A few weeks ago, I asked readers to recommend outside services they’ve used, so that I could invite the people behind those services to contribute an article here. Thanks for all of your ideas, and the first such article from a reader-recommended organisation comes from Carl Plant, technical director of Staffordshire-based bITjAM. The subject close to Carl’s heart is this…
Repeat after me, “I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; I just don’t know which half.” Former US postmaster general John Wannamaker’s oft quoted truism has haunted the marketing world for over a century.
Of course, in modern marketing we kind of do know what works. If you want to know how much traffic the editorial on a web site sent you, the answer is in Google Analytics. If you want to know how many blog subscribers you have or how many people read your last newsletter, it’s a cinch in most marketing software. And if you feel like finding out how much traffic your Google AdWords campaign is generating, Chris makes sure his clients have the data at their fingertips.
But does that quite tell you which half of your marketing is wasted, or to ask the question more accurately, what is functioning well and what can still be optimised?
In isolation, I’m not sure it does. You are comparing different data sets with complex purposes and the problem with comparing apples with pears is that, well, they taste and smell and look different.
The answer is to make all your data taste and smell and look similar enough to analyse. At bITjAM we’ve helped lots of companies do this by creating data visualisation dashboards that draw in information from sources like social media, email marketing software, Eventbrite and Google Analytics – as well as plain old spreadsheets and databases. It makes comparison and optimisation easy.
What you do with that data is the really interesting bit. For instance, one of our customers asked us to decorate the outside of their building with flashing lights. The lights’ colours change in relation to the analysis of the sentiment expressed about them on Twitter.
But what we’ve chosen to do with the dashboards most recently is also pretty unusual. For us data visualisation has been one of the key marketing tactics in the launch of the bITjAM Innovation Qube, a creative technology space for young people in Stoke-On-Trent that we are opening in partnership with the YMCA.
The Qube will be dedicated to technology and design enthusiasts interested in identifying inventive digital solutions for a wide array of issues across industry. Technologies available to the young people in the centre will include an Oculus Rift VR set, e-Beam Engage, 3D printing and Toshiba Machine robots provided by TM Robotics.
The new bITjAM Innovation Qube will also host a digital design studio and a flexible area, which will be used for hack spaces, seminars, workshops and research projects. The Qube will be equipped with a suite of iMacs loaded with relevant software, leap motion and Kinect technology, NeuroSky EEG monitoring systems and other innovative technical equipment.
You see, as well as creating data visualisation platforms, we can also help with a whole host of other technologies; from allowing you to walk around the designs for your new factory using 3D visualisation, to speeding up your next R&D project.
But the crux of the issue is that on March 7 we are launching the Qube officially with an open day, including an awards ceremony for local schools and an afternoon presentation for businesses to explain the things we can do to help them.
So, if you want your marketing efforts to benefit from data visualisation, or your apprentices to have access to an R&D team and facility to help them solve your problems, the Qube’s launch event is for you.
And even if you only want the answer to Wannamaker’s age old conundrum, you can still register to attend the open day on our Eventbrite page here. There will be catering and it will be excellent.