Episode 95: New database technology paradigm, with Chris McLellan

Big Data has a problem. It’s not just its bigness; it’s the rigidity of the databases that hold and that force us to make data copies. Resulting problems, from privacy to fidelity loss, are so severe, we should revisit the first principles of how databases are built. Let’s be honest, if we could build our whole data infrastructure over again, would we do it differently? 

Today’s guest says we would have built data like a network. Thankfully, next-generation technology will allow us to store data in this new way while still making use of old-style databases.   

My guest is Chris McLellan. He splits his time between the nonprofit Data Collaboration Alliance, and Cinchy, the leader in enterprise data fabric technology. Coming out of Bishops University with a degree in Political Science, his career has included stints at VarageSale, and Lyft, as well as startups like Flexday and ChangeJar. He also created the go-to-market strategy for Hailo, the taxi network of 35,000 licensed drivers. 

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Episode 94: Winning People’s Buy-in by Telling Stories, with Amy Hebdon

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. You’ve taken on a marketing initiative that is finally going somewhere, and it’s now time for management to see what you’ve done and approve more funds, or give you props for  all your hard work. But on presenting your data, you’re only met with blank stares or nit-picking centred around how you put your data together. 

What’s going wrong when this happens? It’s probably that your audience couldn’t boil it down into something that makes sense to them. The universal structure that all of us use to do this is stories.  

My guest uses stories to present the performance of her marketing programs. It’s her contention that using a story-like framework works to your advantage when presenting data. Amy Hebdon has managed Google Ads Since 2004, working her way through at least a half dozen agencies.  In 2017, she and her husband James co-founded Paid Search Magic, which provides coaching, consulting, audits, reporting, and courses for those who want to get better at search engine marketing. She has lived in a handful of states and two central American countries, and she joined us today from the new “Home-base” which is in Tennessee. 

Fun Fact: she once worked for a man (named Mr. Schneer) who was in charge of the company website and didn’t know how to use the internet (he asked which was the “dot” key in typing “dotcom”)

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P-A-S framework:

  1. Problem
  2. Agitate
  3. Solution

Episode Reboot. 

Frame your statistics in a way that illustrates the impact on what your audience cares about.

Episode 93: Visualizing & Making Data Valuable, with Eric Boissonneault

In its raw form, data’s not worth much. If refined and put together with other data, it can be worth a lot. Here are well-known brands that built their value by creating a useful visual experience out of user-generated data:

  • Notable Examples:
    • Glassdoor
    • Nest
    • Zapier
    • Mint
    • Robinhood
    • Flipboard
    • Ancestry
    • GoodReads

This episode’s guest will help us see what is possible once you have data in your hands. Eric Boissonneault grew up loving numbers, but it wasn’t until he saw a Hollywood movie about card players at age 16, that he knew how he would apply his skill. He taught himself poker and methodically played this ‘game of chance’ so well that He became a professional player through his years at University du Quebec à Montreal and beyond. 

After cashing his poker chips in, he wanted to show the business world how they could look at the data they have on-hand as the basis for decisions. In 2020 he founded data consulting company Systematik to help businesses untangle, collect, visualize and understand their data.

Listen in this episode for Eric’s explanation of how you can put a unique transformation or twist on the data you already have, and even make an application that monetizes the data. 

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How fast will you hit Google Sheets 5-million cell limit? If you have a spreadsheet with 5 tabs and each tab fills columns A to CW, and there is 10000 rows of data in each tab. It happens faster than you think.

Episode 92: Looking at choice…from all sides, with Oz Gurtuna

Marketers help buyers make choices. Marketers must also make choices. No matter who  we are, we inevitably must make choices. Join this special conversation about how tools can be incorporated into decision-making to help out the person who’s on the hot seat. 

Oz Gurtuna has a Bachelors from Boğaziçi University, a Masters from International Space University and a Ph.D. from Concordia University. He has worked in sectors as diverse as space, solar energy and web development. Coming to his current role as an agency owner who lives in Montreal Canada. 

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Oz’s ventures:

Episode Reboot. 

Try Plumfind’s tool to help you choose your marketing platform(s) – it’s ungated for unlimited use

Episode 91: What first party data can tell you about your Leads, with Wart Fransen

Disclaimer: Technology vendors that come on the show are not sponsors or affiliates. They’re invited on the podcast to give a broader perspective.

There is still a good deal of information that prospects give you when visiting your site.

If you use this information in the right way, instead of annoying them, you may actually provide an experience that tailors how they’re treated in such a way that may pleasantly surprise them. 

We look in our analytics at all top-line numbers for activities , but not all that often do we drill down to the individual level. This is where we can learn about how our site is or isn’t working for a particular user. 

Wart Fransen is a longtime web programmer and entrepreneur. Freelancing in his first few years after school, he found himself  helping multinationals with their websites, including finding out what they could about who was on them. Seeing company after company wanting the same thing, he set out to build several analytics products to fill these needs. In 2014 he co-founded Leadboxer, a tool that examines a website’s visitors and aims to give insights about if they are ready-to-buy.

Beyond his fascination with technology, Wart’s a father of two and a strong proponent of causes like fighting the disinformation surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He spoke to me from his home-office near Amsterdam, the Netherlands.   

