Is Your Job Ready for the Future of Social Analytics?

Is Your Job Ready for the Future of Social Analytics?

Chuck Hemann, Head of Analytics at W2O Group, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss the current state of social analytics and where it is heading.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

The Evolution of Social Analytics

Nothing is stationary. Life is constantly flowing, changing, progressing, and evolving. Even the solid ground beneath your feet is hurdling at great speed around the sun, which is, in turn, making its way around the center of the Milky Way, which is itself part of the ever-expanding sea that is the universe.

The point here is that absolutely nothing will stay the same forever. That’s the mindset of Chuck Hemann of W2O Group when it comes to social analytics and data. Social analytics have changed as social itself has grown, but Chuck foresees a time in the near future when social data may not be as free-flowing as it once was.

This is not to say that social data is irrelevant, but as data collection and sharing evolves, it is crucial that social media practitioners allow themselves to evolve as well. It is, unfortunately, no time to settle in or get comfortable. Through creativity and adaptation, your business can continue to grow and thrive.

In This Episode

  • Why it is becoming more important to combine social data with other data sources.
  • Why a Twitter-centric approach to data listening can mislead you.
  • How to expand the scope of your data as a social media practitioner.
  • How strategy and analytics roles are blending.

Quotes From This Episode

You have to have people who can distill what a data scientist pulls together into some sort of meaningful business insight. Click To Tweet

“Creativity is more important than ever, especially as more data sources become available to us.” — @chuckhemann

“Social analytics are becoming less relevant—not because the data itself is less relevant, but because it’s becoming harder to get.” — @chuckhemann

Resources

See you next week!

