SearchFest 2011 Mini-Interview: Conrad Saam

Todd Mintz

Conrad will be speaking about “Advanced Analytics” at SearchFest 2011, which will take place on February 23rd at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available now. To purchase, please click the following link.

1)      Please give us your background and tell us what you do for a living.

I started with online projects back in ’97, building online ordering systems for a printing factory, but I’ve spent most of my career on the agency side.  I spent a long time working with large childrens’ brands like Disney, Lego, Nickelodeon, creating online Flash based games to create an online presence for offline things like movies, television and even cereal.  I got really interested in the math side of online when I was exposed to the way our clients were using analytics to drive their business.

Currently, I run marketing for Avvo an online legal and medical directory and Q/A forum.  Over the past 4 years, we went from concept to market leader in the legal directory space without spending a dollar on advertising. 

2)      How do you convince a company that the analytics function is too important to pawn off on the summer intern?

Well, the good thing here is that upper management generally has a natural affinity for metrics – financial metrics, employee churn, market awareness etc.  When there is a gap for online data, it’s generally in the understanding of online terminology, not interest within a company.  The easiest way to get everyone on board is through education (difference between a session and a unique user, what is bounce rate for example) combined with analytics dashboarding.  Building the right dashboard is an art, but can solve many problems. 

3)      Can you talk about how best to “source attribute” when sales / leads involve multiple user visits?

We are tackling this issue right now.  For a long time we’ve operated under the last click attribution model, which, we (have thought) was effective for purchasing legal services.  I.e. – I need a divorce lawyer right now and i’m building my short list using your site and contacting them now.  However, we’re testing this assumption right now.  Will Chritchlow has a great work around to create first click attribution data in Google Analytics.  http://www.distilled.co.uk/blog/seo/first-touch-tracking-in-google-analytics/.  We’re now collecting data to see just how wrong (or right) our assumption about single session behavior is. 

Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Reply