The Kaiser Chiefs’ guide to web marketing newbies

As I work my way in the web of online marketing and web analytics, I often bump into new theoretical and technical lingo that I never heard of.  It is particularly challenging to keep up with both the English and Spanish literature on these fields.  (Oh, if you are self-claimed web marketer and are not checking what’s going in Spain, then you are missing out!)

By far, one my best partners during my web metrics literature reviews are the Kaiser Chiefs.  Named after the South African football team, they are best known for their 2004 hit “I Predict a Riot” and the jumping shenanigans of their lead vocalist, Ricky Wilson.

Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs @ Brixton Academy. Photo credit: Guy Eppel

Here is what you can learn from them about getting started in web marketing and web analytics.

1. And oh my God, I can’t believe it, I’ve never been this far away from home.

(Oh My God from Employment, 2005)

SEO, SEM, conversion, blog marketing, the list goes.  Not your everyday marketing class, not even in MBA school.  Trust me, I’ve been there and there is very few going on the academic preparation of both undergraduate and graduate students in these fields.  Forget the 4Ps, everything is about conversion.  The first piece of advice that the Kaiser Chiefs drop to you is that you need to realize that you have a lot to learn and, that more importantly, you are to open to learn.  Read, read, read.  A good starting point, you ask?  Here is one:  Avinash Kaushik‘s blog and book, Web Analytics: An Hour a Day.

2.  I predict a riot.

(I Predict A Riot from I Predict A Riot, 2004)

And if one is about to happen, you surely want to be the one to predict it!  Building on my previous post about starting epidemics, while it is very important that you absorb a lot of what is going on the field, it is more critical that you start reading the trends, catch on what-works and what-nots, and start applying it to your own web analytics projects.  And one of the best ways to do this is…

3.  So here we go with the letter.

(The Angry Mob from Yours Truly, Angry Mob, 2007)

…is to start a blog!  Most marketers agree that this is an essential exercise, but there is little agreement about its actual payoff.  It really depends on your objective.  Is it to spark brainstorming sessions?  Is it to network with experts in the field?  Is it to keep track of your evolution as a marketer?  Is it to organize your ideas? No matter what your goal is, having a blog about your projects brings a lot of credibility when presenting yourself to a) colleagues, b) clients, and c) head-honcho investors.

4. It does not move me, it’s not the kind of thing that I like.

(Na Na Na Na Na Naa from Employment, 2005)

This is the last thing that you want coming out from your users/clients/customers.  Yet, most of the time, we fail to listen to them.  Web analytics is ALL ABOUT LISTENING TO YOUR USER.  From MBA school we come quite brainwashed about the product development process and we fail to recognize that it fails miserably when applied to web marketing.  A/B testing, search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are key activities and they are all about listening to your user.  Review blogs, tune into podcasts, identify the current trends!  For some MBA marketing class unlearning, check out The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Gary Blank.

Bonus track

5. Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby

(Ruby from Yours Truly, Angry Mob, 2007)

For those with advanced coding skills, it would be a good idea to brush up your skills on Ruby on Rails (ROR).  Why should you care?  If you are able to code with ROR, creation of websites and social networking applications (e.g. Facebook) should be a snap!  ROR developers around the USA are on very high demand nowadays with hourly rates going around $80-$150 because everybody wants their online platforms be running smoothly on ROR.

That is all for today and remember the most important lesson from the Chiefs…

Knock me down, I’ll be right back up again

I’ll come back stronger than a powered up Pac-Man!

Why do web entrepreneurs blog?

One of the blogs that I follow closely is Futuristic Play by Andrew Chen, which is a great blog about viral marketing, social gaming, and online advertising.  Andrew is an entrepreneur living in San Francisco, CA.

On his latest post, he shares the results of his poll:  “Where do you put most of your effort, for user acquisition?”  I thought this would be a great way to kick my blog.  From the 145 voters, 44 (30%) voted for word-of-mouth, blogs, etc.  Even though the results might not appear that surprising, it speaks a lot about the psychology of web marketers:  we believe that the tipping point of conversion can be achieved through the power of networking.  That is why we spend a lot of hours blogging and sharing our thoughts in social networks to create excitement and informing potential customers about our services and products.

A Jell-O epidemic! Project: San Francisco in Jell-O. More work from Liz Hickok @

We want to create an epidemic!

And nobody knows more about creating epidemics than The Tipping Point’s author, Malcolm Gladwell.  He claims that the paradox of the epidemic is “that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first”.  One obvious question is “how small is small?”.  Gladwell suggests the rule of 150, that is that the size of a group (e.g. movement) needs to remain under 150 because this figure represents “the maximum number of individuals with whom we can have a genuinely social relationship, the kind of relationship that goes with knowing who they are and how they relate to us”.

Well, let’s see how long my small movement at takes to reach 150 readers!

Saludos navegantes elefantes!


Hello and welcome!

My name is Damian Davila Rojas and I decided to start this blog because I want to develop a better understanding of viral marketing, blog marketing, and web analytics.  My goal is to learn from colleagues in these fields around the world and share my findings through this blog.

Bulletin Board at UC Berkeley - Summer 2008
Bulletin Board at UC Berkeley – Summer 2008

Take a look at the picture of the bulletin board above.  It looks cluttered and messy.  It is full of data that can only be useful if we take an appropriate filter to convert this data into useful and clean information (e.g. it tells you the date of the latest CD release of Guadalajara’s pop sensation, Belanova).  I hope that this blog helps fellow marketers in their search for innovative solutions, rather than decide between trade-offs, that will improve the state-of-the-art of our field.