digital transformation KPIs: myths and meaning

This week I spoke at the NCVO Trustee conference in a session on digital transformation, with my particular bit being on the practical angle of measurement. It was a great session with talks from Megan Griffith GrayPatrick Nash and Kay Boycott highlighting the need to view digital transformation not as a subset of Comms, and not as “Digital”, but instead as Service Transformation.

My favourite bits included when Kay challenged the audience of Trustees to educate themselves and stop dismissing digital strategy as something they can delegate purely to junior staff. Seeing Patrick highlight the proven 70% – 80% savings possible in using technology to support delivery of services also made it to my highlights.

When it came to talking about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), we asked the audience of around 40 to raise their hand if they were exposed to their digital KPIs as trustees. Sadly an awkward absence of raised hands followed. It’s not often I’m left that speechless…

Moving quickly on, I spoke on a few myths and meaningful factors to be aware of. Here’s the top-line points:


  • Big numbers matter
    • In their own right big numbers are misleading, having lots of traffic or social media followers means nothing if people are not actively engaging and doing things that contribute to your charity goals.
  • Improved results are always good
    • Seasonality and external environmental factors could be causing peaks which have nothing to do with any actions your charity has taken. While this improvement might be beneficial, it isn’t always an indicator you’re doing more things right.
  • Digital needs its own KPIs
    • Everyone owns the performance, not just the digital team. Equally digital should be woven through all you do as we live in a country where digital is embedded in our lives. Measures should no longer sit in a silo and be the interest of the few ‘experts’.


  • Outcome driven
    • Start with understanding your audiences and what will genuinely impact them and your related charity goals. Measures like ‘opportunities to see’, ‘page views’ and ‘impressions’ mean nothing unless you can prove impact within or for your target audiences and mission.
  • People and culture
    • Building capabilities within your team is critical, you can’t assume younger workforces automatically have workplace appropriate digital skills. Taking a phone call personally doesn’t directly translate to what works professionally, this is the same with digital skills. Baselining and monitoring skills and personal development is key to encouraging and supporting digital transformation.
  • Shifts
    • What you really need to pay attention to is shifts, and aim to track this over time. Benchmarking your results and spend against the external environment will help you understand performance and whether you might be lagging behind. Using stats like the Ofcom Communications Market Reports can help define whether you should be investing in other areas based on consumer behaviour.

The session ended with a quick Q&A which exposed enthusiasm but a shared concern about getting the right help and resources. Personally I feel its too easy to use these challenges as excuses to brush aside change as unobtainable, but I’m hopeful this room of Trustee’s will start to change things.

digital analytics reminders from measurecamp

MeasurecampThis weekend I spent Saturday immersed in data and analytics at Measurecamp. I love a good unconference and this definitely is up there, brilliantly organised and lots of brain stretch, and of course I can’t not mention the free t-shirt and laser pointer.

I’m a complete advocate and enthusiast about the power of data and testing. So much so I made the business case, won the budget, and recruited a digital analyst in all of my last three workplaces. Plus an analyst role is on the cards for my current team at Raising IT too.

There’s a huge amount of material generated from the event that I won’t try to replicate here. But I thought what might be useful is a few of the top-line reminders I took away:

  • Testing has lots of trip ups and myths.
    • For long purchase / supporter journeys they may have made their mind up before you even started your test.
    • It’s possible to test a gazillion things, but really you should only test the things you can actively influence and change.
    • You shouldn’t necessarily use all the results to judge a test, any ‘whales’ (outliers) should be removed to avoid skewing the conclusion.
    • Traditional models assume the environment hasn’t changed. You need an agile analytics approach where there is change to factor in.
  • Tools for digital analysis have converged to greater or lesser extent.
    • Google analytics is very powerful these days and what most people are using. I heard only a mere mention of a couple of other providers throughout the day.
    • Tracking inbound phone call sources can be made easier through Twilio or Calltracks (and probably others).
  • Integrating tracking in your CMS is still a bit technical and time-consuming.
    • There’s so many intricacies with integrating analytics correctly that it kept coming up again and again. A few of the people I spoke to were frustrated that they spent more of their time on implementation of tracking than the analysis of the data.
  • Key performance indicators need buy-in,actual evidence is not enough.
    • You should only publish clear actionable results that people are actively bought into viewing.  This take out reminded me of test I did while at one of my organisations. They insisted we printed the whole of the monthly web stats and display them on the notice board … it took a whole three months before anyone returned the ‘claim a prize if you spot this’ slip!
  • Attribution models still need expert judgement.
    • Last click / first click / weighted or something else, you still need to make a judgement as there’s no clear-cut way to decide what’s best for your activity. Try it and shape it through use.

The night before barcampnfp

barcampnfp Oct 2012I’ve been involved in barcampnfp for about a year and a half now, once as a helper and twice as the London lead organiser. Every time I learn something new, or more accurately, lots of new things.

