Correlation and causation: Why testing is important
Despite what every person passionate about anything would like you to think, just because two sets of data are correlated it does not mean one caused the other. There may be a link, or they may be just co-incidental. As a marketer, you do not want to be making decisions unless you know there is a causal relationship. Example 1- Whenever we send out a holiday email, our web visits drop off! For the last 4 years, we have sent out a holiday-themed email toward the beginning of the month of December. It is the only time we sent out […]
Visual Basic & div tags Part 2- How to scrape data off of webpages
This post is includes the second half of the scripting required for the web-scraping project described in last weeks post. With a completed list of the blog post and their corresponding URLS, the next step is to code a scraper that will visit each page, search out the blog content and any relevant tags then copy that data to the Excel sheet. For each URL in List Open URL in Explorer Look for <h1> tag, write to Excel file Look for <h2> tag, write to Excel file Look for post body div write HTML Trim HTML into plain text write […]
Visual Basic & div tags Part 1- How to scrape data off of webpages
At Balihoo, we recently encountered a problem. We needed to extract all the text and formatting from past blog posts we had written, but our service provider didn’t have a tool to do that. Since there were over 600 posts, this isn’t the kind of project you want to do by hand. With a bit of coding I was able to scrape all the content from every single blog post- In less than 5 minutes. If you are unfamiliar with VBA and Internet Explorer, be sure to check out my introduction post about Excel, VBA, and IE. The task was […]
Visual Basic and Excel- Introduction to macro writing
VBA or Visual Basic for Applications is a fantastic tool for automating a number of tasks across the Microsoft suite. Some of the greatest uses come from integrating Excel with Internet Explorer allowing a user to be able to scrape data off various websites and dump the data into Excel. This post will show how to write code allowing Excel to launch Internet Explorer and navigate to a webpage. First off, you’ll want to start a new Excel file, and save it as a “Macro Enabled Workbook”, recognizable by the .xlsm file affix. Next, under the Developer tab in Excel […]
Analytical segmenting, web UX, 2014 predictions and more. 5 great reads!
While I usually try to post less articles, but I couldn’t help it this week, there is just too much I want to share. This afternoon grab a cold one and spend a few minutes reading through these great posts! Why “Simple” Websites Are Scientifically Better I’m always a sucker for case studies and examples, and this article doesn’t disappoint. The author explains (with stats! Yay!) how a simpler web pages just perform better in a variety of industries. Easier said than done sometimes (especially for sites designed by committees) but fantastic advice. Bit longer of a read, but worth […]
6 marketing lessons from a multi-level marketing scheme
Around 6 o’clock last night the multi-level marketing salesperson we had spoke with a few weeks ago showed up. While we didn’t end up buying the vacuum she was selling, I did get a fun “free gift” and a lot of great marketing insights. If this pitch can sell a $200 vacuum for $2500, what can your brand do to market and sell a product that’s (hopefully) more accurately priced?
Mobile data collection: Are your forms working on phones?
Every company has a different business case for building a mobile site. For some, mobile is simply a way for consumers to find their business. Other may rely on mobile for ecommerce purchases or even as a way to browse and explore content. Regardless of purpose, the difficulty is getting users to submit data on a mobile device that has a 2 inch keyboard. How bad is the problem? If your company uses Google Analytics and has set up goals to measure conversions, seeing your form conversion rates for mobile, tablet, and desktop traffic is easy, and a great place […]
Latest marketing tips- Nurture, mobile email, and twitter bots
This week I ran across a few articles of interest to marketers. If you have any suggestions of blogs or articles I should cover next week, be sure to email me! 7 Tips to Make Your Email Marketing More Mobile-Friendly This article by JD Waldow is full of email tips for mobile. As more customers use mobile devices to access their email, are you making the most of their experience? New Algorithm Can Spot the Bots in Your Twitter Feed The nerd in me loves this sort of article. Using math to spot twitter bots based off of post timing […]
Vidyard email success: How knowing our vendors got a sale
I recently received an email from a video marketing platform called Vidyard. Ultimately we are soon going to be customers of theirs because they offer a product that we need we would never have known that had they not marketed their product in a way that caught my eye. Success #1- Making it through spam filters and getting me to open There are lots of resources out there that can help you make it into an inbox, yet I’m still surprised how many messages still clog my spam folder. Notice also the subject came from a live person instead of […]
Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act- A Branding Problem
For those who didn’t catch the interviews on Jimmy Kimmel a few weeks back, take a couple minutes to watch this video. While admittedly conducting interviews on the streets of Hollywood is hardly the best way to conduct market research, Jimmy Kimmel has pointed out something out that all marketers should take note of: All of your marketing efforts (to the tune of $700 million in the case of the ACA) may go for naught if your customers do not understand your product! Obamacare has some “brand recognition” issues; people don’t know what it is but they sure don’t like […]