Interview with Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google

good morning good afternoon good evening everyone my name is Stephen Weston I'm CEO of predictive ROI and founder of our signature event predictive roi live where over two-and-a-half days we bring together the world's leading experts in digital marketing and business leadership and share those insights with business owners so they can achieve phenomenal growth guaranteed and I have the honor and privilege to be with one of our experts today his name is Avinash Kaushik in he is the digital marketing evangelist for google and co-founder of market motive he's been a wonderful mentor to me I've learned so much from him and he's a great friend so thank you Avinash for joining us today very much Thank You Sivan great to be here thank you so let's start with some of the questions I've prepared for the interview so if you could give us just an overview of the definition your definition of analytics that would be a great place to start there are hundreds of them right my favorite definition is data data that you use to make smarter decisions about your business that's that's as simple as that I think I quickly sort of break it into two components the practice of analytics one is the boring part and one is the interesting part and the interesting part I define as the business of data analysis and and that's when you actually get into the data and make love to it and try and figure out if you can tease out something really interesting that adds value to your business and the boring part is the data reporting part where we sometimes falsely believe as businesses that the sheer act of collecting data and puking it out on people somehow makes our business is smart so when you think about analysis analytics think of those two things like data reporting and data analysis and data reporting is a one of those painful things in life you have to do spend twenty percent of your time on it but data analysis is where the world of analytics comes alive and adds value to any business on the planet okay so so let's put it into the construct of me as a business owner or those business owners who are watching this video so what are the key insights or data points or the the metrics that I should be looking at what should I really care about pulling out of my analytics absolutely now let's let's look at the let's get three quick different examples so a lot of companies have no idea if their marketing is bringing them the best possible people to their digital existence or or when a person arrives at their door in this case that says that say their website or mobile site or desktop doesn't matter is that is the greeting really great do you say hello very nicely and so I tell people that if you're starting the business of analytics one of the first matrix you should look at is one of my favorite metrics it's called bounce rates and the way that I define bounce rate is from a customer perspective it measures the following phenomenon I came I puked I left right so it's this really interesting metric that's available in Adobe site catalyst in Google Analytics web trends any tool we have access to and it actually immediately shows you are you bringing the right people who to your website and how many of those you can leave right away because it turns out there another right people you're selling underwear and your site is and in your ads we're targeting people who want tires stupid or on the other side you are selling underwear I do want underwear and I came any of the world's most hideous unsexy picked like I'm out right and it's such a small tiny little thing that very quickly helps you diagnose that something is wrong that is what I mean by very quick actionable analytics here's another example yesterday I was really worried about how to go and find the weakness of my competitor so I could destroy them I just crushed them to death and in the real world is really hard to do right but what I ended up doing is I just typed in double w dot compete calm a compete is offers some free analytics reports and a lot of them for the paid people who pay for it and you type in the name of your company and type in the name of your competitor any like a few seconds you know you understand what is the traffic patterns on both these websites yours in your direct competitor it tells you what keywords drive traffic to them it tells you what display campaigns they're running that drives traffic to them it helps you understand what the age education levels are people who go to your competitor versus you it actually even tells you on this one keyword that you're fighting head-to-head how much are they more effective than you Oh what are what are the affiliates that are really working great for you and think about it like at the end of like 20 minutes I have understood what my competitor is doing that is working really well for them and what I am doing is not working well or working well now this context is really hard to find in the real world and yet when it comes to digital we have access to our competitors data on our fingertips and maybe we can use that to be much smarter or my last favorite example is possibly my favorite metric on the whole wide world I think in my first book I said if I had to go to a deserted island I would not take Angelina Jolie right I would take this metric and the metric is a task completion rate and what happens is after people visit your website and when they leave and you ask them three simple questions and you say why were you here doesn't matter what we are selling but why did you come here the second question is whatever you were here for did you complete your task and if you did not why not and think of the amazing things that you get out of it first thing is you understand the difference between why you created the website and why people actually came and that there's a dissonance there and there always is no matter how smart you think you are there always is then the customers tell you how much you suck I love it right because they say oh no I came here to buy my task completion is 20% so 80% of the people who came to buy could not complete their task like you want to kill yourself at that point it's good information and then then and then in the customers own voice they tell you what defects oftentimes when it comes to the