The Marketing < > Analytics Intersect: My Newsletter!

Spread I want you to sign up for something very, very special I'm doing: Writing short stories from the intersection of marketing and analytics.

My goal is to get you promoted, you are going to love it. So. Please do sign up. But, first, as you've come to expect from this blog… Context…

Should you own or rent?

The logic we are taught from when we were babies is that it is better to own than rent. Reality is actually a bit more complicated.

In our context, let's consider two applications of own and rent.

In the past I've spoken about own vs. rent in context of platforms. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn are platforms where you rent your existences. Mobile and desktop websites, mobile applications are platforms you own. You own the content, you set your own creativity limits (no 140 characters or videos of only xx resolution), and you own the data on platforms you own.

I've also spoken about own vs. rent in context of audiences. You rent audiences on TV, Magazines, Search, Display, etc. You own audiences on your email lists, on forums you host etc.

Audiences and platforms, two places to bring our own and rent lens.

Before we go on, a quick word on the word own. It does feel odd to say you own anyone/thing. Own in this context is like as much ownership as you can apply to a seed you plant in your front yard. You need to protect it, you need to nurture it, you need to champion on its behalf, and you need to be unselfish for a long, long, long time, and maybe some day you get flowers. And, here's the most amazing thing, if you only do it for flowers it won't work out as well as you want it to. Unselfishness.

Clear on what own means? If not, please comment, please argue with me, please share better metaphors with me (especially, after you read what I'm up to below).

Why evolve the strategy now?

Some recent events made me wonder what the best strategy for a business is. Rented platforms look incredibly appealing. Just Facebook has 1.2 billion MAUs. That is crazy big. YouTube is 1.1 billion. Basically everyone with internet access. How can you ignore them?

Facebook in particular is very hard to ignore because it is much more of a closed system. You have no other choice. If you are not Facebook there is no chance anyone will see your content. This is less true on other platforms. For example, on YouTube if you don't totally suck, your content will show up on other sites. It is also likely people will bump into your YouTube content as they search on Bing or Google. Still. Unignorable, massive, audiences on these platforms where you rent existences.

The problem is, they also control who sees how much of your content and when (as is their right, they are for-profit entities). Organic reach on Facebook is now under 2% (and, that is ok, their call). Twitter is rumored to be switching to an algorithmic feed, they get to decide (again, this is ok, they are trying to improve a product only actively used by journalists and one man running for President).

The end result for a business is that you lose control, predictability, and, worst of all, the ability to form relationships with your audiences. If I can't predictably can't reach an ardent lover of my brand, Ms. Zenobia, on Facebook, do we really have a relationship? Or just a one time hello? And, what is the point of that hello (/like)?

rent own site social great balance1[1]

Here's a great example of the risk you carry by only having rented platform strategies, so much worse than the Edgerank chokehold Facebook has on your organic reach… Google+ is a good platform, and Google continues to experiment with it. I, as you can expect, went all in on G+ and worked hard to build an audience of 496,601 followers. Yes, you read that right, almost 500k.

As I created unique content, from my unique vantage point, I would get huge engagement on G+ with a hundred comments, many more +1s etc. And then, as Google evolves its strategy from it's own point of view, one result was a tweak to it's algorithm. This caused a hit with Conversation Rate, Amplification Rate and Applause Rate. Then, as strategic evolution continued, the Google+ team decided to become a different product (as is their right, I do not begrudge them). The impact? Normal engagement for me is now 12 people.


That is less people than are sitting around you as you read this post.

While I'm pointing out my example, your brand faces the same risks. While I'm pointing out Google+, this has been replicated on every social channel (my LinkedIn influencer channel is another great example), every newsgroup, every other rented platform over time – all you need to do is look. Sadly, we don't think about this enough. We don't worry about what we are doing on the long run, and if it is a dangerous strategy to ONLY rely on rented platforms.

There are people in our world who are crazy enough to run around saying this: "I have a Facebook page, why do I need a website?" #WTH

Or a variation, "I'm posting pictures on Instagram and videos on YouTube, why do I need my own audiences?" #OMG #WTH

For myself, for the companies I'm a part of, I've decided that the risk is too high. I'm creating a strategy to diversify both platforms and audience relationship quality. I'm not going to rely on building audiences that I kindasorta own at the mercy of rented platforms.

