Cohort Analysis - Big Deal!!

Check out these two interesting/amusing posts: “Cohort Analysis – Measuring engagement over time” and “Measuring engagement over time”.

If I’m getting it right, “engagement” IS what happens over time, so, “measuring engagement over time” is sort of superfluous because “over time” is part of the definition of “engagement” itself. There’s no other way of measuring engagement; at least the engagement that translates into business value.

Check these snippets from the first link:
“One reason why the cohort analysis is valuable is because it helps to separate growth metrics from engagement metrics. “
“This is important because growth can easily mask engagement problems.”
“In reality, however, it may be that people stop being engaged after a couple of weeks on the service. “


Looks like another case of UX/WA folks discovering something that Direct/Database marketing people have known for decadesJ

If you found those posts on “cohort analysis” interesting and useful, do yourself a favour and read the bible on this topic - it’s here (Framework for Engagement & Measuring Engagement Series) and send a "thank you" note to Jim

What’s wrong with social shopping? Part-II

Part-1 is here. So, I had a first hand experience with an Indian clone of Groupon recently. Received a whopping 50% off at a new restaurant but the entire experience was like one of those end-of-season sale where you get 80% off on all items except the ones that are really worth buying!!

I’m not sure how it’s being done in other countries but I think the businesses that use Groupon-like service should understand the difference between using it as a marketing channel and/or as a sales channel. If you just want to get rid of your old/useless inventory, then maybe Groupons are not the right vehicles. I was under the impression that you’d use Groupons (as a marketing vehicle) to introduce your best stuff to people (who otherwise may not have walked into your store); with the belief that, they’d get impressed with you and will become regular/loyal customers. I bet your not making any profit when you offer 70% off, so, you do really need people to come back. Isn’t that the whole point?

Well, I don’t think that’s happening.  

Media Weight & Engagement

Why did nobody talk about engagement in the 70s and 80s? Agreed, the media is more participatory today and maybe people seek engagement. But is that all? I think the lack of weight in emerging digital media is an equally important reason for the increasing importance of "engagement" in marketing. The weight of non-linear media like web comes nowhere close to what TV and print had. Marketers cannot capture people’s mindshare using the old media model on digital media – most display ads don’t work; at least not for branding and awareness purposes.

I wouldn't be surprised if somebody told me that this entire idea of "engagement" was created by some smart marketer to hack the weight problem with web!!  If I can’t force people to pay attention to my ads on the internet, let’s find a work-around – let’s engage themJ. let's use "engagement" to add weight to the web media, so that it can at least strive to become as effective as TV and prints were…during the ice age.

However, engagement through ads on web is probably not going to work. Jim makes an interesting point here (Online, the Web Site is the Ad) on why display ad banners on web can never be like TV or print ads; they are just navigational elements; the real ad is the destination (your website, micro-site or FB page). That’s the place where you should pay most attention. How you manage and measure the digital properties you own decides how effective your marketing/enagement is going to be…buying display ad banners is just a small piece of the bigger puzzle.

Read more about it on Jim’s blog and wikipedia: