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Posted by Sonne Taylor on

Quick Suggestion For A Poor Team Needing An Early Analytics Stack

I think all too often, startups put off putting in basic tracking capabilities until they feel like they can afford a solution on the level of Adobe Marketing Cloud — or in the medium term HubSpot.

I think if I were just getting started on a project this is the flow I’d use. (It’s actually the flow we’re using on our team’s branded properties right now.)

  1. Install Segment.

I really shouldn’t be so shameless, but if I were going to deploy a tag on an early stage team (say an early website) I wouldn’t want to have to revisit updating my site each time I discovered a new capability I wanted to play with.

You’re likely going to be doing a lot of that in the beginning. It’s a good idea to get started in a way that you’re going to find useful as you go on.

(You could also definitely wrestle with Google tag manager. 9 Clouds has a solid primer going on here.)

2. Integrate The Properties You’re Currently Using

It’s likely that you’ve got a Facebook page, and probably a Twitter account. You should take the opportunity to get signed up at and follow their directions to setup a pixel. (I like this guide from Pavel Matvienko)

You’ll find that the fine folks at Segment have a number of delightful guides that should work you through updating the settings for each integration — which in the short term will save you from having to make additional changes to your website.

You don’t have to go crazy here, because you’ll find you’re in a plan that’s priced by MTUs, which if you’re finding this advice useful, you’re a ways off from having a big number of.

3. Website? Google Analytics. App? Mixpanel.

In both cases, you should settle pretty near to the free tier — it takes a while to outgrow.

If you want to drill a little deeper, here’s a good introduction to Segment from Francois de Fitte.

Quick Suggestion For A Poor Team Needing An Early Analytics Stack was originally published in Observed Reflections.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

Stop trying to be Coke.

I get it. Coke has a fantastic aesthetic. They also have a killer brand. They have innovative marketing campaigns and crazy customer loyalty. So it’s natural you want your ads to be reminiscent of theirs. Truthfully?

Regina is tired of you being a poser.

No matter what you do you aren’t going to be Coke. Nor frankly do you want to be Coke. They have an origin story, an evolution, that you will never have. That story, all the people that contributed to that story? That isn’t your story. You don’t have the advantages they do. Your product will never be special in the same way that theirs is.

Why did I go on this rant?

First off, this isn’t some shot at Coke (mostly). You could insert any company that people are envious of in this category. In the past, I’ve talked with folks (especially teams at startups) that see an ad campaign from a more successful competitor and instantly want to copy it. This is foolish for a few reasons:

1. You have no idea what the performance of that ad is. It could be killing it or they could be lighting money on fire. Outside of corporate espionage, you won’t ever know either. Don’t assume that if an ad exists, or that you like it, that it’s performing well.

2. Any attempt to copy will come off as disingenuous no matter how well you pull it off. Even if someone is a direct competitor, they have a different origin story. Their motivations are different. The people running the company are different. You are not them.

3. Best case scenario is you’re a derivative, and no derivative ever made it big. Do you really want to be Uber for X? Or Airbnb for Y? Hell no! You want to be the one that people compare themselves too. No one calls Airbnb ‘Holiday Inn for X’.

You don’t want to be them.

The thing that really kills me whenever I have this conversation is that it always comes from a place of insecurity. I just wish it was as easy as one of those scenes in those cheesy teen movie where the girl takes off her glasses and suddenly realizes how beautiful she is. It isn’t though. I have empathy though. Business, especially startups, are hard and can be really scary.

You have values. You have goals. Your story matters.

I guarantee something in your goals, your values, who you are as a team will speak to a customer demographic. Finding that story and utilizing the right tactics is important to be sure. However, copying someone else’s story is a sure fire way for people to feel like you’re giving them a bunch of corporate BS speak (Because you are). Besides, people love a genuine person. Especially if you’re an underdog.

Take calculated risks. Don’t copy people. Tell a real story.

Stop trying to be Coke. was originally published in Multimedia Marketing.