Occam's Razor, and now TMAI!

The best platform where I own content, creativity, data, relationships, and everything else is this blog. Based on my analysis above, I'm evolving my strategy by adding a newsletter to build audiences I can nurture and own.

I'm really excited about it. It allows me to take the daily analysis I've channeled into creating content on Facebook and shift the best bits of it into a platform I own. It allows me to be more creative in my expression and I don't have to deal with their limits, just mine. It allows you to be in control, you can choose when to ignore me rather than have the rented platforms determine if you and I should engage. It allows me to write in formats and about topics that don't quite fit the blog. It allows me to experiment.

My newsletter is called The Marketing < > Analytics Intersect. It will contain short stories from where I live, at the intersection of the worlds of analytics (where I started) and marketing (my tool to drive change in customer relationships/behavior/branding). You can sign up for it here:

If you can't see a webform above, you can sign up by visiting my sign-up page.

And please remember to go to your email immediately and click on the activation link!

In a moment, I'll share three newsletters to give you a feel for what I'm writing about. But first, here's something important as this post is not only asking you for something (your attention!) but also trying to influence your marketing strategy.

Should you abandon rented platforms or audiences?

Should you ditch Facebook? Or renting audiences on TV or Instagram?

For most people, the answer is No. You should not abandon them.

There are such huge audiences on Facebook, Twitter, TV, Google+, creating content that causes serendipitous contact/conversations is of value. (Of course, measure that using the four best social media metrics!) There is no doubt that if you do something that catches fire (I refuse to use the v word), these rented platforms can really reach massively move people than you can all by yourself (often, you can't even get that reach with paid advertising).

But. My plan, and that for businesses I work with, is to invest less in shallow transient relationship with large numbers, and invest more in deeper persistent relationships with smaller numbers. More emails (and other owned platforms) and fewer Facebook/G+/Twitter posts.

For small and medium sized businesses, I think the answer is yes. Ditch. For more on that, please see this post: How To Suck At Social Media: An Indispensable Guide For Businesses!

Excited? What can you expect in the TMAI emails?

More of me. A bit more conversation, like we would have at a party. A little less of the formality that exists on this blog. Many fewer of the numerous considerations that go into something that ends up on Facebook. A lot more of, here's what goes on behind the scenes, as you'll see in TMAI #3 below.

I do not plan to publish the newsletters anywhere (no web versions, not even an archive), to allow for more openness and intimacy. I do plan to still engage actively. Ask for your ideas and contributions, do an exercise together, send topical things that might not make other places and so on and so forth.

I'll write about analytics and marketing of course, but I also plan to write about digital experiences I adore, the occasional career advice (as I have the privilege of leading a large team now), and yes a rant now and then (eBay just sent me a confirmation email where the Universal Remote picture is hugely squished!). My hope is to have a material impact on our career by exposing ideas you might otherwise not have bumped into as easily.

I hope you'll sign up.

To give you a feel for what the newsletters will be like, as a one time exception I'm sharing the first three. Even though they are rough, this is all still an experiment and I'm still figuring thing out, I hope they'll give you a feel of the value you can expect.

Here's the very first newsletter I'd sent, two weeks ago, and it touched on a confusion I find common, and frustrating…

TMAI #1: Metric or KPI, how do you decide?

People tend to use the terms metrics and KPIs interchangeably. I humbly believe this is a disservice as it results in a lack of focus on what really matters: Business impact.

In my post Web Analytics 101: Goals, Metrics, KPIs, Dimensions, Targets, I'd defined metric as "a metric is a number." Simple. :) I'd defined a KPI as " a key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that helps you understand how you are doing against your objectives."

See the difference? Only one of them, if it changes, will have a predictable impact on your business. A KPI.

Let's consider an example.

Bounce rate, a number I'm fond of, is a metric. It can never, ever, never, never be a KPI. Why? Let's say your bounce rate is 50%, and you reduce it to 0%, is it likely that you had a business impact? Maybe, maybe not. Because all bounce rate measures is that you saw more than one page. If you see two pages, that's zero bounce. But, you might have puked on the second page and left, or third, or fifth. It is hard to tie you seeing just one more page to business success, as it takes a whole collection of pageviews/hits to deliver business success.

Bounce rate is a metric. A good one. It will help you do better, and you'll use it. It's just not a KPI.

So, what's a KPI?

It really depends on what your business objectives are!

But, some common KPIs for ecommerce websites can be CPA, Conversion Rate, Unique Pageviews, Time Lag and Path Length, Task Completion Rate etc. Any movement in these metrics, and money falls from the sky.

Some common KPIs for non-ecommerce websites can be micro-outcomes conversion rates, Unique Pageviews, Page Value, Task Completion Rate, Recency and Frequency, etc. Any movement in these metrics, and… you know… money falls from the sky!

Be careful what you call a number. Train your organization that if we call something a KPI, it is the most important thing for everyone, obsess about it, trend it, segment is, custom report it, basically just shy of making love to it.

What's in a name? The difference between winning and losing.

Happy analytics.

PS: If you love anything as a KPI for an ecommerce site or a non-ecommerce site (sorry, that's all the context you get :)), would you please reply? Thanks.

My goal is to have them be under 300 words, and pack them with actionability. There will always be something that will make you stop and think.

The second newsletter addresses something that I'm deeply passionate about, context… it is the one thing that get's in the way of understand what the data is trying to say…

TMAI #2: Context, Context, Context, Your Data's Begging for Context!

I believe that a massive contributing factor to us, or our bosses, making poor decisions based on data is that it is missing one key ingredient: Context!

You see a sparkline, you see a number, you see, and I hope you don't, a pie or, even worse, a speedometer chart. And you pause. Ok. Things are moving/happening. But. Is that good or bad?

That's it, right there. The problem.

The solution is to give your data context.

Here are five effective strategies:

1. Leverage advanced segmentation. Ex: Rather than looking at overall trend for any metric, segment it. Compare a trend of Unique Visitors with those from your largest free and paid traffic source.

2. Use time to your advantage. Ex: Compare this month to last month, this week to same week last year, this year to last year, etc.

3. Industry Benchmarks FTW! Ex: The average mobile traffic for newspapers in Croatia is 88%, but our Croatian newspaper only gets 18%. #wth

4. Competitive Intelligence. Ex: Our referral traffic is up 40% YOY, but our despised competitor's is up 500% from these top five sources.

5. Company Targets. Ex: Our average Cost Per Acquisition is down to $38, much better than the target of $45 we had set at the beginning of the quarter.

Bonus: This post has three more strategies I've not covered above: In Web Analytics Context Is King Baby!

You don't need to use every strategy above all the time, but you have to use at least one, and usually two, in order to get the context you need to allow data to give your mind the good kind of headache that causes you to dig just a little deeper and make smart recommendations.

No context? Lonely data? No soup for you!

Happy analytics.


I hope you can see a continuation of the tone and texture you are used on on this blog.

My third newsletter was an experimentation in engagement possible with a smaller focused audience, the topic was something I've expressed a great deal of affection for on this blog…

TMAI #3: Visualizing Lies: Two Answers.

This is an experiment, I know it will be hard to read this email on your phone. Would you be so kind as to reply if this still works or if I should avoid sharing data visualization examples in my newsletter? Thank you.

Someone sent me this graph about how many lies and how much truth the US presidential candidates are sprouting…

Two graphs showing sub-optimal views

Line graphs are not great at this, they are best at trends and hence we can't help but "follow the trend from left to right."

The obvious answer is to just make it a bar chart. The challenge is that there are too many data points and it will look messy.

I felt a table would work best, with good old conditional formatting in Excel.

But as I created the table, the challenge was that there were two stories I could tell. Given that I'm the Occam's Razor person, :), I decided not to mush them together.

Story one I created was to show which candidate "wins" each category.

Category winners - conditionally formatted

You can easily see that Mr. Trump tends to be pants on fire (surprise!) most of the time and Ms. Clinton wins the coveted true category. As you look across each category, I think you'll get really interesting pauses.

Did you notice I'm using the borders to "guide" your eye to look vertically? I'll try horizontally below. Let me know if it works.

Of course like you, I'm tough on myself. I did not think the above visualization does a good enough job of showing how each candidate performs across all the categories.