There’s something special about an unconference format which means you learn something every time no matter whether you’re a newbie or old hand. Often it’s something I didn’t even know I wasn’t aware of. That’s why I’m really excited about tomorrow, not for what I know is going to happen but what I don’t know.

We’ve got some brilliant people on the participants list and lots of plotting of ideas for sessions already happening on the hashtag.

Watch this space #barcampnfp and hopefully our live notes will work too:

what’s in a hashtag?

This week I talked at #gagldn about the UNICEF #sahelNOW campaign we did earlier this year. It was an intense period where we worked hard to ‘do the basics brilliantly’ and break the media quietness around the emerging crisis in West Africa. Here’s the slides. Happy to answer questions, drop me a comment!

p.s. we all agreed you can’t do a campaign just based on a hashtag!

barcamp non-profits october 2012

Last week was the second London Barcampnfp. As one of the co-organisers I don’t want to say too much as a few of our lovely participants have already done a much better job than I would:

[I’ll keep adding to this list as new posts appear]

My key take-out is; get the right people together and wonderful ideas are inevitable. But we need even more people, including more non-charity people as well next time!

So please spread the word, February 2013 here we come…

digital stats – integration’s worse enemy

I love digital analytics, but the perceived concreteness can lead to some tricky situations…

Unless you’re only using one channel to showcase your brand (if you are I’m intrigued to hear why!?) your audience is almost certainly seeing you in more than one place. This creates a challenge for Google Analytics and other similar tools. While its easy to generate ‘last-touch’ reporting this doesn’t give you a true sense of why someone responded.

We talk a lot about this at work. We were quite aware during our East Africa emergency activity that integrated channels and messages perform best.

So we’ve been building up our understanding of multi-touch attribution, including using tools like Ignition One. But this doesn’t help if/when you include offline in your media mix. You still can’t fully understand what the impact of the full mix is.

The tricky situation this puts you in is particularly relevant if you’re still trying to build the business case for integrating digital. Individuals can interpret last-touch reporting in terms of ROI (return on investment) on a purely channel by channel basis. This can mean investment is skewed, and integration completely overlooked.

Unless you invest in regular market research studies I’m not sure there’s a real-time answer (until we all get micro-chipped!). So next step for us will probably be considering what ‘closest guess based on historic data’ models we can devise and use.

Where are you with your attribution models? Be great to compare notes!

digital marketing optimisation event notes

Notes from Brand Republic event 17 April 2012

  1. Digital strategy
  2. Share
    “Digital marketing is just marketing” #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:31:14
  3. Share
    Understand people’s lives if you want to understand how your brand fits in #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:36:50
  4. Share
    We can’t treat the online world and the real world as seperate – J Gatward, Britvic #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:53:22
  5. Share
    Use 1-9-90 influence model. 1 really strong endorsers get them to influence 9 others and make those 9s feels like 1s #digitaloptimisation

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:46:23
  6. Share
    Once you have the 9s you probably have the 90s #digitaloptimisation

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:46:41
  7. Share
    Jonathan Gatward, Britvic UK: create hackable content for your brand #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 05:06:54
  8. Share

    I like this one a lot ‘you have to embrace complexity, it’s actual not complex anymore’ #digitaloptimisation

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:57:25
  9. Share
    One of the final takeouts – don’t forget to do internal marketing as well as external. It’s important for buy-in #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 12:13:30
  10. Share
    “Digital marketing works. But it will never work on its own” Jacqui O’Beirne @DogsTrust #DMOevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 12:48:25
  11. Campaign examples
  12. Share
    With competitor as event ‘owner’ for Olympics, Britvic goal to own the legacy instead with ‘transform your patch’ #digitaloptimisation

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:38:00
  13. Share
    Partners needed to take digital promises into the real world #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:59:50
  14. Share
    Pepsi Super Bowl saw over half of the adverts were ‘shazamable’ with shazam tv app #digitaloptimisation cc @willlord

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 04:56:08
  15. Share
    Debenhams beta with content network audience retargeted using tracking on brand site, 1month 3k sales #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 05:21:11
  16. Share
    MediaCom rep in audience says ‘t in the park’ press ad with aurasma worked really well due to video rich content link #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:26:11
  17. Share
    Aurasma – results very small but can get very good PR (Debenhams experience) #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:28:14
  18.            EA campaign…
  19. Share
    Waterloo takeover by battlefield 3: 17 sites, some posters started to get stolen. That’s a great KPI!! #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:20:20
  20. Share

