Digital Marketing according to Dr. Brian Clifton.



In the beginning of my career, I had the honour of working with some of the brightest minds in the industry, when I joined the European Google Analytics (GA) team, headed up by Dr. Brian Clifton. This was in 2006, when GA had only just launched and all team members had their own patch of the European market to convince Google’s strategic clients to try out this radically new, quirky and free (!) piece of kit. With varying success, I might add, as enterprise class clients were wary of the fact that it’s free, it’s Google and it stores their data in the cloud. In all honesty, some of them still are wary of that and not entirely without merit.


After the team got dismantled, we stayed in touch and when in 2015, I organized a client event around Google Analytics 360 Suite at iProspect, I asked Dr. Clifton for a contribution. He couldn’t make it on the day itself, so he was kind enough to pass by the iProspect offices a few weeks before, so I could ask him his opinion on a number of burning issues.


The videos from that interview were then shown during the event and ever since hosted on Youtube, so I can refer to them right here.


Trends in Digital Marketing (2015):  Remarketing and Dynamic Content Optimization.

Notice how Brian’s discourse is about the marketing practice, while I in my blogs usually take the technical solution as a starting point. Both remarketing and dynamic content optimization can be - and currently still mostly are done with stand alone solutions, but increasingly advertisers use data management platforms to build their own audiences and nurturing those as their organization’s most precious asset.


A journey from ‘Advanced Web Analytics’ to ‘Successful Analytics’.

While heading up the Analytics team Brian remarkably found the time to write his first book about Google Analytics, called Advanced Web Metrics. It is currently in its third edition and still a reference for anyone installing and configuring this tool within their organization. Since then he wrote Successful Analytics, which aims to tackle the business challenge of integrating the work of data analysts and data driven marketers with business objectives and strategy.


How to work with a consultant and avoid ‘data siloization’

Describing the situation that many analytics teams find themselves in: getting too little guidance from the business side of the organization, leading to irrelevant analyses with minimal effect on the business. The advice is to let business questions guide the gathering, management, analysis and usage of the data, or face the creation of data silos and inactive datapools in various teams in your company.


The value of investing in data.

Should I really invest in this fancy tooling to target my audiences and be relevant in my messaging, or should I rather just ‘spray and pray’ like I have always done? Brian discusses the 10-90 rule in marketing technology and how to justify investments in either.



Bringing on- and offline data together

The future of marketing is in the merging of on- and offline data sources to understand the total effects of your marketing budget. There are of course many obstacles and issues you will need to overcome, but that should not stop you from starting.


Rene Nijhuis