So, here's that story, framed as simply as possible…

Individual winners - Conditionally formatted

The one self-critique I have to make here is that green is not necessarily the best color to use as Mr. Trump's performance is not really green (as in green is good). But, hopefully that is not too big. You can see through that little thing and see where each candidate resides.

I worry a lot about visualization because most people will jump to conclusions, not just understand or not understand what you are saying. I've opened the kimono here and shared with you what I worry about in this specific case, and shared more with you than I would in a public setting. Benefits or a newsletter. :)

If you want to play with the data, it comes from Politifact. I can also send you the table. I would love your feedback on the above two, or even see a version you create.

Happy visualizing!


This was such a fun exercise, even with the limitations of the medium. If you want to see a larger size of the above three images, click here to see it.

You'll see more of the above type of here's what's going through my head as I play with this data in the newsletter.

What was awesome was that I got over one hundred submissions in return! Way more than I'd expected. I replied to every single person with my feedback (though as the list grows I'm worried about how to find time to reply to everyone).

Let me share two examples. This one's from Kate Driver…

stacked bar graph

Very cool, right? It is a useful stacked bar chart, makes the case pretty well as to who is where. Simple, and effective.

She's rightly followed the order that we had in the table originally. I was wondering how it would look if I moved Trump to anchor the other end of the spectrum. Here's that view…

stacked bar graph re-sorted

In this case, the lying seems to stack-up very nicely (see what I did there?).

I learned something from Kate, and that is what's amazing about these conversations.

The second example from the submissions comes from my BFF Thomas Baekdal. [If you are not subscribed to Baekdal Plus, you can't be smart about digital anything! Example: Free report: Do You Need Real Loyalty as a Publisher?]

Here's Thomas' data visualization…

thomas baekdal graphic

Thomas did something I'd tried to avoid, add opinions to the data. He's added weights to each rating, including penalizing quite a bit for pants on fire (-10) vs. rewarding for true (+5).

I think his visual is better. It gets to the point much, much faster. My worry, rightly or wrongly, was that the partisans will come out with pitchforks and soon data will fade away while we argue about the two parties. Sad.

You should read Thomas' post in greater detail on Google+, it is insightful.

Was it not a lot of fun?

You build a hand-picked, relevant, focused audience and the impact is larger than one might anticipate.

The subject of TMAI #4 was "Purpose first, data second. Yes, second!", I'd shared one magical golden question that brings purpose to our data analysis better than any other. It is amazing, because it takes the focus to the one thing companies really care about.

TMAI #5 was a lot of fun, the subject was "What's your brand's most salient consistency?". I feel so few brands know the answer to this, and hence they can only compete on performance. I used the example of OKGO (plus Sony, Patagonia and Bill Watterston!) to share a long-term point of view you can apply to your business.

Upcoming newsletters cover subjects, from that valuable intersection of marketing and analytics, such as over-the-counter data, diamonds are not a girl's best friend, and my all time favourite data cartoon.

If this sounds interesting, please sign up for the newsletter now:

Except for this one exception, the newsletter content will be non-public and only accessible through your subscription..

As always, it is your turn now.

Does your business have an own AND a rent strategy when it comes to platforms? How about audiences, just renting or also a dedicated effort to own? Email continues to be an amazing medium for connections (as long as you don't suck), has it worked for you? If not, why not? What do you think of my retro-strategy of having a twice a week newsletter? Sound use of time, or a waste of time?

I invite your feedback, insights, critique, examples and challenging ideas!

Thank you.


  1. 1

    Great post! I love the new bite sized insights!

    One quick thing to consider: < > means does not equal in coding parlance. I actually read it as "Marketing Does Not Equal Analytics Intersect" at first glance. Consider adding some hyphens to emphasize the arrows (The Marketing < - > Analytics Intersection) or remove them altogether.


    • 2

      Sam: An excellent point!

      I was going for the visual of connecting and yet with a gap. I tried to put various symbols between the two. Non seem to be quite as nice sadly.


  2. 3

    TMAI is a great idea!

    An area that I always try to explore is the migration of audience from rented to owned estates. This often can act as a multiplier to justify and energise both strategies.

    • 4

      Rob, that is exactly the area that interests me. The question for brands is often how can we do enough in rented social media to be present, but then transition the audience to platforms we own?

      I would love you to explore that in TMAI Avinash.