    Example poster from the campaign #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:25:53
  21. Share
    4k downloads from QR code, Wifi (90% of downloads) NFC in the 2 week campaign #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:24:06
  22. Share
    Over 9k interactions, over 900 email addresses collected from an interactive digital 6sheet display in cinemas #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:29:18
  23. Share
    Digital out of home learnings – wifi 92% of interactions and consumers still getting used to the approach #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:30:53
  24. Search – PPC & SEO
  25. Share
    86% using mobile search while watching TV, debenhams see peak for apps around 10pm. Parts of day strategy important #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 05:25:11
  26. Share

    Debenhams using hydra platform to integrate PPC and SEO activity, but only a week in at mo #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 05:34:28
  27. Share
    J Stephenson, Debenhams. Paid Search Mob Stgy: separate mob campaigns on tablets and mobiles for more control and better targeting #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 05:36:19
  28. Email
  29. Share
    When and whe emails are checked makes a big difference – optimise for this #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 05:48:54
  30. Share
    Progressive disclosure using CSS to include expandable areas in emails can help – works on most devices #dmoevent cc @teminamoledina

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 05:50:14
  31. Share
    Open rate significantly improved by using social info in subject line eg ‘share with your 123 friends’ #dmoevent cc @teminamoledina

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:02:08
  32. Share
    Optimise for snippets- gmail and outlook summary that appears before open. Use gif with alt being tagline #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:03:24
  33. Share
    Segment by most responsive and target them with a social campaign to help optimise a launch #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:04:51
  34. Share
    You can download the @BrandRepublic event slides by @marcmunier on email marketing here – #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 07:08:51
  35. Mobile
  36. Share
    #dmoevent More mobile Internet than desktop Internet by end 2013

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:32:36
  37. Share
    “Mobile technology changes so fast. Be aware, but check whether it is relevant to you” @bansahaUK #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:11:34
  38. Share
    80% of ftse100 companies do not have mobile sites & 65% fail to use device detection #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:35:19
  39. Share
    Get that @magusblog report about FTSE 100 mobile websites here:… #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:44:27
  40. Share
    “Companies that optimise their mobile sites outperform those that don’t by 80pc” Tom Golden Magus #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:33:07
  41. Share
    Responsive web design not widely adopted at all – tech challenges still a barrier at mo but this does seem to be the future #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:43:16
  42. Share

    Most #mobile sites are full of #usability errors #dmoevent #ux

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:35:48
  43. Share
    BMI baby being taken to court by @RNIB for #mobile website lack of #accessibility #dmoevent #ux

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:40:18
  44. Social media and insights
  45. Share
    We’re speaking after lunch at #dmoevent on turning social data into social insight. Find out more about our thinking: (

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 07:50:35
  46. Share
    Value in social media is in the insights it gives into customers thinking #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 09:54:21
  47. Share

    When you make a promise always deliver on it. The effect of not is amplified through social like BA eg #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 09:59:47
  48. Share
    Pre-TV buzz is created by a digital debut – and TV debut is amplified by this #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 09:56:42
  49. Share

    RT @spirals: Sum up – use insight to plan, optimise, create .. #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:14:04
  50. Video
  51. Share
    Not about keeping people in a single environment anymore. It’s about streamlining the experience for the user #dmoevent #ux

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:46:51
  52. Share
    Successful video strategy is based on views, consumer engagement, and finding your video dubbed into Russian! #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:38:19
  53. Share
    Exclusive video content might be all you need to make an audience feel valued #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:53:15
  54. And just for the heck of it – a few comments from the twittersphere…
  55. Share
    @ActonPies @brandrepublic seems it went well – liking the skysports twitch pick up #DMOevent #PWNEDonwardsandupwards

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 14:03:07
  56. Share
    So I think that went alright – lot of fun. Thank for having me @BrandRepublic #DMOevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 11:09:00
  57. Share
    @ActonPies great energy presentation at @brandrepublic #dmoevent really enjoyed it!

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 12:30:49
  58. Share
    @actionpies fantastic presentation. Really enjoyed. Well done #DMOevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:59:07
  59. Share
    Seeing nothing but positive comments for @marcmunier ‘s presentation at the #dmoevent – nice work! @pure360 #emailmarketing

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 06:15:51
  60. Share
    Lovin some of the comedy pic slides @marcmunier #DMOevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 05:53:56
  61. Share
    At the Digital Marketing Optimisation event in London. Some interesting insights into digital and it’s future #DMOevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 07:06:17
  62. Share
    Disappointed that interactive fridges are not the future 😦 #dmoevent

    Tue, Apr 17 2012 11:48:08

the challenge of digital in flux

Recently I met a few colleagues from UNICEF offices all around the world to share experiences and build working relationships. The conversations flowed thick and fast so I’m sure I’ll be drawing on them for blog posts over the coming weeks.

One of the most fascinating things for me was how similar the challenges digital specialists are experiencing.

No matter where the person I spoke with came from, digital appeared to be in a state of flux with confused governance. Digital teams being seen as service delivery and often struggling to get a voice in strategy. And where digital channels are delivering ROI already there were more difficulties in influencing strategically unless someone on the Senior team really understood the future potential beyond the current ROI.