context of predictive when it comes to all this data we tend to think of it in terms of quantitative analysis I am a huge fan of qualitative analysis and so my third example is not trying to get at what is happening but why it is happening and usually we have such amazing confiden Google Analytics amazing confidence I'd catalyst that we think we have everything but all of that gives us the what it doesn't give us the why and so my third example is all about the why what can we understand from our customer in their own voice and words in qualitatively that he can then use to go improve our business so these are like three different examples that really show you the depth and breadth of data you have access to and the kinds of super smart business decisions you can make at least when it comes to digital it's just it's just mind-blowing so that that's really really good stuff so let's go back to to bounce rate a little bit and because you know that's one of my favorites too so you know I've taken from your lessons before 30% baseline is a great place to go but if we can strive to go deeper that's great but but why do you think 30% is a you know intermediate or a goal place where somebody should start yeah no I the way I tell people is look if you're doing anything over 60% then you really suck what the hell is happening there right because remember a lot of people say no no people came to my site they see one page and they find all the information and if they leave that's fine well my question to them is how did you make money like unless you're running a non-profit entity which I I adore thank you for running nonprofit but as long as you're not already your own profit entity how did you make money the person has to do something right so that you make money so I tell people if it's over sixty percent like there's something majorly wrong you should think about it anything over 40 percent like starts to worry me especially if I'm spending money on campaigns I've been spending money I don't want it for were out of ten people to leave without doing anything that seems criminal but you can't get the bounce rate to zero percent I've had the privilege of analyzing many kinds of websites and some of the websites I've analyzed have very attractive content that is only targeted to certain audiences of a certain age even with that fantastic content you can't get it to zero concern interests level you will always get a certain number of people who will leave right away there just is an effect or they just don't like the page it's okay and so I try to come up with some space so it's like 30 percent see like if you if you get at that that's good enough there are bigger problems for us to worry about and that's how sort of arrived at that number but for the most part what you want to look out for our big outliers like if you have a really high line you should look about it think about it and focus on that or for your campaigns your affiliate campaigns where you spend money your paid search campaigns where you spend money your email marketing campaigns where you're spending money or display campus were spending money the ads that I'm running on social media on Facebook all of the places where you pay you are actually paying money for every single person to come you don't want seven out of ten people to just leave instantly right that's that's insane so you should go fix that okay so so what would be if you were to recommend two or three things that business owners could do to reduce bounce what might those be yeah so I have a post and maybe we can link to it I've like six strategies that I recommend people to focus on then and those those six strategies both work to reduce bounce rate and increase conversion so they are this really cool strategies you can use to do both of those things because you can have a zero percent bounce rate and zero percent conversion actually it's entirely possible in store don't want it exactly that's exactly right so you're not just solving boundaries these two things you want both so one of one of the simplest things to fix is if you're running advertising channels advertising programs a great way to reduce bounce rate is to make sure that your targeting is set correctly so here's a great example the friend in Philadelphia who runs a furniture business and one of his best-selling businesses nightstands a beautiful gorgeous handcraft whatnot and so he started running campaigns on Bing and Google and and like nightstands targeting everything and they noticed that his bounce rate was earning close to 90 percent and he's like no no my stuff is really good and it is good in the website it's kind of decent too even though he's a small medium-sized business right and then we noticed that the way that he set up his campaigns was he was doing a broad match at night nightstands and most of the clicks were coming through by on the keyword query one-night stands mm-hmm it turns out a lot of people nothing to do with us nothing to do with our business of selling night actual nights it's a quick way to fix bugs right you know like negative match the word first no no advertising the word first at or one night you don't want that so so you can reduce bounce rate by making sure campaigns are optimized and you display campaigns make sure you creative is optimized so so and the creative is optimized to be landing on the right page right so so that's the first tip focus on optimizing the targeting options you have if you're if you're selling viagra to 60 plus your old person and God bless you it's totally fine don't target websites and things that are for 20 year old people because they may not have the problem sure same same thing in other businesses too the second way to reduce bounce rate is really spend time optimizing your landing pages it is criminal how how landing pages are so bad I just was looking on my phone for men's after shapes I don't like the one I have right now and so I saw an ad from Gillette and so perfect Gillette after it makes total sense right sorry Old Spice okay make sense totally Old Spice all the social media campaigns oh how awesome okay and so click on the ad on AdWords on my phone and the landing page is about deodorants like wait what the heck was that right did I not say what I want there now how your ads hold up well that is that so fix that right because I