    • 5

      Rob: I concur with you, we have to do both.

      Increasingly I feel that both are serving different purposes. Rented solving for light-touch, occasional contact, with less creative control. Owned solving for deeper-touch, regular contact, with all the creative control. It is important that, for now, that former will be undeniably bigger in size – we have to match that up with the value delivered.


  3. 6

    Another great article Avinash. The challenge is to get people to understand that KPIs start with the leadership, not with a dashboard.

    Metrics tell people nothing about what an organization values; KPIs do.

    Leadership > Business objective (the Key in KPI) > Business process to achieve the goal>Measure the process (the “P”) > Report the progress (“I”). Without the business objective there can be no KPI.

    Since an organization can have only a few business objectives there will be correspondingly few KPIs. The nice side effect of that is team alignment and focus on what really matters and elimination of analytics noise.

  4. 8

    Thanks for your insight on rented vs owned audiences (platforms). I agree that the answer is different for every company. I wrote an an article about it on my blog from the perspective of growth marketing (!Review-Your-Growth-Marketing-Investment/rxo20/56a1a7b40cf2009838b6742f). Companies that are growing (have less time/money/resources) should focus on the owned audiences and channels (platforms). Rented platforms only make sense as a way to drive traffic to owned ones.

    By the way, congratulations of your new newsletter! Great idea! And thank you for your blog and books. I'm a long time follower of yours and learned a lot from you. I even wrote a blog post about your blog :) (!What-does-it-take-to-make-a-great-blog/rxo20/56a1b2760cf2f3c826e1e500)

  5. 9
    Damon Grimes says

    Love the discussion on Owned versus Rented.

    Recently, I've been evaluating Tumblr and they may have the perfect solution (assuming a fun tone & younger target). is a Tumblr site. So they have located their owned content on a rented site potentially getting the best of both worlds (and maybe the worst of both).

    Would love to get your thoughts on the potential of going both.

    • 10

      Damon: I have to admit I humbly believe that Skittles is showing limited imagination.

      On Tumblr it is not clear who owns the content, if it is a part of a Owned, Earned, Paid acquisition strategy by Skittles, the type of creativity they can exhibit there (animated gifs are all you need to win?), and the types of things you can accomplish for their business.

      Again, humbly, I believe Skittles has set itself a low ambition bar and delivering finite multi-channel impact.

      Compare, to keep your food spirit going, what PopChips is able to do on their owned platform: Or, even better, try

      Remember one thing we all agree on: It is Own AND Rent.

      If you have limited money, do Own rather than just Rent. :)

      Thank you so much for sharing this example and allowing us to have this discussion!


  6. 11

    Great post and example of how you get people into your newsletter! (You absolutely got me with the "tempting bits you showed"). And as a dataviz lover, the third TMAI made my heart beat faster hahaha.

    Twice per week!?….. not so sure about that… in this world of overwhelming quantity of information, I'm better off having weekly newsletters and having a couple of hours on Friday, with a large latte by my side, to go through all of them…. so in my case I would read you once per week only. But every head is a world of itself! so…go for it and try twice to see the response.

    If you do more dataviz posts, you'll for sure have me waiting eagerly your TMAI. Thanks and happy writing! =)

    • 12

      Azucena: I'll certainly experiment with the number of times and see what works best.

      A part of it is trying to find time to write. A part of it is to meet the high standards of quality I have for content.

      I have found though that as long as quality is high, quantity less of a play – people will pay attention.


    • 13

      I agree that twice a week does seem a bit much, but I think it's worth trying at least.

      As long as your newsletters are consistently good, your readers might actually prefer it! :)

  7. 14

    Thanks for this Avinash!

    I hope a lot of people sign-up for your newsletter. You have unique insight that is not shared on other Digital Marketing/Analytics blogs.

    – Jeff

  8. 15

    Exploring a new role at a new company and brought up the idea of frequent, smaller bites of content on our blog… they've been posting one or two times per month, and its definitely something that for many can be a scary prospect, but I totally agree. The people who follow you are the ones looking anxiously for your content (I know I always read yours and share!) and those are the ones you don't want to miss because someone else decided they didn't need to see your most recent piece. That whole rent vs. own comparison is so true! I'm happily signed up and looking forward to reading more!

