After completing the Search and Social Media Marketing course late last year I got involved in the Analysis Exchange – a free initiative to connect non-profit projects with SEO analyst experts and students.
Via the project I work on – Plings (about Places to Go and Things to Do for kids) – I was lucky enough to work with Tom Betts, Head of web analytics at FT.com.
Along with Stewart, our Analysis Exchange student, we really benefited from some great insight and compelling actions to implement. So, with this in mind, I asked Tom a few questions for the Search and Social Media Marketing course blog:
“I am responsible for the use of data to make decisions at FT.com. Unlike many businesses, online is our entire business at FT.com, meaning that we provide services to a wide internal client-base. My team and I get stuck in to analytics projects for:
…and the list goes on.
It is an extremely diverse role which spans everything from just telling people what is happening on site, what is performing well / not so well, to developing analytical models to predict future behaviour (what topics of content interest people who go on to subscribe?) and measuring the ROI of search engine marketing spend. Our executive team are heavily reliant on our insights to make product changes.”
“I already manage an analytics team but wanted to see how I could help a wider selection of students to move their analytics skills up a level. As an industry, web analytics is a little bit chicken-and-egg. There seem to be endless roles for analysts, but only for people with relevant experience. It’s tough to gain that experience and Analysis Exchange is the best way I know of to obtain experience with real data on real-life projects.
Additionally, I spend most of my day thinking of the best way to use analytics for profit and felt I wanted to help some non-profit making organisations.”
“Being on top of student and organiser to ensure that we were sticking to time and scope. I tried to tie the scope down as much as possible from the outset since the single largest reason I see projects delivering late is due to scope creep.”
“I have two for this:
“Find some real data and get stuck in! The Analysis Exchange is a great place to start and some experience there would land you in good stead for any digital marketing, SEO or analytics role.
Tom will also be speaking at the forthcoming SAScon 2011 conference in Manchester.