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Episode 90: Rethinking Website Redesigns, with Darlene Moore

No matter which side of the agency/brand fence you are on, I’m sure you think you know what it’s like to be on the other side. Regardless of our good intentions, reality is that we approach the work from different angles, blocking our ability to see it from the other’s perspective. One undertaking that all of us get the same view of is a website overhaul. It’s a project that feels grueling for anyone, agency side or client side. And yet, the learning we can all come away with can help us be more empathetic to co-workers and outside team members we work with.

Darlene Moore is the CEO of Drive Traffic, a marketing and web design agency where she also provides fractional Chief Marketing Officer services, guiding companies’ digital marketing strategy. 

In addition to being a longtime independent marketer, she worked at Yellow Pages, building out their search engine marketing practice. She has degrees from both U of O and Carleton university and is an unapologetic dog-lover.

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Episode Reboot.

Think about what feeling you want visitors to have while on your website.

Episode 89: Sustainable Analytics, with Jason Thompson

What does it mean to be doing analytics right? It doesn’t mean only that a company’s analysts are being accurate, it has to do with how our company makes decisions. The data guiding those decisions doesn’t just spring up out of nowhere, there’s got to be a functional team analyzing it. What’s the composition of that team? What kind of process do they follow? Do outsourced partners get involved? What technology is used? Leaders that don’t put enough thought into this can burn through both people and budgets, and their organizations never become data-driven like they’d hoped. To borrow a term from environmentalists, their analytics function was unsustainable.

Jason Thompson thought he’d grow up to be a geologist. By college though, he chose to go into Information Systems and came out of college to work at the once-mighty Novell. Over the course of several years, Novell shrank and then laid off his group. He switched to implementing Omniture web analytics for various companies; which showed him both the highs and lows of the consulting firm model. He then went to a brand with a popular web-based business, which caused him to question the value analytics really offered an organization. While there he met coworker Hila Dehan. They started imagining what analytics done right would look like and in March 2013 they started their own analytics shop 33 Sticks

There’s more to the story of them working together, such as how they came up with their company’s name, but I’ll let him tell you that. 

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5 Analytics sub-disciplines
Architecture & Implementation
Tag Management & Data Layer
Analysis & Insights

Jason’s LinkedIn profile and Twitter profile

Episode 88: Getting Marketing Projects Funded, with Kevin Dieny

When you want to improve some part of your marketing. You quickly start thinking about how you’re going to get your boss to agree to it. It’s not the easiest thing, but it is possible. 

And I know this because our guest today has done it many times. In his own words, Kevin Dieny is a true marketing nerd who  works in the marketing team at CallSource. I met him at a national marketing event where he gave a presentation about justifying the Money needed for Marketing Projects. This is one of his passions, along with Paid Search, Marketing Analytics and in particular, using data to show ROI. 

He holds a Bachelor’s degree from California State & an MBA from University of Redlands. When not working, Kevin likes wrestling with his four kids, loves cooking, and enjoys everything Batman. He is also the host of Close the Loop, which is a podcast designed specifically for small and medium businesses who are trying to improve their marketing.

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Episode Reboot. 

Episode 87: How to resource marketing amid the Great Reset, with Kelly Rusk

The pandemic changed much in our world, and though some routines will subside, one change that’s going to remain with us is work from home. It was even clear the year after COVID hit that people were reevaluating going into an office. Pundits like Adam Grant said many were questioning their jobs as a whole. As he put it in a WSJ article, “the taste of freedom left us hungry for more.” Meaning  more than the flexibility to choose what K-Cup flavour of coffee on hand in the lunchroom. Grant goes much further, saying this “Flexibility is more than choosing the place where you work. It’s having freedom to decide your purpose, your people, and your priorities.”

That’s all fine and good, but how does an employer make this work? How do those of us responsible give rank and file marketers this flexibility while still getting work done?

My guest today has great insights into how marketing leaders can deal with all this. She’s witnessed first-hand the changes that Covid has brought to the marketing function. She has opinions on what will and what won’t work in the future.

Kelly Rusk is a marketing consultant who supports mid-sized companies trying to grow their marketing and PR capabilities. The first few years of her career she worked for Ottawa-based technologies companies as a marketing and communications pro. Then she went to the agency side for a decade, finishing with the full-service firm Banfield as digital director and partner. Kelly is always contributing to her profession, holding board positions with IABC and Girl Geek Dinners and being an Instructor in the Digital Marketing Certificate Program at the University of Ottawa. 

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Episode 86: Video Ads with Cory Henke

You can break down advertising by the medium of communication, and since we all started with text ads, we’re comfortable with that format. We’ve also become comfortable with image ads. But there’s one format that can throw a lot of us – video. Of course, the production cost put into videos can vary wildly, and ad platforms like youtube have a huge number of options and nuances to know, but the one thing all video has in common is it makes a human to human connection that other media formats cannot hold a candle to.

To demystify this field, we’re talking with the founder of Variable.media

One of the nicest people you’ll ever meet in the PPC industry

He has appeared on Edge of the Web and the Inbound Success podcasts. He has also spoken at HeroConf, A4, SMX, IIeX and many regional digital marketing events on three different continents.

He got his degree from California Lutheran, where he also distinguished himself as a walk-on for the basketball squad.

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