  9. 16

    Fantastic post.

    Avinash, I work for a company in the data analytics division. I am concerned about 44% bounce on my home page. I tried superimposing last year's bounce rate (Jan to Feb) of home page to this year. I noticed that there's a difference in "unique visitors" (more UQ last year than this year).

    I also tried referred types, geo-segmentation by countries cities etc. and many more things to figure out what's causing ~44% bounce rate. I spent time with IT team to rule out bots. Is there any great granular way of investigating accurate reasons for bounce rate?Thank you very much.

  10. 18

    The first three newsletters are wonderful little nuggets of insights. I suspect that they are going to be great pathways for us to dig deeper and find even more meaningful ways to understand our business.

    I'm looking forward to your future newsletters.

  11. 19

    I'm so excited about your newsletter Avinash. You can have me in your own or rent or any other audience! ;)

    I read this post on a mobile phone, and I was able to pinch and zoom and see the data visualization graphics just fine.

    Thanks for this new way to get your knowledge.

  12. 20

    Great post, it was very helpful for me!

    At our agency we are investing heavily in Pintrest as it is something we believe it providing value to our clients. Your post has given me a broad context about what strategic problem we are solving. As we invest in Pinterest, we will also now explore if we are building owned audiences on owned platforms as well.

  13. 21

    Avinash…. This may be one of my favorite posts that you've written (and of course that's saying alot as I've been a fan for some time). As you may (or probably don't) know, Joe and I talk about this topic almost ad nauseum at this point on our podcast. And you've just articulated the point so well here of why it's important to create an "owned media" platform. Rented external media should be a "flow", and so many times it's seen by businesses as a "pool". I've watched so many businesses get so hung up on building platforms on social channels – and then subsequently be burned when they can no longer reach those audiences.

    As you point out – the word "owned" can have alot of negative connotations. Going way way back to my early Cable TV days – we used to use the word "addressable". And this, to me, is the real key. The Social Channels are a great way to express, and take advantage of serendipitous conversations to a broadcast audience. You'll get some and you'll lose some. But having an owned media property is truly the way to earn an "addressable audience" – one you KNOW that you're at least reaching. Then, it becomes up to you to make sure they want to stay tuned.

    And that, at the end of the day, is all we can ever hope for – both the capability and responsibility to make them want to stay.

    Be well. And I've just subscribed as well.

    • 22

      Robert: I appreciate the clarity from the word addressable! Perhaps that is a good way to stress audiences where there is a strong relationship.

      I could not agree with you more on the "flow"!



  14. 23

    If you have no audience, what sense will your efforts serve? However, it is true that there should be a way we can express ourselves without those limits set before us.

    • 24

      James: I'm not sure I understand.

      If you have no audience, why are you doing what you are doing (from a business perspective)? Maybe you should do something else? :)


  15. 25

    This sounds like a great idea.

    I am working in the area of marketing analytics for the first time, so am hoping your pieces will help me think differently as I absorb more information. The fact that insights would be bite-sized only makes it more appetizing.

  16. 26
    Yosi Mor says

    Excellent post!

    But I'm respectfully curious: as a thought-leader in web-analytics, why is your blog using (semi-dead) Feedburner for its RSS and email-subscriptions? Is this just "Google pride"? ;-)

    • 27

      Yosi: I"m sorry you might have missed it… The link to Feedly, a more modern RSS subs platform, is right next to the Feedburner link in the right nav. Here it is again:

      I have Feedburner because I've always had it. I also use Mad Mimi as a platform for my new newsletter, The Marketing – Analytics Intersect. You can sign up here:

      It is always fun to experiment with Platforms. :)


  17. 28

    Great Post.

    TMAI is great idea, but while reading most what fascinated me more than TMAI or ownership vs rent debate is call to action.

    The pretext to the sign up form is probably the most elaborate and out of the box call to action I have come across. This post has opened my eyes to think outside box (Or should i say outside button "buy now") for call to action. While I was reading the post about ownership and rent I was so engrossed that I didn't even realize when I singed up :).

    • 29

      Nikhil: Thank you! I'm so glad to have you as a subscriber.

      There are so many clever ways to emphasize value so that people feel encouraged/compelled to sign up. But, in our Permission Marketing based world, it is the value we deliver that ultimately matters in terms of us retaining people or not.