Episode Transcript

 
Jay Baer: Hey everybody, this is Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. Welcome to Social Pros. Joined again by my special Texas friend. He is the Executive strategist from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the one, the only, also, I should say, a guy who gets bourbon delivered via subscription.
Adam Brown: Via subscription.
Jay Baer: A subscription bourbon drinker, Adam Brown. Hello, my friend.
Adam Brown: Well, hello, hello. As we talk and as we record this previous cast you're going to hear here in mere, mere moments. I had to step away from the microphone for 30 seconds to pick up a delivery of said bourbon.
Jay Baer: Oh, really? Real time bourbon delivery. That's impressive.
Adam Brown: That was when I had to step away from frame, what I was doing. And thankfully, it's Friday as we record this. Just in time for a adult libation.
Jay Baer: I think everybody should grab an adult beverage and settle in for this week's episode, 'cause man, it is a good one. I tell you what. We are joined by Chuck Hemann, who is the head of digital marketing analytics for a very, very large multi-national agency called the W2O group, and he's also the co-author of the book Digital Marketing Analytics, which was first published five years ago. The brand new second edition, written with Ken Burberry is out last week and it is awesome.
And boy, we got into some serious nerd talk in this episode. Folks, if you like numbers, this is the Social Pros episode for you, right Adam?
Adam Brown: Absolutely. And Chuck gives so many great insights from his long career here and one of the things I think I like most about the show, Jay, was that Chuck really started his career like you and I, and so many of our listeners. He's a social media practitioner, and he has taken that, really and turned it and parlayed it into an entire kind of industry. He's an author. He has a team of over about 120 people at one of the largest agencies that focuses on these types of things. And as he talks, and one of the things he gets to in the show is how social data now is, it's true value is when you take that social data and you attach it to other social data, and I think that's something that we as social media practitioners have to remember.
Jay Baer: Yeah. Really interesting conversation today. Especially, Chuck's really clear headed about the strengths and the weaknesses of social data so you're gonna wanna tune in to this one, 'cause you're gonna learn a lot. I know I did, Adam did. It's a good one. Here this week on the Social Pros podcast. Here's Chuck.
All right, ladies and gentlemen, as promised this week on the Social Pros podcast, we actually name checked him last week, as well, when I was talking to Will McInnes, it is the one, the only Chuck Hemann, who is the Managing Director of Analytics at the W2O Group in Chicago. He's also the co-author of the second edition of a fantastic book released on May 19th called Digital Marketing Analytics: Making Sense of Consumer Data in a Digital World.
I wanna tell you exactly what I said on the back of this book. I blurbed this book, as they say in the book publishing business. Here's what I said, Adam, are you ready for this, word for word?
Adam Brown: I'm ready for it.
Jay Baer: Good. This is an actual quote from myself. This book is more vital and important than ever. Chuck and Ken Burberry go beyond the basics to show you precisely how to measure every element of your digital marketing. A must read. And I could not agree more. Terrific job on the book. Especially a topic that's changed a lot since, when'd you write the first book, Chuck? When's the first one come out, first edition?
Chuck Hemann: Five years ago.
Adam Brown: Jesus, that's a long time.
Jay Baer: That's like the middle ages for digital marketing analytics. Thanks for being on the show. Great to talk to you.
Chuck Hemann: Thanks for having me, Jay and Adam. I appreciate it.
Jay Baer: There are so many more sources of data now, right? There's so many more places to get numbers then there were five years ago, even, with the first edition of the book. Is that, from an analytic perspective, right? And you are an analyst, a major analyst in the space and in this industry. Is the proliferation of data sources a net positive or a net negative?
Chuck Hemann: That's a great question. It's one of those questions that I get either speaking to clients or speaking to conference attendees and the, I think the answer, because I'm an analyst, is it depends, Jay. We talk a little bit toward the end of the book about sort of the future of digital data and one of the things we talk about is that there's actually, likely over the next probably five years, going to be a consolidation of data sources, but the irony is that there are more places to get data than ever before.
A lot of us wear IoT devices, for example. A great place to collect data, but the places that we collect digital data are probably going to shrink. If you ask me from a standpoint of an analyst, I wanna have more information than less, so the proliferation of data sources has been good for people like me. If you ask somebody that works inside of a company who's executing the marketing program, they would probably tell you, please don't shove another data source down my throat.
Adam Brown: I'm curious. Obviously our audience is more social professional, social media professionals, Chuck. And I'm gonna load this question a little bit, but my question is, is there any more respect for social analytics than in the past? We have all, as social media professionals, kind of tripped over ourselves with likes and followers and using these kind of junk metrics. Do you see any more respect and how is this changing or progressing in your opinion?
