In which Mack Web shoots for the moon and and hopefully lands among the stars (since we’re pretty sure the moon is dusty and barren and impact would be both painful and messy)
Let’s just be clear up front: we think we’re pretty great.
We’re proud of the work that Mack Web does, we’re proud of the growth and knowing-stuff-ness that have centered on our community building goals of the last few years. We’ve made tons of new friends, published an Arthur, been invited to some nifty conferences, told a lot (a lot) of llama jokes, and discovered/developed/adopted/hybridized/stumbled-accidentally-over-in-the-night our beloved ‘Goals Not Tools’ approach to web marketing and brand building.
That’s some good stuff.
But you know what else was some good stuff? Uniting all of Britain under one benevolent rule and establishing a prosperous meritocracy of virtue, chivalry, and the rule of law.
But did Knights of the Round Table stop with Camelot?
No. No, they did not. They set out on a new holy mission rather than resting on their laurels.
(Or so Monty Python would have us believe, anyway).
How could we, the noble denizens of Mack Web, do any less?
And so begins our great journey of 2014 and beyond: The Quest for Quanlitative Measurement! (Trumpet fanfare, please).
(Curious? Be patient. You’re going to be hearing that fanfare a lot this year).
In which Mack Web makes up a word and undertakes a vital task
Do not adjust your screens: you are seeing that word correctly: Quanlitative.
We made it up because there wasn’t a single word that adequately described what our deep thinking and praiseworthy insight identified as the principal challenge we (as a company and an industry) are currently facing: proving the value of what we do.
These are common dilemmas for the circles in which we run: how to demonstrate the ROI for social media and this community building stuff, how to get buy-in from the C-Suite, tracking the indirect connections between online campaigns, offline campaigns, and legitimate leads. And so forth. You get the picture.
Lots of people are taking a crack at this in their own ways and we are definitely borrowing inspiration and sitting on the shoulders of giants and the like. But – as far as we can tell – nobody has gotten it quite right yet.
Which leads to our grand adventure and the birth of a brand new word.
As we framed it for ourselves, what we’d like to solve is this: how do you wholly and adequately marry quantitative measurements (number of sales or leads, volume of downloads, increase in signups, etc.) and qualitative measurements (brand reach and awareness, follower vitality, thought leadership, and all that stuff)?
So that’s what we’re going to try to do.
And to kick it off, we decided we needed the right term for it. It wasn’t hard for our own ingenious Mack Fogelson to portmanteau it up. (Hey, if the paparazzi can do it, so can we. Brangelina, anyone?)
So let it be written. So let it be done.
In which Mack Web reveals their deepest hopes and fears (appreciate this moment of vulnerability, please)
We’ve got our sights set slightly lower than the Chalice of Christ and its consequent immortality (but really only slightly).
What we hope to have in hand, at the end of all the questing and dragon-slaying and sage-seeking and trail-blazing and trap-evading and riddle-decoding, is this: a method of measurement that puts the integrated back into integrated marketing. After all, if we’re pulling in all the channels and trying to accomplish both intermediate and company-wide goals, we need to be able to measure and report that in a quanlitative manner. If it just so happens to be fully scalable, aesthetically pleasing, and both convincing and comprehensible to the layperson/C-suite type audience? Well, won’t we be happy little clams? (That’s the Grail).
That’s what we hope to find/create. But here’s what we actually want, the big party when the triumphant questers return home: more trust from our clients. We want to be able to quench that ever-present uncertainty, to prove that our methods have value and thereby gain a little breathing room to try new things, to get off the defensive and go on the offensive. (That’s the Immortality).
We’re not so naive to think it’s going to be easy. There’s a reason nobody’s quite nailed this down yet.
Neither do we think we’re going to hit the mark in just a year. It takes time to summit Everest. For 2014, we’re just aiming to get out of Kathmandu to the Base Camp.
We’re going to take it one challenge at a time.
In which Mack Web unveils some of the expected milestones of the journey
Though this is our first formal Quest fanfare, we’ve already started laying in the groundwork. We’ve been spending some quality time with Avinash Kaushik’s now-famous See, Think, Do framework.
Plus our own Mack gave her first talk of the year at SearchFest 2014 on integrated marketing KPIs (specifically in relation to video) that’s going to give you some hints on our starting point.
(Like this one: it’s not really integrated marketing if you don’t look at both the individual channels and what they come together to form. ‘Cuz that’s kinda the definition of integrated. Dictionaries are a always a good point of origin).
Along the way, we expect to be picking up knowledge on a lot of subjects including (but most assuredly NOT limited to):
- All sorts of analytics
There’s Google Analytics and there are all kinds of social analytics and then there’s the offline stuff that’s even.more.difficult.to measure, but by golly, by gum, we’re going to tap into whatever it takes to get the job done.
- Psychology of the C-Suite types
We’re going to be getting up close and personal with the Myer Briggs DISC personality model, probably. Good times.
- Automating for scalability
‘Cuz if these reports each take 70 bajillion (wo)man-hours to put together? Dude, we quit. Let’s go home and eat Red Vines.
- Learning to learn from ourselves
We’re working on getting better at identifying our blindspots and spotting opportunities for growth.
- And undoubtedly much, much more
Every accomplishment will be communicated on our blog for your viewing pleasure and lauded with gifts and gold stars and probably chocolate.
In which Mack Web shamelessly pleads for questing companions and wayside support
So here’s the deal: we are going to be reporting the progress on this quest throughout the year. It’s going to be our focus project so expect to hear about all the cool things we learn and resources we develop along the way. (We love sharing questing bounty with our boon companions).
But it is a truth universally acknowledged that solo questers don’t do as well as the ones who have partners and sidekicks and the occasional Rivendell rest stops. (There’s a reason the Fellowship of the Ring was nine, you know).
So we’re asking you to take part in this ongoing quest conversation of ours. Share examples, ask difficult and annoying questions, point out when we’ve gone astray, give us cryptic hints to get back on track.
We value your contributions, no matter what form they may take.