bump instantly right right it's the old so I should go fix it right that's silly but also the the call to actions that you have the copy the image and so we have a lot of really great AV testing tools many free some paid that are really great way to improve landing pages that's your second strategy and in the third one I think is is to use your task completion rate survey based analysis to try and really understand why people come to our website and so often times you can't perfectly guess what I want exactly it's kind of hard to get from for a percent of the people but if we understood really well the top three to three reasons people come to our site on our landing page our main copy and everything could be about a core thing that we're selling and we are pimping right but on the left hand side or the right hand side we could say ah we could do some car sales and up sells and then and so what happens is if the we don't match the intent perfectly we have a couple of small on the side gateways they allow people to go deeper and find the thing they actually want what is the thing maybe by mistake we showed up right so there are three quick strategies to go and reduce your bounce rates not a big deal those are really good really good Thank You oh my gosh you know and I remember studying you know about the task completion rate and I'm thinking wow there are so many opportunities we can put that into action and I'm thinking you know as soon as I'm done with this I need to go back and listen to it and capture all of these notes and put those things into action – that's that's really really good okay so if you're if you are a business owner and just trying to to bring clarity to all of this I mean all of these are great recommendations and they might start to you know get overwhelmed what what are the vital metrics you know those those two or three things that they should really really pay attention to bounce rates probably one of them but but what are those things that if they looked at nothing else and just looked at those what would they be I have to tell you that anybody who answers that question is stupid if you ask an expert that question and they answer it that then that's maybe not stupid they're an expert that's astonishingly arrogant I think okay and the reason I say that is because a lot of my belief in practice is that every business is actually unique and so both you and I Stephen could be selling women's underwear and yet our strategy could be dramatically different our target audience could be dramatically different and the way that you and I are running our web business in context of our retail stores as an example could be completely different and so when we ask an expert for the best metrics there were the best metrics I mean the reason that the answer is not very smart is because they have not bothered to sit down for even like 10 minutes and try and understand Stephen what are you really solving for or Avinash what are you really solving for and then let me recommend the metrics that tied to your strategy so that's why I think that that's a very dangerous question to answer without understanding what the business owner is solving for right so so I wanted to give that caveat to be very important so don't don't ask people that right as a business owner the thing that you should strive for it's a can I have like three minutes of your time I'm going to take two and a half minutes of the three minutes with you to tell you what I actually do on the internet what I actually do in the real world and in the last 30 seconds you can tell me what metrics are relevant and I'm telling you if the person the expert is really an expert all they need is 30 seconds but you suspend most of your time telling them what do you actually do what what are your advertising strategies who are the customers you're targeting I can turned around really quickly so I wanted I wanted that that uber thing so I want to be so arrogant to say I in the entire world these three metrics are golden right but in general I say that if you're worried and overwhelmed you should aim to have metrics a key performance indicator for your metric in E in three categories okay three categories so I'm gonna give you some suggestions for those but three categories are very important first how is there a metric one metric I can use to measure the success of my acquisition strategy everything I do to attract people to my business my website and everything that happens before they show up before they show up so here's a great metric for the acquisition strategy your cost for acquisition so you spend a lot of money on advertising you should look at your CPA how much does every click or every person cost it's like a nice metric to use or or the number of new visitors you're able to attract from one of these sources or a whole bunch of them right there are a lot of strategies that you could use for acquisition but you should have one at least one the second one is what what is a KPI that can help you understand the behavior of people on my website once they land but what is happening there is there a metric that can tell me that the bounce rate kind of begins to start that journey right but page depth is a really good one how deep do people get the percent of people who see videos on your website is a great metric because it's a longer commitment they're making to you or the number of people who have visited my website more than five times in the last seven days that's a really great metric it's showing you a certain sense of loyalty right so the second category is behavior the first one's acquisition the third category is outcomes at least have one metric that measures outcomes and that is as a result of this person coming to my site and having a behavior did we get any win-win outcomes did I make any money and were they satisfied we want both we don't want to be selfish lovers right the conversion rate is a great outcomes KPI customer satisfaction is a great outcomes KPI NPS Net Promoter Score is a great outcomes KPI the number of micro conversions is a great KPI for outcomes the average order value is a great KPI number of donations to a non-profit is a great outcomes KPI so there are KPIs that fall in each of these three categories right but as a small business owner as a person who's really busy you should say I'm going to