Sonne Taylor

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

How I Would Use Data To Open A Restaurant.

I’m a big fan of data driven decision making. In my job as a marketer it’s extremely important to separate myself from my work. After all if I’m trying to advertise a product that is clearly not aimed at my demographic, going with the kind of messaging or work I would like is just submitting to personal cognitive bias. Instead, I have to put myself in the head of the consumer. You have to do this at every step of the process, and even at the phase where you’re deciding what kind of company you even want to start.

I love the City of Denver. After moving here 4 years ago I still excitedly call it my home. One of the things that I love most about Denver is the diverse and growing culinary scene. From Rosenberg’s Bagels to Lo Stella Ristorante to Zengo, there’s so many great restaurants that have broadened my palate in many ways.

Want to know a secret though? If I was going to open a successful restaurant in Denver tomorrow, I wouldn’t base it on the foods I like but rather data.

Restaurants after all are a business. Personal preference doesn’t always translate to professional success. It may seem boring, but by using some simple quantitative and qualitative data we can make an informed decision about what is actually an underserved market in the Denver metro area.

So let’s first see where people are moving from. According to Zillow, 65% of newcomers to Denver are in fact from Colorado. Of the 35% of people not from Colorado the largest county that people immigrate from is Cook County, Illinois. (City of Chicago).

Now, qualitatively speaking there’s a few foods Chicago is known for. 1. Deep Dish Pizza. 2. Italian Beef. 3. Chicago Style Hot Dogs. The question becomes how does one decide which of these are the most popular? Well using social data we can infer some things.

We’re going to start off by using the world’s greatest free market research tool. The Facebook ad builder. Yes I am 100% serious. If you go into Facebook and begin to build an ad, before you pay for anything, you’re taken to an audience builder that will estimate the size of your audience in a geographic location before you buy on literally millions of data points. Now not everything will be on there, but this can help quickly see if there is a market available. For example, here’s the audience I’m going to start with for Deep Dish Pizza:

Here’s Hotdogs:

Finally, here’s Italian Beef:

As we can see, Deep Dish Pizza is quite popular, but Italian Beef is just on it’s heels. (I’m using Estimated Daily Reach). Let’s check out the competition in the area. According to yelp there are:

1. 141 places with “hotdog” on the menu

2. 71 places with “Italian beef”

3. 187 place with “deep dish”

Finally, we’re looking for qualitative data. I’m going to search on Twitter for the following keywords: Chicago, Denver, (name of food). Since I want relevant results, I’m going to accept items that appeared this year.

1. “hotdog”

There are no results during 2016.

2. “deep dish”

4 results of people asking for deep dish. Here’s an example:

3. “Italian Beef”

1 (very enthusiastic) result.

The results:

With audiences that are within 1500 people of one another, but with half the competition, I would personally choose to open an Italian Beef Restaurant. As the pace of migration from the Chicagoland area only increases, and with a lack of a Portillo’s or other iconic Chicago brand in the market, there is ripe opportunity to build and grow a restaurant that not only uses Chicagoans as a base audience, but also expands to Coloradans from other walks of life.

In the future, I’ll show you how to use just a few hundred dollars to test and validate whether these assumptions are true, again, using social media.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

How I Would Use Data To Open A Restaurant. was originally published in Marketing Experimentation.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

Gatherings In Open Air Retail Settings

If you’ve been paying attention to the massive number of articles on the topic this week, you’ve likely seen Randy Nelson’s look at the average time spent in the app. Close associates will know that we’ve [lovingly] questioned the validity of Hugh Kimura (SensorTower) public data in the past, but that’s generally been under the context of clients and teams trying to make App Store Optimization decisions without thinking through the problem. We love this article, and we wanted to share our own bit of foot traffic analysis that we think drives this point home.

ScreenGrab From Randy Nelson’s Article

A few days ago, we stopped by Osaka Ramen just off 3rd Avenue in Denver’s Cherry Creek neighborhood to continue our experiments with Pokémon Go. We found what we believed to be a triumphant explanation of what happens in that 33 minutes, 25 seconds.

If you’re not familiar with the in-game items in Pokémon Go, you’re probably baffled by the 33 minute number. If you are, you’ll know that popular items like Incense (an item that increases the spawn rate of random Pokémon) Lures (an item that increases the spawn rate of rare Pokémon for all players in an area) and Lucky Eggs all have a half-hour timer attached to them.

That suggests that an average play episode involves launching the app, using an item or walking around to a site where an item is being used, playing for the duration of that item and going on to something else.

We stopped by Osaka for lunch, and at 3:14 PM, we dropped a lure at the Bike Windmill Pokéstop off Denver’s 3rd Avenue.

Approximate Location of PokéStop

At the time we dropped the lure, there were already three or four players in the area hanging around the intersections. Once we dropped a lure, these players made their way to the spot, engaged with the game for a few minutes and then moved on to another intersection.

