What’s inside a Digital Performance Analysts
Fredric Lundgren from IKEA, shares his thoughts on the next big trends in Digital Marketing and a much more!
What is the best part about your job as a Digital Performance Analyst?
I love being able to work with data to form insights and hypotheses which have the potential to influence not only the digital customer experience, but the sales performance of a company in particular. A lot of the challenges and the relative amount of impact that can be achieved is the same, regardless of the size of the company you’re working at, but the process of driving the resolutions differs greatly.
Being able to do this at IKEA is an amazing opportunity I’m grateful to have received, it’s like our own little “Home Furnishing Valley” here in Sweden.
Do you have a role model, when it comes to communication, or someone you get inspired by?
A definitive role model and source of inspiration for me when it comes to digital analytics and marketing is Avinash Kaushik. A friend of mine described his blog posts as a “read that requires more than just one cup of coffee to process”, and I think that is a pretty accurate description. You don’t get worn out by reading them, as they remain funny and interesting throughout, but it definitively feels like your brain’s gotten a good workout from the activity. Another source of reference that I turn to quite often is Simo Ahava and his work on tag management. It’s a bit techy, but he gives you most of the guides or inspiration you need to succeed with the technical aspects of tag management, Google Tag Manager in particular.
What is in your digital toolbox? Any favourites?
Some of the tools I’ve found the most useful lately have been Screaming Frog and SEMrush for SEO analysis and improvement. I also think that Google’s PageSpeed Insights is one of the most important tools right now for assessing the basic loading performance of your website.
Google Analytics and Adobe analytics goes without saying as being vital in our line of work. For Ecommerce analytics I’ve also recently been using Divvit, which I really like. But in order to better understand your analytics solution it’s important to get to grips with the underlying technical factors and understand what is really driving the data that is being sent to your analytics solution of choice. I prefer to use the dataslayer extension in Google Chrome to do this, coupled with Ghostery, Google Tag Assistant and your debugger tool of choice (for me it’s currently Tealium).
If there’s a just a single company I could give a shout-out to it would be Smart Insights, whose templates and guides are invaluable for illustrating and putting the thoughts and ideas that I have into something that is visually understandable. Also, Think With Google is an excellent resource in this regard.
To illustrate findings and performance Google Data Studio, Klipfolio and Super Metrics are three tools that I find particularly useful for enabling and driving your agenda towards other data stakeholders.
I’ll refrain from mentioning any A/B-testing tools currently as I think the way a lot of these are currently used puts a strain on website speed performance. While that may be a user-centric challenge, I think that in the long run the A/B tools vendors which can successfully provide a solution which does not add unnecessary loading times and works with tag management solutions has a lot to gain.
What do you think the next big trend will be in digital marketing?
There are so many trends ongoing all the time! But I think the next big one, even though it’s already started and may have gone a long way, will be diversification, at least where Ecommerce is concerned. For a long time now, price has, and continues to be, a main factor for the consumer purchase decision, but the way I see it this is not long-term sustainable for most vendors, which is why we’ll continue to see a diversification of products where vendors will start selling or expanding brands which they own themselves (or that are joint ventures) to a greater extent, in order to retain a greater share of the margin made from sales. Of course, this also means that you can’t just focus on driving the best ROAS from Adwords anymore. You also need to start investing in your brand and pushing it – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue measuring how your brand advertising is performing or refrain from inventing new KPIs specifically for that purpose.
You could also describe this trend as a “niche” movement, since I think those companies which will have the greatest amount of success within it will be those who successfully target one or more niches and manages to navigate these to gain recurring purchases from their core group of customers. I think the Lootcrate subscription box service might be a pretty good example of this, but I’m basing that purely on personal impressions. Regardless – find a niche business, preferably a hobby or lifestyle phenomenon, and take a look at how they’re working with their content and how they’re catering to their audience with it.
Tell me about something you recently learned from someone else?
My recent learnings have been very much geared towards the technical spectrum – in recent years I’ve had the fortune, indeed, the luxury, of discovering sources of inspiration like the aforementioned Avinash and Simo, but also of working alongside really inspiring people and clients, and if there’s one thing I’ve come to realise it’s this – you can’t afford to ignore the technology behind your marketing solutions.
By not engaging with the technical aspects of marketing, whether it be media, web development or even logistics you’re at risk of missing out and being too dependent on others to provide solutions and suggest future improvements and solutions. I’m not saying that’s something you need to do yourself – but you need to at least conceptually understand what’s being discussed and how it works in order to form your own informed opinion. And this is vital to being able to question suggested solutions and gauge the viability of these for your own personal need and that of your organization.
You need to ask questions!
In order to succeed with this, you need to ask questions, like literally all the time. I was recently in a phone call where the discussion was highly technical, between three parties located in different countries. Trying to follow that discussion on Skype would be hard enough if it was just about the weather… I don’t have a developer background, so naturally at some point I posed a question which was met by the silence that indicated I wasn’t 100% on-board with the finer points of what the discussion was about.
And whilst that made me feel a bit like an idiot I also know that the discussion and following implementation on any suggested solutions will be pointless unless I, as the solution owner so to speak, can understand those finer points and consider how they might impact my organization and its’ capabilities. At worst this might lead to backlash towards myself or the other parties involved, or even an unnecessary cost for the company.
So you bet I’m going to continue asking questions about this, because it’s in everybody’s best interest that I understand it. And that goes for you too.