Web Analytics and Marketing Attribution Reporting

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New Member
Masternode Owner/Operator
Apr 8, 2015
Long time Dash/MN Owner, first time really posting or doing a budget proposal.

Problem I am looking to solve is around web analytics and attribution. We have spent a considerable amount of funds on campaigning and this is great. The next stage would be to make this more efficient and start working on more specific goals. As we move toward Evolution, we should start behaving like a web platform in regards to user acquisition, conversions, and behaviour.

My background is in data architecture, governance, and web analytics. I've been doing this for 17 years for 3 different large companies (Clear Channel Communications, Tribune, and Shutterstock). We have been issued patents on a number of our designs for Clear Channel and Tribune and this is also something we could also discuss if we come across something that we should look to patent for the Dash Organization.

My proposal is to pull a team together that I have worked with in the past (Business Analyst, Developer, Architect (myself), and Business Lead) and to make at least 2 trips to physically meet with the Dash team and understand the direction the technology is going and how we can best support that need. We will then put together a requirement document and estimate on how to build out that need, and last thing will be a proof of concept developed to demonstrate the outcomes.

For some of you that are not familiar with how various advertising platforms work, they typically involve some method to tie back that an action occurred. This is what websites have all those pixels and cookies loaded for a bunch of sites not associated with the one you are on. What they allow you to do is optimize advertising campaigns to better target segments for higher returns since you can track which ads are working and what the outcomes are. The other method to sync between systems is to use something like Google Analytics with a direct connection to Double Click Search. This allows the 2 systems to communicate without pixels through a backend API connection. These are just two small examples of how to track marketing campaigns.

The other items are acquisition channels outside of paid marketing. Things like Organic Search, Referral, Social, and Direct. Setting up the identifiers for these and a standard (UTM Tagging) is key to understand how each channel is performing. With Dash, we have so many sites, news, affiliates, etc. Understanding the part each plays will help discover their value.

Tag management software is also typically used. This can be setup to allow all our affiliates to just load the container and put rules around how/where the data should stored and available so that we can best leverage reusability and standards.

While I would love to say I have the perfect "package" and roadmap to get us there. This is just not possible. With each company there are specific needs and requirements which dictate the products used and how they should be deployed. For example, with privacy being key. We would never want ANY 3rd party to be able to see code running on the page or what is entered by the user. There are design considerations to accomplish this and with proper guidelines, it is not difficult.

Looking for 250 Dash. This will be for 4 people [3 months].

Some cool stuff I've done with data in the past utilizing the members on this proposed team:

Tribune (Publishing (Tronc) and Tribune Media)
http://digitaluniverse.tribunemedia.com/ : This was a flashy UI on data that we were already collecting but when everything is sitting in a database and being used programmatically to do other functions, people just don't understand. This dataset powered personalization, automatic curation of content, categorization, and distribution of content based on ROI. Here is a video explanation of the system too. (https://www.dropbox.com/s/5r3zcyr63c5nxpc/DigitalFuture.mp4?dl=0)

With Shutterstock, the goal was very different. They are strictly eCommerce. Goal is to bring users to the site (acquisition channel), sign them up (Goal), and get the to purchase something (conversion), and lastly to download (goal #2). Various other metrics would play part of this which would be considered KPIs (like Search). SSTK receives over a billion interactions each month so governing these behaviors across 14+ tech stacks / products / development teams requires solid documentation and process. Rather than do the development work directly on each of the platforms like I've done in the past. This role was to define the design and govern how data gets recorded and standardize that so the company can be viewed as a whole. They had a tremendous marketing budget so any efficiencies there means major improvements to the bottom line.

The mixture of the companies above should provide a sold plan for the future of Dash. I understand that we have some marketing agencies selected and this would assist those efforts and not replace anything that I have seen to date. I would also prefer to make all the data we collect available to all dash.org users. They should all be able to explore the data and see how things are progressing. This will also allow us to better understand and put a value to marketing proposals and affiliate sites.

Thanks all!
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New Member
Masternode Owner/Operator
Jun 17, 2017
I like it. With all of the funding going towards marketing/advertising, this seems like a logical step to take. Would be great to know what's working and what's not.