Chuck Hemann: This is a more timely question that you can possibly have ever imagined, Adam, because we have been having conversations with our clients as we've been having questions with our executives, we've been having questions as an analytics leadership, about just this very topic, and it might be a somewhat controversial answer, but I would say the answer is becoming less relevant. And part of the reason is not because the social data [inaudible 00:06:06] themselves are less relevant, it's because it's becoming harder to get. We've all been following the Cambridge Analytica news, but ... and the GDPR news. I could foresee a scenario in the very near future where social data, while today very available, becomes a lot less sometime in the future, and so the importance of combining social data with either offline data or search data or owned website data is gonna be super important.
Adam Brown: So it's gonna be less available, so if it'll be held back because the data providers, Twitter, et cetera, are concerned about providing access and how that data is used, so consequently, we'll have less ability to get at more data?
Chuck Hemann: Yeah. We're pretty, given how large of an analytics team we have, 106 analysts around the globe, we have pretty active conversations at a product level with a lot of the social listening vendors and all of them tell us that they could foresee a scenario sometime in the future where Twitter data, foreign data, you name it data would be even harder to get or even more expensive to get sometime down the line.
Adam Brown: So is it more the social platforms themselves are gonna keep that data to do their own thing? Second question, I'm gonna do multiple choice here, second is the GDPR challenges that we're all kind of dealing with, and the third, is it more kind of philosophical that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and maybe social data is now only valuable when you, as you said, Chuck, integrated with other insights, whether that's DMP or customer records or email data, mobile data. Come on. What's that suit look like?
Chuck Hemann: I don't think the GDPR consideration is inconsequential, Adam. But I think a lot of data providers are using it as a way to create their own sort of walled gardens and force either brands or agencies like ours to go directly to them and maybe not to another source. Or buy another tool with that particular vendor. I'll give you an example. And it's not a social one, unfortunately, but a couple of weeks ago, Google announced that they were going to stop allowing advertisers to pass double-click IDs within even Google platforms. Forget about passing a double click ID sort of out of their platform and matching it with another ID from another platform. That kind of thing is rooted in GDPR, but we think it's because Google wants to create sort of a one-stop shop for agencies and brands to have to do everything from just basic analytics to attribution with them directly.
Adam Brown: So do you believe that putting on your crystal ball and crystal hat, that Facebook obviously is restricted considerably, for the obvious reasons that you just mentioned. Are we going to see that same restriction take place with their other owned properties? The Instagrams, the WhatsApp, et cetera, or are they gonna try new things or are they gonna actually say, hey, you know what? We're not just gonna be keeper of your social data, but we want you, customer or agency to share all the other data that you have with us and then we'll do the secret sauce maxing and matching and basically what in many cases, your analysts at W2O Group are doing. Then Facebook would be [inaudible 00:09:32] DMP then right? Essentially, right? If you upload stuff then they'll play nice.
Chuck Hemann: I believe that is going to happen, yes. I mean, if you look at some of the [inaudible 00:09:44] announcements that happened, what was that, last week or two weeks ago, they announced a lot of both enhancements, improvements, additions to the Facebook analytics suite of offerings. They want to do everything from just sort of basic applying pixels to ultimately journey mapping and attribution.
Adam Brown: Now I know you and your team do a lot of work in and around healthcare. That's a big market segment for you, which is a even more regulated industry than some others. So you're dealing with an entirely different layer of data, an entirely different level, personally identifiable information. How do you work with that and is that a, kind of a bell weather or canary in a coal mine for less regulated or restricted industries?
Chuck Hemann: It probably is. And you know, healthcare companies have a lot of really interesting data to people like me on either their healthcare professional key opinion leaders, people that they work with directly in the physician community, but also patients. What we're having to spend a lot of time on, even more time than maybe we would've anticipated, is the anonymization of the data that we're collecting on their behalf, and taking even greater pains to make sure that there is not sensitive, personally identifiable information passing from our hands to their hands and vice versa. I mean, obviously we do a fair bit of media buying. Obviously, we do a fair bit of digital activation for some of those healthcare clients. Obviously, we're collecting some of that in order to measure, but we are taking great pains to make sure that data is anonymous, if we end up passing it onto our clients.
Jay Baer: Chuck, last week on the show we had Will McInnes, who's the CMO of Brandwatch as our guest and I asked him a question I wanted to ask you the same question, because you kind of come at it from two different sides. We asked him, a lot of the social listening and social insights tools primarily use Twitter as their data source because it is the one that has the open API that has all the chatter and the ability to get at it with a fire hose. However, as you well know, as I know, as Adam knows, as probably all of our listeners know, Twitter is now the sixth most popular social network in the United States.