What intrigues me is whether this is just the pattern you see with any media change. You could probably replace the subject in most of these sentences and agree the paragraph still applies. So I’ve been trying to think back to the introduction of the printing press…

I think the key differentiator is where the change stems from. Many have already written that the centre of control is now people powered and organisation structures which are traditionally hierarchical are at odds with this.

This doesn’t explain the lack of understanding of the fact that pinning all your digital activity on an immediate ROI means you’re missing the full potential. I almost (almost almost) think the measurability of digital is its own worst enemy. Printed marketing wasn’t measurable from the start and so brands had to take a risk. With digital being more measurable from the start the line was drawn in a different place.

The pace of change in digital is also a challenge to articulating the potential – some organisations must now have around 10 years worth of web stats but they’ll illustrate the change in digital adoption more than any change in the audience relationship with the brand.

With all my pondering I’m not sure that print didn’t go through the same cycle of change. It’s just the fit with organisation structure was better so it didn’t feel so disruptive.

One final thought… Printing has an ‘end product’ but that stage is just the beginning with digital.

social media week 2012 – my take outs

Social Media Week logoThis is the first year I’ve actually managed to attend some social media week events in person. I even co-organised one too (Barcampnfp here’s my earlier blog post). I’ve got a few ideas for future posts and discussions but here are a few key take-outs rattling around in my brain.

Strategy & management

  1. Global organisations (all?) face challenges around Local Vs Global knowledge and leadership.
  2. Having a global resource to ‘mine’ and share any locally created assets is a valuable investment.
  3. Local teams should be trusted to understand their market, global teams should not dictate an approach.
  4. Be brilliant at the basics.
  5. Digital ownership challenges still exist. Digital intersects with many areas but specialists don’t always get the appropriate level of input or influence.
  6. ‘Social Media’ is a fad, it will just be a normal communication method soon. Think ‘make your media social’ instead.
  7. Open data is something the charity sector needs to explore, it could save money and increase impact.

Engagement in social media

  1. It’s easier to ‘ride a meme‘ than to create one.
  2. Don’t think about campaigns, think about relationships.
  3. Quality over quantity counts with influencer engagement; niche and upcoming Vs broad and established – choose wisely.
  4. Global org’s see significant difference in engagement style and tactics by market.
  5. For games – Females want to collaborate, Males want to compete.
  6. Human behaviour hasn’t changed, just expectations and the medium.

Stats and measurement

  1. Telemarketing wasn’t measurable when it started. Social media is already more measurable relative to its age.
  2. 95% of facebook traffic is to the news feed, only 5% of people return to a brand page after their first ‘like’.
  3. Sponsorship pages that are connected to facebook get higher conversion, 40% Vs 7%.
  4. Justgiving see £6 return for each facebook share.

Please feel free to add your amends, key take-outs or thoughts in the comments 🙂

reducing your bounce rate

This week I was pleasantly surprised by an old blog post on charity bounce rates getting picked up. It sparked a conversation with @charitychap and @LondonKirsty about reducing your website bounce rate that I thought worth elaborating on.

Having assumed a view on average bounce rate for charity websites from my old post. We all agreed the key challenge is that measuring your bounce rate might be easy (and is critical) but it’s harder to know how to reduce it apart from following the generic tips out there. The conversation got me thinking about the analysis we started to consider in my last job.

We got to the stage of considering how best to segment our view of bounce rate. This came from the recognition that taking a site wide view of bounce rate might work for some websites which have a single purpose, but many charity websites have multiple purposes and so a single view isn’t good enough.

This means a good definition of your key audience groups and their goals is very important. Along with recognising that goals may vary by personal circumstance and time of year. For example, for health charities there is a clear ‘patient pathway’ view that can be taken – from diagnosis, through treatment, to recovery, and often to maintenance.

But how exactly can you take a segmented audience view of bounce rate without requiring all of your users to be logged in or personally identifiable? Well – we didn’t find a concrete answer to this. But here are some ideas:

  • Use your content as an approximation of the audience; look at bounce rate by section rather than site wide and make assumptions about the audience consuming that particular section and how you might cross-sell or up-sell to that group.
  • Use the traffic referral source as an approximation of the audience; look at bounce rate segmented by traffic source and see where you can make assumptions about the audience based on this eg those from BBC Vs The Sun, Google Vs Bing are different demographics.
  • Segment those that don’t bounce from those that do; these are two high level segments that could shed some light on things when looked at within a content section.

Finally, of course, the best way to reduce bounce rate is to test, test and test again. I’m not sure enough testing of the ‘bread-and-butter’ online activity happens in charities. But the surest way to find out what improves your bounce rate is to test variations and find the winning combination until you start to spot potential to improve further.