

The Circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno

With Federated IDs, a company personalizes an experience for someone using digital data that was sourced (but not shared with the company)  from multiple external systems.

The DIKW Pyramid of Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom

Tom Triscari

Chapters & Timestamps

146.879456 146.879456 Admitting our data is f*%#ed
622.046944 622.046944 prior to fixing data, must treat it as an asset
2369.560249 2369.560249 Fixing data we keep internally
3287.677599 3287.677599 Book and Mark’s contact info

Tying analytics tactics to strategies

Marketing Memetics, with Mike Taylor

Marketing Memetics Mike Taylor

Episode 168

Memes act as our collective memory’s transportation system. The instant they are seen or heard, our minds hop to whatever emotion the meme conveys. The use of this brain-hack is as scary as it is impressive.

Memes rarely come to us via broadcast media. Instead, they spread organically online. Most of the original uses for these have faded, while the internet has collectively assigned them new meanings. 

Our guest was so interested in memes that he came out with a book in 2023 called Marketing Memetics  to explain all that marketers must consider when using them. 

Mike Taylor shares content on wider marketing topics, such as AI & prompt engineering, which O’Reilly has commissioned him to write a book that’s due to come out in 2024. Experimentation is also a passion; he’s run over 8,000 CRO experiments, and he shares the insights he gets on his social channels, and  in courses he has on LinkedIn Learning and udemy. 

His love of learning & teaching can be traced back to his studies at Anglia Ruskin University and U of Nottingham, where he obtained his masters degree.

But in between his schooling and the present, he was working in the marketing trenches, at places like Candor, SumoMe, ShopStyle, Travelzoo and marketing agency, which has grown from its beginnings with Mike and his co-founders to a team of 50 people.

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Mike’s company

Mike on Twitter


Christopher S Penn

Rory Sutherland TED Talk

Joshua Bell Violin Busking experiment

Smart Branding, with Dan White

Smart branding book

Episode 166

When it comes to branding, there are many facets to getting it right. But we don’t have to know all about branding to know that only one mistake can cause deep, irreversible damage to a brand. 

In 2009 the Tropicana juice company thought they’d be clever by taking their recognizable straw-in-an orange carton and simplify it down to an indistinct orangish object. Design critics howled and customers shied away from the sight of it at store shelves. In response to this 20% decline, Tropicana rapidly went back to the old packaging

Gerald Ratner, CEO of the UK Jewelry chain that bears his name, responded to a question about some of his products by saying they were ‘total crap.’ The company eventually closed over 300 of its stores, admitting that this comment caused a decisive blow to their reputation.

Subway named a game after long-time spokesman Jared Fogle’s famous weight loss pants and called it ‘JARED’S PANTS DANCE’,  just at the time that Fogle pleaded guilty to sexual interference charges.  

Google changed the logos of its suite of work-applications with geometric shapes in their corporate colours – confusing users (including me) who can no longer tell whether they’re opening Docs, Sheets and Slides.

To learn how branding is done right, today we are speaking with Dan White

He graduated from Cambridge University with a Masters of Arts. He has worked in marketing, market research and brand consultancy for 30 years. He is equally passionate about using imaginative visuals to bring marketing concepts to life. If people understand and remember an idea thanks to a clever framework or visual metaphor they will be able to use it in their day-to-day work. 

Three people have been repeat guests on this show; Dan White is now the fourth. 

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Dan White on LinkedIn

Dan’s earlier episode on The Smart Marketing Book

Professor Byron Sharp


Tony Hayward ‘I would like my life back’

Bertolli rebrandTry to make your brand like Ronseal, who’s slogan is: “It does exactly what it says on the tin”

Gerald Ratner holds paper that quoted damaging remark he himself made about his brand.

One message, many media: the varied impact of your content across channels, with RJ Licata

One message, many media

Episode 165

Did you know that how your message is received is mainly dependent on where people received it? This is a fact of life in an era that’s framed by paid, earned, shared and owned channels, best known in its acronym form as the PESO framework.

Focusing in on what we want our brand to be known for, we’re soon hit with the reality that the same content plays differently when it’s issued in a corporate release versus an influencer’s social post versus a customer’s review versus a direct message that’s sent from someone we know. 

We have limited control in many of these settings, and because of the sway gigantic Silicon Valley companies have, even the media channels that let us publish content  aren’t giving us enough control for us to say we really own those properties. 

So how do we  tune our content for these channels, so each one has the greatest impact on our audience? 

Our guest says that only after we accept the degrees of control afforded to us by different channels, can we align our content with what each of them does best.

This concept is called Owned Asset Optimization

RJ Licata began working at  Terakeet, a central-NY Mktg company in 2014. He is now the senior director of marketing there. Prior to that, RJ worked in New Media and Web Strategy with the fabled Syracuse University football program, running their social media and official team site. 

RJ has a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland and received his master’s degree in instructional design, development and evaluation from Syracuse University. RJ is also a fiction and non-fiction author and together with his wife, tries corralling their three children, mostly unsuccessfully.

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Planter’s death and rebirth of the Mr. Peanut brand.

Concept of Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

Ford Motor Company


How priorities shift as you grow, with Shannon Clement

Shannon Clement

Episode 164

If you take the United States economy as a bellwether, you can brea businesses down into three categories. There are Start-up companies that typically have annual revenue anywhere from a million up to $40 million.

Mid-market or  Scale-up organizations generally have an average annual revenue of $300-400 million.

Large enterprises, like those in the Fortune 500, had an average revenue in 2022 of $36 Billion. They represent the vast majority of all business revenues.

 The point is, these companies are such different sizes from each other, that you must tailor the marketing you do according to where they are on this continuum. Ideally, you’ll  take on the difficult task of reinventing the marketing function at each stage of their Start-up to Scale-up to enterprise journey. 

Our guest draws on 20 + years of experience in creating digital marketing and product development strategies that have resulted in highly converting online assets and campaigns. As a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer & owner of an Agency called Engagement Marketing, she has supported organizations and businesses in the growth stage looking for positioning help & support gaining further market traction. She also serves as a marketing consultant to Start-up Founders through various Accelerator and Incubator programs. 

Let’s join  this talk with Shannon Clement.

People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show

Shannon on LinkedIn

MRR: Monthly Recurring Revenue