Is using a Twitter-centric approach to social listening and business intelligence misleading or does it run the risk of misleading brands and agencies, because you're not really giving the whole story, you're just giving it sort of the Twitter filtered story?
Chuck Hemann: Yes. And I would say again, you guys follow the industry very closely and I know your listeners do, as well. The system smelt water acquisition from again, everything seems to have happened in the last week or two, from a couple of weeks back, it's not an accident why that happened. To your point, Jay, I think social listening platforms have been very Twitter-centric, because historically, it's been the easiest data source to get, except they're under pressure from clients in order to deliver a broader set of data so that a better insight can be delivered about whatever the case may be, likely an audience or a theme or whatever.
And so I think those sorts of acquisitions are going to be more likely in the future. And that pressure, I think is coming from agencies and brands alike. We don't wanna just rely on Twitter data anymore.
Jay Baer: I'll ask you one other question that I asked Will last week, which was, in your estimation, is it better to begin the analytics and insights generation process with a question or a hypothesis or is it better to start with a source of data and then try to identify patterns?
Chuck Hemann: Much better to start with a hypothesis. I mean, it literally, every single engagement that we start with a client on the analytical side starts with what do we want to learn? And then we back into the data sources that we want to collect. And again, more and more, that data set is wide-ranging. I mean, it will include social data, of course, but it'll include search, it'll include owned, it'll include any sort of customer data that a client might have. I mean, it's wide-ranging.
Adam Brown: Recognizing that now, if we agree with your hypothesis, which I think we do, Chuck, that the data is more about all the things that you attach to social. For those people who are listening to our show, who are getting started in social media, what would you recommend to them? Would you recommend that they continue to focus kind of exclusively on understanding more about social media metrics, and social media platforms and things like that, or do they need to broaden their horizons in terms of understanding those interconnections? So understanding kind of DMP, understanding where the source of truth or the source of data existed all other places and those connections. So it's kinda the same question that Jay asked, but more from a career advice standpoint.
Chuck Hemann: Let me answer this from a couple of different directions, Adam. First is, let's set aside the fact, the measurement question for a minute, because there is, I think there will be more and more data that is available that help brands understand did this contribute or not to a positive ROI? I believe that to be true. There will be less data to perform what I would call audience research or thematic research or whatever the case may be. I think there will be less and less of that. Coming back to your question, the simplest way I can say this is run thee to the google analytics training modules. Take them this weekend. The beginner module takes a couple of hours. The advanced module takes a couple of hours. The quiz is 70 questions, you get 80% right, you're GA certified and everyone's happy. No. Learning about the web analytics platforms, mission critical. I would say they have amazing double-click trainings. Learn about the double-click training, take the double-click trainings. They have amazing GTM or google tag manager trainings. Take those.
Learn about the DMPs. Reach out to the BlueKais, the audience manager from Adobe. New Star and others and learn about those. I don't think, I think a lot of just sort of social analysts in general, but really social media practitioners, they're sort of still seeing this in sort of a very narrow box and then need to be expanding their horizons sooner than later.
Adam Brown: I think it's interesting that you answer it in that way, 'cause one of the things I've often talked about on this show is some of the research that we've done as Salesforce research. We talked to 3,500 CMOs every year. And one of the things we found out this past year was that CMOs are focusing less on titles, like a social team, a web team, a digital team and more on outcomes. More on retention. New customer acquisition, et cetera, which behooves kind of what you're talking about. That we've gotta know all these crafts. We've gotta know all these different platforms if we're going to continue to be in our case, a social media practitioner that's effective.
Chuck Hemann: What's interesting is folks who will, listening to this podcast will probably think I hate social data. [inaudible 00:17:08] less than true. I mean-
Adam Brown: Well, that's gonna be the headline on the episode, for sure.
[crosstalk 00:17:13]
Adam Brown: ... hates social data, yep.
Chuck Hemann: I mean, my agreement at W2O and was at Intel before, a pretty heavy media and digital role, so social was a component of that, and I still do believe that social data can tell us a tremendous amount about our audience and is as valuable as ever in that endeavor. My commentary is coming from the standpoint of, we talked to the social listening providers, we talked to the platforms, we sort of read the tea leaves, talk to clients, look at some of the regulatory considerations that are out there and think, "Geez, how long is that going to be the case?"