  18. 30

    Hi Avinash!

    Question, I took your MarketMotive course back in 2014 and according to my study notes, in the course material in the section on KPI's, you said that Bounce Rate was a great example of a KPI? Have you changed your mind on that?

    I'm really looking forward to future editions of the TMAI since this first one was great!


    • 31

      Jacob: Bounce Rate is a very good metric, especially for acquisition strategies and for landing pages.

      But, it is not a good KPI – a metric whose movement all by themselves is a determinant of business success.


  19. 32


    Just recently found your blog. It is awesome!! I am coming from an online marketing background and landed my first job as a data analyst last week. Very exciting. I will definitely sign up for your newsletter.

    One tip from a marketing perspective. Repeat the signup box for the newsletter a few times in the post and at the end. It will increase conversions. (I was reading the post till the end and needed to scroll AALLLL the way up to sign up. I was almost to lazy to do it.)

    • 33

      Jelle: I appreciate the tip, I've made the change per your suggestion.

      As you set off on your journey as an Analyst, here's a blog post that outlines career options, how to invest in learning and what to focus on:

      ~ Web Analytics Career Guide: From Zero To Hero In Five Steps!

      Pay particular attention to the matrix at the top, and choose the right cell for you per your skill-set (or future career desires).


      • 34

        Hi Avinash – Thanks for responding! That is a great post, I've just skimmed and will read it in more detail. I noticed the post focuses on Web Analytics. I am more interested of becoming a Data Analyst in another sense, analysis of revenue data, customer data, product data, etc. Not sure where I want to be in 5 years, but I don't think it is in web analytics. Does the advice still apply?

        PS: Good change. It will help with the newsletter-conversions, I'm sure. ;)

  20. 35
    Kevin Sharington says


    Thanks for the insightful article. I hope to hear more about it in your newsletter!

  21. 36

    Hii Avinash
    Thanks for sharing this useful information.Sir you are an inspiration for me.
    Keep shining

  22. 37

    I can't tell you how excited I am about the newsletter.

    I devour all of your content and the idea you are going to post more intimate content, you wouldn't normally share in a public forum thrills me.

    I am one of your 1,000 True Fans as Kevin Kelly would say. Can't get enough.

  23. 38

    Great. Something else to take over my life.

    Until a couple of hours ago, I was a writer. Simple. I know what moves people along the sales continuum so I write to get the job done.

    Then, I started reading stuff about analytics from some guy named Avinash Kaushik and I just can't stop!

    Some of what you write about had already found a home somewhere deep in my brain (perhaps, never to be seen again), but most of it is seriously new—and seriously fascinating.

    Gotta run. More stuff to read. Please give my best to my family.

    Ron Jette
    Ottawa, Canada

  24. 39


    I subscribe to the newsletter and try to read every issue (thank you for using a mobile friendly template). One thing that I do notice (and I am sure it is by design) is that you focus on utilizing analytics to improve or measure marketing. I was wondering if you ever do any research or have any suggestions for using analytics to improve overall user experience with non-ecommerce style applications? I feel like there is this entire world out there of business systems that could be improved via analytics that no one is talking about. Or maybe they are and you could point me towards individuals you know who are doing some good work in the field.


    • 40

      Oremo: There are indeed many ways to get to the insights related to User Experience everywhere. On the web, I make copious amounts of use of surveys and usability testing (both of which you can do at unprecedented scale with digital), and also primary and secondary research of traditional variety.

      Depending on your budget, choices abound!


  25. 41

    Dear Avinash,

    I love your blog and TMAI is a great addition.

    However the distribution method is far from my favourite: I do not want yet another email in my inbox, this is not what I want to use email for. For me email is connected with actions and decisions, not reference material or reading in general.

    I would love to see an RSS feed pointing to a blog instead of an email newsletter.

    So here's hoping to change your mind and make TMAI available via an RSS feed.

    Best regards,

    • 42

      Alain: I appreciate the feedback, and above all else I'm delighted you are finding the newsletter to be of value.

      I have to admit that all the data I have access to (at work, here at play) suggests that Email continues to be a medium where people spend a lot of time, and seem to spend time reading. There is obviously a limitation of length, something I keep experimenting with.