As near as we were able to determine, this pattern of stopping by spots while canvassing an area seems to be a popular play style.

In the first five minutes, three men and three women joined the group already touring the area and walked past our Pokéstop before continuing on through the region.

Over the next 10 minutes, five more women and one man stopped for a few moments by our Pokéstop before continuing on their way into one of the shopping centers of restaurants in the area.

As we approached 3:30, we noticed that two families (mothers and early teenage children) also stopped through the general vicinity of the Pokéstop. No stop lasted longer than two or three minutes — about the time it takes to catch a wild Pokémon in the game.

At 3:35, we noticed a woman we had seen before. She was in exercise clothes and circling the block. Each time she passed the PokéStop, she’d pause for two or three minutes, and then carry on her way, phone in hand.

Excluding the players that were already clearly in the area, our Osaka lure attracted 15 people in the time it was active between 3:14 and 3:44.

What we learned was that when you are including a PokéStop in a high traffic area, you’ll likely want to include some element of a promotion that increases staying power. If you don’t give players a reason to stop, they likely won’t — and will instead carry on in their play session.

Gatherings In Open Air Retail Settings was originally published in Marketing Experimentation.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

On Pokémon Go For Fun And Profit

For the non-marketer, our obsession over ROI is baffling. The truth is, it’s rather confusing to us, as well. Most ROI calculations aren’t particularly complex. Measure the number of people who could take an action. Measure the number of people who did take that action. Measure the impact of their behavior. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

Of course this assumes that your business has a working understanding of each step of your sales cycle. The only way you can know the value of an action like a page like, is to understand what percentage of people who like your page move on to the next step of the process. Not all teams have invested the resources necessary to collect the data needed to have access to these insights. If you’re working on a team in that situation, you’re likely no stranger to basing your marketing decisions on statistical inference.

If you’re not a marketer, that probably all sounded like applesauce, but we hope you’re still with us, because this article is for you.

See, the truth is that the best companies with the savviest people have been working tirelessly to figure out how to convince the people they work with that real people are tired of scammy advertising. (Members of our team included!)

We know that people think marketers ruin everything. At S&T, we believe that bad marketers ruin everything — and it’s hard to tell the difference between the two. Good advertising is supposed to be fun. It’s a company’s chance to show off personality, and forgetting that has become all too common in our industry.

When we first learned of businesses using Pokemon lures to draw foot traffic, that’s what we saw. A way to share real fun with the people who support the teams we work to support.

So we aren’t going to start releasing our data by talking about the numbers or the conversion rates or any of the other things that marketers talk about amongst themselves. (Don’t get us wrong, we’re working to release real data, and you’re welcome to even help us out here.)

But we feel like we have an obligation to our team mates playing the game. That’s why we’re going to start by talking about an activity no business would ever support — gatherings in public places.

We conducted two experiments in popular gathering places in Denver.

On Saturday, June 9th at 3:50 we made our way to Denver’s scenic Cheesman Park. We dropped out first lure at 3:55.

The Pin Shows You Our Selected Site

In the first five minutes, players who were already in the park, began to congregate towards the site we had dropped out pin at. Four players found the lure immediately and made their way to the site.

A migration of any number of people across a park, is likely to attract attention, and by 4:15, we had 12 people gathered around the Cheesman Park Gazebo.

At 4:17, two other people happened on our scene. At 4:24 five more showed up. (That’s a total of 19.)

An Early Gathering Of Players At Cheesman Park

We were surprised by this as our lure ran out at 4:25. We left for our next site before we could see how many players hung around, but we had a great idea.

What if a higher density of lures was more likely to gather a crowd?

We Didn’t Wait Long To Find Out

On his way back from the office last night, our Creative Director noticed that a few players had placed a lure at the footsteps of the Colorado Capitol. Our whole team has been fired up about this project for some time, and so recognizing the opportunity to test our Cheesman hypothesis, Karl set about mining the Capitol building. At 9:09 all 7 Pokestops on the grounds had a lure.

Because of the size of the turf, we weren’t able to collect data down to the five minute interval level, and instead were forced to continually canvas the site.

From 9:09 to 9:49, we counted 58 people on the grounds of the Capitol.

At 9:49 when our Lure spread ran out, we were amazed to discover that two other players had dropped lure chips of their own to replace the two that had expired in front of the Capitol building. By 9:53, three chips had been dropped to replace the chips that had expired at the back of the capitol building.

That’s what we advertisers call viral engagement. It’s usually a good sign. It means that people are actually interested in the thing we’re doing, and they’re sharing that enthusiasm with the people around them.

After that drop, we counted an additional 9 players that were drawn onto the scene. Lures were once again replaced by the community of players at 10:12, and at 10:31 we noticed 8 more players had joined the throng.

Trainers At The Capitol

When the lures finally wore off at 10:55, we witnessed some 75 players make their way off the capitol grounds.