And so, we're trying to prep our clients and ourselves by widening the aperture of it.
Jay Baer: I wanna ask you a little bit more about the book. And again, folks, the book is called Digital Marketing Analytics, so it should be pretty easy to find. Make sure, on Amazon, you get the second edition, released on May 19th of this year from Chuck and his co-author Ken Burberry. Chuck, when you sit down to refresh a book about digital marketing analytics and it's been five years since the first edition, like how do you even start that? Because there's a lot of water under the bridge in five years. Do you sorta go through the existing book and say, "Nope, that's no longer right. Nope, that's no longer right." Or do you say, "All right. What is right?" What do we know? What do we wanna communicate and then how do we fit that into the framework of the existing manuscript?
Chuck Hemann: I would say we, it's a good question. We created probably a 75% new outline of the book. There's about a quarter of it that still maintains. If we sorta think back to the first version, there were a lot of frameworks in there that have stood the test of time. How do you use data to anticipate a crisis? That has stayed relatively consistent. You know, how you activate influencers, dare I say has expanded, but also stayed relatively consistent. How you develop a research plan has stayed relatively consistent. The process of developing a measurement scorecard has stayed relatively consistent.
What hasn't are the number of use cases for digital data that has exploded exponentially in five years. The other thing that has changed a lot, if you look at the table of contents from V.1 to V.2, there are no chapters on tools.
We eliminated, we had six or seven chapters on tools. I'm now forgetting my own book. Six or seven chapters on tools in v.1. You will not see that in v.2. There is an entire chapter on developing your marketing technology stack and the steps you need to do in order to do that. How you achieve adoption, evaluation, how you evolve it. Those sorts of things. But those things have changed pretty dramatically, so to answer your question, Jay, we sorta created a brand new outline, scrapping what was old, and then where the old was applicable, brought that back in.
Adam Brown: Chuck, was there anything that you and Ken read in the first edition, as you went through it, where there was a mention of a social platform that's no longer there or a strategy or tactic and you went, "Oh my gosh, not only were we off, but the whole industry was off and thinking this was the next big thing." Just curious, what was that one thing?
Chuck Hemann: You know, it's funny, our decision to scrap the tools chapters came when we looked at the social influence tools and realized one-
Adam Brown: Like the recently departed Klout for an example.
Chuck Hemann: Yes. Yes. Klout was the one that was still around.
Adam Brown: Of all the tools, that was the one that was still around.
Chuck Hemann: It was the last one-
Adam Brown: And now isn't, ironically, so-
Chuck Hemann: So that was the decision when we looked at that chapter and realized none of those tools still existed, we realized it was time to change course. Plus I just wanna sorta add into that, I don't, I think the natural instinct is to run to a tool to help scale and that is exactly the wrong path. I think the last five years has taught us that it is a cocktail of people, process and technologies, or if you prefer, three P's, people, process and platforms.
Without the people and the process, I don't care how good the tool is, you're not going to succeed.
Adam Brown: I'm curious, Chuck, you mentioned your team there the [inaudible 00:21:51] well over 120 analysts and in an agency situation, typically, the analytics team kind of assists the media buying team and that's primarily, at least the home room, if you will, they have been for so long, but I'm curious, has that changing, or is that changing, where you're doing as much on supporting the media buy as informing creative, kind of, here's what the site guy says on this particular topic.
Or talking to the account service team on here's the best way to support or handle this particular account. Curious if your role in kind of what your home room is inside of W2O Group has just changed any in the past four or five years.
Chuck Hemann: Let me answer this one from two different directions, too, Adam. From a standpoint of my current job, I mean if you look at just my afternoon today, I spent time with our account leaders, I spent time with our activation leaders and I spent time with our creative leaders. So to answer your question as directly as possible, analytics is servicing the entirety of the business. If you look at this from the standpoint of a brand, because I work for one as of a year ago, literally this week, there were a lot of ongoing interesting conversations to be had about the role of a stand alone analytics function versus embedding analysts within the business, and whether or not inventing analysts within the business would cut down the delay that we typically see between collecting data, analyzing data, developing insights and actually activating on it.
One of the things that I know a lot of big brands are struggling with is do we have an analytics COE, do we have a separate stand alone digital analytics team? Do we just sort of throw them in the channel? Do we organize by audience? Like how do we structure this? Everyone realizes that data and analytics are super important. How to organize it within a big company is, I think, a big challenge that a lot of us are trying to solve both inside and outside of companies.
Jay Baer: I think it's a challenge for small companies, too.
Chuck Hemann: Yeah.