      The other higher order bit for me is that this is an experiment in building an owned audience that is exclusive in some way. I do not want this content to be on the web. I do not want this content to be refrencable or findable by the "general public." I want it to be a club. A little insider private thing. I want you to feel you are special because you are in it.

      I don't know if that is quite how it is working out. Clearly there is value in publishing a blog that is refrencable and findable – I know! :) For now, you can only get TMAI on email, and you'll have the extra burden of organizing your email in a way that you can find what you want. I am not blind to the burden this is. It is such a great way for me to learn about Subscribers, what they value and how far will they go (and… if the content is worth it!).

      Thanks again.


  26. 43

    I have always loved to own , renting for me is just a waste of money.
    But using social media, I do not consider it as renting, I have a social page (I consider that as my own), but yes the main company are the owners.

    But still I like both, owning a website and using the social media to promote.

    Thanks for your post.
    I loved a different perspective.


  1. […]
    I’m starting a new newsletter – rented vs. owned (29:13): Google evangelist Avinash Kaushik explains how the evolution of the major social media channels has affected his ability to communicate with his readers and how that has driven him to launch a newsletter. Once again, this aligns with our experience at CMI: Don’t get blinded by the idea of creating huge audiences on social channels; focus instead on creating an addressable audience that you own.

  2. […]
    Este material tiene derechos de propiedad intelectual. De no existir previa autorización por escrito de, queda expresamente prohibida la publicación, retransmisión, distribución, venta, edición y cualquier otro uso de los contenidos (Incluyendo, pero no limitado a, contenido, texto, fotografías, audios, videos y logotipos). Puedes referir el artículo sin ningún problema pero si deseas hacer uso textual de su contenido por favor envíanos un mail a Muchas gracias.

  3. […]
    You can find lots of resources to teach yourself Google Analytics. One of the very, very best is the informative, insightful, and thought-provoking writing of Avinash Kaushik. If you don't already follow his blog – Occam's Razor, do it! You should also subscribe to his email newsletter, The Marketing < > Analytics Intersect.

  4. […]
    Освен контрол върху канала, поемате контрол и върху начина, по който изграждате връзка с аудиторията си, както наскоро обясни Avinash Kaushik в блога си. Да, социалните медии звучат много секси заради огромната потенциална аудитория там – но тя никога не е нещо повече от потенциална, ако не можете да разчитате на връзка и консистентна комуникация с нея.

  5. […]
    On Facebook, you’re hanging out with your customers in a café you don’t own. If the menu changes, or the café closes, where does that leave you? The risk is just too high. You need to own the café, not rent it from someone else. As Avinash Kaushik puts it:

  6. […]
    The Marketing < > Analytics Intersect
    “A esquina do marketing com analytics”. Nem precisaria dizer muito mais. Avinash Kaushik é um especialista em análise de dados para aplicação em marketing, e produz uma newsletter interessantíssima.

  7. […]
    The Marketing < > Analytics Intersect – Avinash Kaushik's newsletter

  8. […]
    all about owned and rented audiences for your content

  9. […]
    4. The Marketing <> Analytics Intersect
    We recently wrote about how it can be tough to move from data to insights and how a good analytics consultant can help with this. However, if you are looking to learn to think analytically and get the most out of your data on your own, this is the blog to do it. More specifically a newsletter, it’s aimed at sharing tips and tricks for an analytical approach to marketing.

  10. […]
    Before I go any further, I must say that this article is strongly influenced by the latest number of Avinash Kaushik’s The Marketing Analytics Intersect, a newsletter I recommend every analyst to subscribe to. Besides the whole idea, I am also going to share the 15 questions proposed by Mr. Kaushik himself.

  11. […]
    Ultimately, his favorites include:
    Avinash’s TMAI – analytics POV from an industry leader

  12. […]
    Avinash Kaushik’s – I almost always find this great.

  13. […]
    Recentemente ele compartilhou na sua newsletter, TMAI, The Marketing Analytis Intersect, Cinco estratégias para matar o dragão de Data Puking. Segundo o Autor, ele já tentou uma série de estratégias para lidar com o desafio de vomitar dados – em várias empresas e países. E isso o levou a criar estas cinco estratégias para evitar o data puke:

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