Rarely are the words Marketing and R&D uttered in the same sentence. Except in the sense of Marketing VERSUS research & development – i.e. should companies place their bets on one rather than the other?
Yet, in truth, we marketers have lots to ponder and learn. So we love our associations that help us come together and do just that. Direct marketers have their DMA. Brand advertisers, have the ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) among many other groupings. There is also the AMA for marketing in general.
Well, and we web analysts have the WAA, i.e. Web Analytics Association.
Maybe, it is that I don’t know enough about the other foundations/association. But the volunteers that make up the WAA strike me as extra motivated and enthusiastic. There is a real community feeling and a desire to contribute. The volunteers hammered out a full blown web analytics curriculum that is extremely popular and booked out in advance. They are standardizing metrics definitions (under the leadership of Angie Brown), unafraid of the constantly changing online marketing field. They interviewed analysts in the trenches to research challenges with newer technologies, e.g. RSS.
More power to the WAA volunteers!
The WAA is still only a few years young and could go in so many more directions. Anywhere that the volunteers wish to take it.
- For instance, similar to the DMA, the WAA could maybe survey online marketers and publish statistics about their marketing mix across various online channels. The DMA charges a solid price for these kinds of publications.
- Or, the WAA could maybe follow the example of the ARF and publish studies about the synergies from running PPC and SEO in parallel. Or display ads and Search.
- Or, similar to the AMA, the WAA could run seminars for which sponsors pay in order to reach an audience.
Volunteers’ time and imagination are the only limit.
If you are already a member of the WAA you will know that there is currently a special election for its board of directors. This is to refill the seat that Avinash Kaushik decided to make available (it was his second term).
For this particular seat the WAA is only accepting nominees that work at web analytics (or related) vendors so that the vendor community will also have a representative on the board.
Just today the WAA sent out the roster of nominees. I am honored to be one of six passionate and experienced nominees that are up for election. Each candidate has a ton to offer. I don’t think that members can make a bad choice picking any of us.
- Nicolas Babin, Executive Vice President, International & Marketing, AT Internet – publishing XiTi
- Matthew Langie, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Omniture
- Dennis R. Mortensen, Director of Data Insights, Yahoo!
- John Payne, VP of Product Management & General Manager, Coremetrics
- Mark Wachen, CEO, Optimost
- Akin Arikan, Senior Segment Manager for Internet Marketing, Unica Corporation
I am a fan of Dennis’ work over on his Visual Revenue blog. And if you have met Dennis you will know his contagiously positive and thoughtful character. More marketers would race to contribute to the WAA just because of him.
I know Mark Wachen from listening to his presentations on behalf of Interwoven/Optimost. Their firm is an alliance partner of mine at Unica. Here is one guy that we all can learn a lot from. He is passionate about website optimization and committed to sharing his lessons learned.
I met John Payne twice, even if briefly only, back when SurfAid was still separate from Coremetrics. I had a super first impression. John struck me as a very reasonable, thoughtful, and friendly leader.
While I have not had the pleasure of meeting Nicolas, members could strike two birds with one stone by voting for him. They would get a board director who seems very experienced plus would be a European representative. What better way to spread WAA membership than that!
And finally, I haven’t met Matthew either. But he has put in a strong bid. His profile is superb. His work at Omniture speaks for itself. I am honored to be on the same roster of nominees with Matthew because Omniture is the chief web analytics vendor that I compete with every single day during my work at Unica.
May the lucky winner of this election have a productive experience and help lead the volunteer organization further ahead!