So, what’s the take away?

If you’re a player looking for people to play with, look for sites with a higher density of lures. If you’re looking to start a scene, you can easily do so with 1–7$ worth of lures, depending on where you’re playing.

If you drop a single lure in a site where people are already playing the game, you’ll likely concentrate those players in that area — like we found at Cheesman Park.

If you’re looking to get a gathering of a ton of people together, you’ll need to drop your lures in an area that people can easily get to. By creating a destination event, you’ll give people a reason to venture out and see what’s going on. Parts of town that have a high density of Pokéstops are a great candidate for this!

We think it’s important to remember that the point of a game is to be fun, and the point of a brand engaging with a game isn’t to sell the product. Get out there, and catch them all.

Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing more advertiser friendly selected findings from our experiments. We hope you’ll join us!

On Pokémon Go For Fun And Profit was originally published in Marketing Experimentation.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

We Need Your Help To Measure The Return On Pokémon.

Those of you who follow us closely, know that for the past week, we’ve working on a study of the return on investment associated with the use of Pokemon Lures.

We’ve logged more than 35 hours of playtime — and we’ve spent most of it tracking other players.

Over the next few days, we’ll share some of the best practices we’ve collected as well as some of the raw foot traffic data for the collection of PokeStops we had access to.

We’re going to need more data that we have to make stable ROI calculations for a market outside of Denver. That’s why we want to make sure as many people as possible have an opportunity to contribute to this growing data set.

I’ve set up a google form that I’ll be monitoring throughout the day as we collect more field results.

We expect to start releasing some preliminary findings by mid-week.

If you’d like to help, here’s a link to the form.

We Need Your Help To Measure The Return On Pokemon. was originally published in Marketing Experimentation.

Posted by Sonne Taylor on

Finding The Networks Your Audience Is Using

“The recent proliferation of media sources provides individuals with more programming choice than ever before. While some individuals consume media of a single type, others select a more diverse programming diet. Though scholars of selective exposure evaluate each type of media independently, the net causes and effects of media consumption may depend on the combination of programs consumed.” Devra C. Mohler, Doug Allen “The Media Diet Imbalance Score”

We couldn’t agree more with the quotation we borrowed from a great look at an alternative approach to measuring the impacts of the consumption of a diverse media diet.

You might be unfamiliar with that phrase, “media diet,” but stop for a moment and think about all of the different types of media you’ve interacted with today.

You’re reading this post right now, so that counts. You probably got to this post by seeing it somewhere else, that counts too! While we’d like to think that you’re coming straight to internet to check our site to see if we’ve updated our medium, we know that isn’t happening. So you’ve likely been to at least one or two other places before this.

The same thing is true of the people you’re hoping to communicate with using your marketing. We live in an age of media abundance. By one measure, the average person may spend as much as 58% of their time consuming more than 15 different types of media a day. (Louisa Ha, “Diversity, Convergence and a Balanced Media Diet in a Digital Age”)

(If you’re a visual learner, that might be hard to make sense of. One of our favorite graphical explorations of this idea is “Your Media Diet Breakdown,” by the great @sidneylimyx)

We made a promise in the headline, that we were going to show you how to find your audience anywhere, no matter what you’re selling. But we think that context is important to understand — because it’s why what we’re going to tell you to do next, works.

…and it’s why it’ll work for every product for every service, for audience, every time.

This is the same exercise we use with clients who having a difficult time getting into the heads of their ideal customer. It’s a great idea to try before a team marketing meeting, or even on your own.

Get Out A Notebook And A Pen

You’re reading our article right now, write that down. Write down how long you spend, and if you do anything else before you stop working on the computer, keep track of that, too.

It may seem strange at first to write down every click, video and website but after you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself reaching for the notebook much to the surprise of everyone around you.

Once you’ve collected a full day worth of data, take a look at where you’ve been. Tally up the amount of time you spent on each property. (You can sort your list by number of visits, time of day, really any way you find interesting.)

Easy, right?

Here’s The Magic

You likely spend a good chunk of your time on media properties that are too expensive for your company to advertise on, but as you look at your list does anything stand out? It’s quite likely that you spend some time on ‘niche,’ media properties.

Your ideal audience isn’t any different.

Measuring What Strangers Consume

There are all sorts of tools, techniques, and experts that are ready and willing to help you find obscure media your audience is crazy about. The good news is that even if those resources are out of your budget, there are a lot of things you can do on a shoestring budget.

Find a competitor with an established presence on the network you’re curious about.

Read through their content, look at what works and what doesn’t. You won’t have to look very long before you start to notice a pattern in the types of users who are “engaged.”

You can even use the techniques you learned in our exercise above to predict where they are spending the bulk of their time online.

Follow those users until you understand them. These are the people you’re trying to help. Learn to listen to them. Learn to respect them.

That’s how you’ll always be able to find your audience.