Jay Baer: Because you don't have the resources to have a free standing, in some cases, even a free standing person. One of the things that I have espoused for a long time now is that the people doing the work probably shouldn't be doing the analyses of that work. That you sort of have an unintentional fox watching the mathematical hen houses situation there, but I still see it in a lot of small and medium sized brands and agencies, where of course, the things that we get most involved in on our side, the social media practitioners or the content marketing practitioners are also responsible for generating the reports that ostensibly prove the value of their work to the enterprise.
That probably is less than optimal, I would think. Do you agree? And how do you solve for that?
Chuck Hemann: I do. I do think it's less than optimal. I think there is credibility in having a stand alone analyst or analytics team evaluating success. One of the things I tell clients all the time, and I used to say in-house intel is, I don't really care if you spend 100% of your money on organic search. That's not how I'm incented. I'm incented by delivering you the best insight possible that I can.
And if that is spending 100% of your money on organic search, I can't imagine why you'd do that, anyway. 100% of your money on organic search, then great. Do that. I think, Jay, your question is interesting, because I think people often times blend the concept of optimization with measurement. And I think in the case of activating a contact marketing program like in the examples that you were, the example that you were just sharing, I think it's valid for those individuals to be continually optimizing. I think the step that's often times missing is folks like myself saying here's the metric you should use to optimize that looks most closely ladders to a KPI that we are measuring on the backend. So there's a really tight linkage.
Jay Baer: Yeah, I think that's a terrific distinction, Chuck. I think that that's a really important way to look at the difference between measurement and optimization. Absolutely.
If you could pick one source of data. Like Survivor, but of data. Said okay, Chuck, you're a global managing director of a bunch of analysts. You've been doing this forever. You're OG on the data side. You only get one stream of data, what would it be?
Chuck Hemann: Can I cheat and pick a platform that aggregates multiple streams?
Jay Baer: Sure.
Chuck Hemann: One of the things that we do talk about in the book, is that we try not to pigeon hole on a tool or pigeon hole on a set of tools, but I do believe if you are a reasonably-sized company, probably big company to enterprise-size, you should be evaluating DMPs. And I'm not trying to suck up to Adam here. I do believe that it is the best way for you to learn about your audience and I do believe that it's the best way to aggregate multiple data streams. Do I think it's easy to onboard? No. Do I think they are expensive? Certainly. Do I think they add more value than a lot of brands realize? Absolutely, yes.
Jay Baer: On a related point, what do you think of, Adam, you probably should earmuff this one, who knows what yet I'm just gonna think of this question, but what do think of sort of the data aggregation platforms like data rom is probably the one I'm most familiar with. Those kind of tools that sort of ingest data from a bunch of sources and try and draw a correlation and causation patterns.
As an analyst, how do you feel about that sort of type and category of software?
Chuck Hemann: Tried them all. Have mostly positive things to say about the Dataromas, the Origami Logics, the Microsoft RBIs, I guess in this category now.
Adam Brown: Sure. Other than the fact that all three of those are terrible products names, but yeah, let's go ahead. No offense to [inaudible 00:27:54] Origami Logic, but that's just a bad product name.
Chuck Hemann: You know, we have, I've literally tried them all. I tried them all at Intel, we tried them all here. They have beautiful visualizations. The use case for them is perfectly valid. The technical challenges though, are not inconsiderable. Facebook changes their API like we change our socks. Google Analytics API is a bear to work with, if you've ever worked with it. And so if you are trying to inject social data feeds or you're trying to ingest Google, they break down. If we're viewing this as sort of a Survivor situation, I see the likes of tableau surviving this game more than anybody else.
Adam Brown: Chuck, I wanna ask a question very similar to Jay's, but I'm gonna take it one step further. So Jay asked kind of what is that data like, that one source of data that if you can only have one. I'm gonna take it one step further. Obviously, you're a spreadsheet jockey, 'cause that's all that you do. You're looking at columns and rows, columns and rows.
Chuck Hemann: Yeah.
Adam Brown: Taking the way that you answered Jay's question, what is that one column of data that gets you most excited? If you know, here's the source of truth, knowing that this is our customer, what's that one column, what's that one piece of information about customer 472A that gets you the most excited that you think you can trigger more actions or activities on than anything else? And it can't be something simple like frequent customers or something like that, it's gotta be something fun.
Chuck Hemann: Boy, something fun. Assuming you're appending social data, and I'm now spending the rest of our time here together trying to redeem myself amongst the social data vendors of the world-
Adam Brown: Meaning the social media data profession.