go back to my team and say I want you to recommend to begin with just three KPIs for me one that helps me understand the effectiveness of my acquisition strategy one that helped me understand the acquisition fective nosov my website experience third that helps me understand if there were good outcomes for our website and that process can help you distill down to just the critical for you very quickly that was awesome oh my gosh okay I'm still I'm still actually thinking a little bit about the the funny story that she told me at lunch so where when the reason why I thought that was so relevant is because you know we've got an advertiser who thinks that they're doing really really well and they're spending a lot of money to hopefully do really well and then you talked about YouTube and in how how important putting the right content in not just putting TV content onto YouTube is so share that story yeah for what for what you can't hear on this on this interview yeah so so this is this is a very large one of the largest companies on the planet and I don't use that as a metaphor I mean it really is very big and one of the things I find endlessly fascinating I mean my a lot of my love and focus is in the area of search social and mobile and as a part of social I spent some time on YouTube in my in my day to day job in otherwise but not as much as I do let's say on Google+ or Facebook or Twitter which are I'm more fascinated and Leslie fascinated by in this case once the the data sets I came across is how fascinating it is that if you cluster media consumption by heavy TV viewers and light TV viewers heavy TV viewers are people who watch more than ninety half hours of TV every week seems insane about 45 hours yeah 45 hours every week that's heavy TV viewers there are a lot of them and and the like TV viewers people who watched less than nineteen one nine half hours of TV a week that's about eight and a half hours and but clarified the percentages of US population ever in those categories because I was staggering yeah a vast majority of people fall in heavy which is insane yeah and and the thing that I found is YouTube and digital video YouTube specifically actually in this case way over indexes for like TV viewers it was 69 for the heavy TV viewers and like 120 or so forth light TV viewers oh this is really cool so if as a marketer I'm really interested in an audience then that of like TV viewers where I can't hit up on TV I can find them on YouTube but was more fascinated things blew my mind is that for the 18 to 24 age group YouTube / indexes a hundred and eighty-seven compared to any other age I was astonished the basically the audience in YouTube is 18 to 24 and YouTube has a 79% reach-in their audience TV can only reach 23 percent of the audience it's 220 staggering staggering basically all people watch TV a lot of it people don't watch a lot of TV now TV consumption in America is still very important and we should do a lot of advertising on TV but what that shows is the audience on YouTube is very unique and the opportunity on YouTube in digital video in Vemma in other places there are digital video destinations is not the copy-paste your 30-second spot and shout at people repeatedly just like you do on TV but to do something more unique and so I'll give you a great example of that if you go to the dove the United States channel on YouTube there is a video called camera-shy so what's the video I mean I have two little children right so I particularly was like oh this is this sort of 90 second video of how a lot of women of all ages young old there's never want their picture taken or they obviously shine and they're just covering the face it's such a beautiful video right and it creates this deep human connection but with the length of time and and the ability to be creative and in a way that you can't do on TV because of many restrictions there are lots of creative ads on TV I'm not saying that and yet if you look at doves competitors pick any competitor of dove and go to their YouTube channel it is full of their TV commercials with Hollywood actresses here it is the starring part that video by Dove without any advertising support has 18 million views on YouTube impressive doves competitors videos averaged out at 600 views per video because there is nothing human about it they are doing 1920s TV advertising on YouTube on a medium where people are engaging engaging in depth with breath and the amount of social sharing on that video is astonishingly huge and so this company is doing is on a channel where you can build relationship and how amazing creativity they just shout and that doesn't work in and I think that it implies a lot of change to marketing today in most consumer product goods companies dove is one of them a lot of people are employed in advertise in their roles to shout at people like because all the mediums that have worked for the last 80 years all they could allow you to do is shout shout on radio a shot on magazine shot on TV and by the way a lot of it still works but we're living in a world where all this is flipping and if you want to connect with the law with the most favorable audience you have the 18 to 24 they're not on TV they're on YouTube they're on the internet right and and when you think of that shift think about also leaving behind your hangups leaving behind the things that might have made you successful for the last 80 years but for the next eight years in less than eight years you're going to die if you don't give up on those hangups it will mean that your company will lose the opportunity to tons of more agile and nimble competitors who don't have an 80 year old heck up well I mean what I took out of that conversation at lunch too was you know if you're gonna be on YouTube produce content for YouTube and I think that's what you're what you're saying because the impact could be so much more beneficial is the Dove example yes versus just putting broadcast TV exactly under that channel or extend your discussions method makes soap why all my examples of CPG today but then find other ones too but method makes oh I love the soap it's very expensive so for no reason the bottle is just pretty yeah I pay more money to seems idiotic but I do right and some method runs mom TV commercials right some very small it's a small company but what they do is even if they have a TV commercial they will have a lot of webisodes that extend the discussion so the so you make a connection on TV and you build a relationship in YouTube it's a very big difference these two words connections to relationships and again it is we're in our discussion today we're using YouTube as a proxy for how the requires a fundamental change and so if you don't like you to be could use Vimeo great website right doesn't matter but it's that this this subtle but important difference between connections and relationships applies to the web it applies to Facebook it applies to Twitter and and you as a company have to think about what you can do to reimagine the implications between these this shift and if you do you'll be fine if not no amount of data in predictiveness can save you okay so if you're a business owner and you're watching this and you're getting all this great stuff you're thinking I don't have time to do this I should just give this to my marketing team or I should give it to somebody an IT why should business owners and maybe this seems like a really obvious answer to me in you but I would really like to hear your take on this because I get the pushback I'm sure that you do too when meeting with you know executives and so forth why should I be plugged into this instead of just giving it to somebody on my team it's because if you care about it and you understand it and perhaps by coming to predictive out of my life but then you will be rich if you just dump it on somebody else laughs you will be poor and that should be incentive enough right and I see this for this reason the biggest change in behavior I did a keynote and this person came up and asked me a very hard question was this fabulous keynote but as the CEO of this multinational corporation if there is just one thing I could do to drive all this change what would it be that's like the one question is haha I just finished telling him 12 things yesterday how do i big wine like which one of my children I'd sacrifice but but you know thinking of my feet trying to come up with something smart because the audience was really great I actually said to him that if there is only one thing I would have him change I would change the inside if structure inside the company I would change the way people's bonuses are computed because in this company the bonuses haven't been digitized the bonuses are still running on newspaper TV magazine mental models and so what does what happens well they do that there is no incentive to actually try cool radical things and behave better now why is it that those incentives are not there it was insensitive not there because the senior-most leadership in the company cannot imagine the possibilities that exist and I did this keynote and in which I like really wonderful Prince of and brass you know him to is he is he put it in his book and in this this whole of my speech about the web should be in your blood right and in the whole and that's the reason that I think senior leaders in companies should understand this at a deep level because if it's not like inside you I got a DNA level you don't understand the incredible number of amazing possibilities if you can't even think about them nobody else is going to do them but if you have the capacity to imagine then you can create the right incentives and then give it to your marketing team you you have smart people they can go do everything but if you can't imagine the possibilities you have no idea how to think about them and you will never incentivize them to do those things and then you will continue to be stupid and get stupider with every passing year that's why a senior leader should care this this is amazing I mean packed full of really great stuff I mean yeah really really good thank you yeah fantastic but this is why I'm so excited for you to be out live because of these great insights really really good stuff no I'm very excited and honored to be asked to be a part of the event they have a great lineup that is fabulous a my good friend Gary will be there he's always awesome and entertaining and we've done so many conferences together and yeah people are going to be excited with the agenda we have my goal very much is to bring a mix of sort of the things that we've heard in our discussion like many III I've written two best-selling books on analytics and data and yet I hope people feel that I am NOT obsessed about data I'm obsessed about creating amazing incredible consumer experiences and creating businesses that make a lot of money making money is good somebody said that right so it'll be a mix of this the things that I I hope the audience can look forward to is is this mix of business strategy and marketing tactics underneath it with this foundation of data one of the cool things about the web I am one of my most favorite retweeted tweets of mine has been you know God created the internet so we could fail faster and that's what we're gonna do like we're gonna give out a whole bunch of ideas that you can fail quickly at so you can learn what you're really good at and it's very hard to do in other platforms but that is what the internet is good at and hopefully our audience will find that to be a lot of value thanks for your time today we're gonna put some more free resources and tools at predictive of ROI live slash Avinash I said that wrong predictive ROI slashing yes so they can get more of this great interview and thanks very much for your time your hospitality today great thank you

21 thoughts on “Interview with Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google

  1. Makes me sad that the landing page for predictiveroilive is so sad looking and basic. The end of the video made it seems as though we might be able to find more of the interview on the website.. Can't really tell immediately where I'd find that.

  2. Wow! Avinash Kaushik seems like an amazing person that I would love to meet one day. His passion is so inspiring and the way he put his points had me rolling with laughter. I love that example he used where he painted the picture that they both sold women's under wear online.

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  6. this guy is a genius at digital marketing…I see so much experience and wisdom oozing out of this video. thanks for sharing

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