Chuck Hemann: You know, one of the more interesting things to me is always reading the actual content of the post itself. Like the user name is nice, how big their influence is nice, where they're located is nice, who they're connected to is also nice. You could do some really interesting network mapping. But what they actually say in the post itself is particularly exciting. I mean one of the things we spent a lot of time on recently at W2O is expanding our linguistics capabilities. We've got a lot of class. We train linguists just to solve this particular conundrum. Trying to really understand the root of the language. The root of what a person is talking about. Like that stuff is really interesting to me, because for so long and we have our own market research practice and it adds a lot of value to our appliance, but for so long we've relied on sort of stated responses to questions, but now there are a lot of really sophisticated algorithms that allow us to understand that that language, and so if you gave me a spreadsheet of social data and it had the content in it, I'd be thrilled.
Adam Brown: You'd be focused in on that.
Chuck Hemann: I would.
Adam Brown: You know, I've had the opportunity like Jay, to know you for many years. In fact, we both moved to Atlanta within like a week of each other when you were here nearly ten years ago. Love for you to share with everyone kinda how you got to the position that you have now and your time that you spent at Intel and at other brands and at other agencies. It's fascinating, Chuck, how you've kind of evolved to being one of the world's kind of smartest person on marketing analytics.
Chuck Hemann: That's super nice of you to say. I don't know if you guys listen to the, how I built this podcast, but Guy [Roz 00:31:20] asks the question at the end of every podcast, like was it luck, was it intelligence or-
Adam Brown: Great question.
Chuck Hemann: And I do believe [inaudible 00:31:27] and it's some combination of both. I really was at sort of the right place and the right time. I mean I was pivoting in my career from a sort of PR and IR related research function more into social and digital right at the same time that Radian6 and Sysomos were coming alive. I mean, it was extremely fortunate. I was also extremely fortunate to be given a platform by folks like yourself. By folks like Jay. By like David Alston and Marcel LeBrun and all those guys at Radian6. They gave me a platform to really grow my career. The one thing I would say, though is if you are successful as an analyst, there's probably one trait that you have, and that is inane curiosity. You are always curious about everything.
It could be the tumbleweed rolling down the hallway. You are interested about how that tumbleweed got there. You are a naturally curious person. There have been a number of interviews with analysts over my career where I'd been talking to them and they display that curiosity and I immediately stop the interview and say we're good. Like we're onto the sort of the next step.
And I kinda feel like starting back then with Radian6 and Sysomos and all them and sort of diving in and being curious about what those platforms delivered all the way to now, where we're talking about like identity verification and what LiveRamp and the new stars of the world deliver, like that stuff gets me just as excited today as the Radian6's did 10 or 11 years ago.
Adam Brown: And if you had to kind of determine which of those aspects you were going to double down on, as you look at your team, is there anything, without sharing any proprietary secrets of kinda how you're leading W2O Group, is there any area that you're like, okay. You know what? I want four or five of you to really start double-clicking down on this. I think there's something there. What is that there?
Chuck Hemann: So, it's hard to answer with just one. I would say it's a few things.
Adam Brown: Okay.
Chuck Hemann: Data science capabilities are not, they're more important than ever. They're not the only thing, but they're more important than ever. I would say that marketing technology skills are the second. About four months ago, five months ago, hired our own marketing technology leader. That is mission critical. I have more clients than ever asking us how do we put together this stack?
Adam Brown: Lots of silos, help me bring them together.
Chuck Hemann: Right. Exactly. Yep.
And then I would say the third, and this is really where I play today, but I think it's super important, is you have to have people who can distill what a data scientist pulls together into some sort of meaningful business insight for the client. That role still exists. And what I see happening sort of in the very near future, if it's not already happened, or happening, is roles like mine, senior analytics leader, are merging with strategy faster than ever.
And I consider myself more of a strategist than I do an analyst these days. And so I'm really looking for those three roles more than ever.
Adam Brown: Because why would you be a strategist without data?
Chuck Hemann: Yeah.
Adam Brown: You're just sort of making shit up at that point.
Chuck Hemann: Yeah. And if you look at the W2O website, you would see that analytics is the heart of everything we do, and it legitimately is. I talked to our activation and strategy partners probably even more than any other stakeholder audience.
Adam Brown: One of the things that's really impressed me and humbled me about you, Chuck, is unlike most data junkies, and I've known a lot of them. Yeah, most of them are kind of more on that right side of the brain. Very analytical. Not quite as creative, but you, you really straddle the fence. You're as creative as you are analytical. And do you think that this is a requirement now to be a data scientist, to be in analytics. To be in the kind of more numbers side of marketing in 2018?
Chuck Hemann: Yeah. I mean, I do think so. And I feel a little bit like a broken record, but that creativity is more important than ever, especially as more data sources become available to us. I don't imagine, we're going to see more data pop up. I do see some consolidation on the horizon, but I think in the very, very near term, there's going to be more and more data available to us, and so having the ability to hear a client problem and say this requires social data or no, you know what? Actually, it's market research. No, actually, we need a blended approach is something, is a skill that I think all analysts need, but if you're a senior analytics leader, I mean, it's a requirement.
Jay Baer: What else is a requirement is to play a lot of golf, at least if you're Chuck. Chuck is a massive golf fan in addition to the co-author of the second edition of Digital Marketing Analytics, available now. Get yourself a copy and read it. It's gonna make you a better social media marketer. All right, Chuck, what is the, two things. Best place you've played golf, and best golf tournament you've attended, 'cause I know you and I've attended a lot of good golf tournaments. I want both answers.
Chuck Hemann: So the best course I've ever played is still the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. It is a mixture of unbelievably long, windy, challenging golf courses and if you play it any time after the month of May, a sauna. So guaranteed to play a great round of golf and lose 15 pounds at the same time.
Jay Baer: And maybe fast balls, as well.
Chuck Hemann: Probably, yeah. Probably 15 balls.
The greatest, the best tournament I ever went to, I was at, I went to the Masters for the first time in April of this year and it is definitively, one of those places. If you've never been to Augusta National, and you're even remotely a fan of golf, you must go. It is absolutely one of the best experiences I've had at any sporting event, golf or otherwise.
Walking in and having a senior, old, southern man say, "Welcome to Augusta national and enjoy the masters and they hand you a tea sheet, there's like nothing better than that in my opinion.
Jay Baer: I went with my dad and my brother several years ago and I could not agree more. And anybody who's not a golf fan is listening to this right now like this is the stupidest conversation in the history of this podcast, but you don't get it. It is really, really something. I'm glad you got to go. I didn't know you went this year. That's awesome. You'll never forget it. I know I certainly won't.
Chuck, we're gonna also close the show by asking the two questions we've asked every single guest on the show. 318 guests or something it is now. What one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro?
Chuck Hemann: Study analytics as much as possible. That's a little self-serving. But I-
Adam Brown: If only there was a book they can read to help them.
Jay Baer: Yeah, there probably is.
Chuck Hemann: Sure. I mean, it's a more critical skill than ever. I mean, I really, even if I had just dropped here from Mars or Venus, I would say the same thing. I mean it's an unbelievably [inaudible 00:38:42] skill to know.
Jay Baer: Agreed. And last question for [inaudible 00:38:48], who is the head of the analytics in practice at the W2O group. Co-author of the second edition. And the first edition. But the second edition is out now. The book: Digital Marketing Analytics, which both Andrew and I recommend very, very highly. If you could do a video call with any living person, Chuck, who would it be?
Chuck Hemann: I'm gonna give you two. And I'll be quick. I would say, I would love to have a video call with Thomas Keller from French Laundry.
Adam Brown: Yeah.
Jay Baer: Nice.
Chuck Hemann: In addition [inaudible 00:39:14], I love food. I would absolutely love to talk to him and I think everyone would love to have a conversation with Barack Obama. I would absolutely love that.
Jay Baer: Okay, so this is crazy. Back to back weeks of Barack Obama answers on the Social Pros podcast. Last week, Will McInnes from Brandwatch. Also, a data analysis guy. Said Barack Obama, which is amazing, because he's an Englishman. Not even a citizen of America, and he still said Barack Obama. That's a good impact, when you're not even from the country and you still say Barack Obama, that's pretty good and Chuck as well.
Chuck Hemann: It's just unbelievably inspiring. I mean just unbelievably inspiring even today, when you hear him speak. You're like, can you, I'll just stand up and run through the wall for you, right now, actually.
Jay Baer: Yep. Guy would've been a good football coach. Or a basketball coach, probably more likely, in his case.
Chuck Hemann: Indeed.
Jay Baer: Chuck, thanks so much for being on the show. Really appreciate it. Always great to catch up with you. Congratulations to you and to Ken on getting the second edition of the book out. I know it was a ton of work and as you said, you rewrote basically the whole book from scratch, so I know that was quite an endeavor, so well done.
Chuck Hemann: Thank you guys, I appreciate you having me.
Jay Baer: Always a pleasure. Awesome episode. Ladies and gentlemen, next week on the Social Pros podcast, we're gonna talk about affiliate marketing. We're gonna be joined by Priest Willis, who's the head of the affiliate program at Lenovo, also runs an affiliate marketing agency called the Affiliate Mission. We're gonna talk about the confluence, the combination, the conglomeration of affiliate marketing, influencer marketing and social media. Interesting and important topic that we haven't covered too much on this show yet, so look forward to that.
Again, as always, you can get all the archives of the show, going back eight years now, every single recording. Every single transcript. Every single link. Go to socialpros.com and waste your life. You could just spend the rest of your day, it's like Game of Thrones but with social media people. Until next week, I am Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. He is Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud and this is Social Pros.
 
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