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Episode #227
Jim Sterne

How To Use Web Analytics & Digital Marketing To Grow Your Consulting Business

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Summary

How do you grow your consulting business using web analytics and digital marketing? Michael Zipursky welcomes Jim Sterne, the Founder of the Marketing Analytics Summit. He has over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing to share with us today. To maximize web analytics, narrow your focus on your target market. But data will be insufficient if there isn’t enough traffic volume. So go out there and promote yourself. By spreading awareness, you’re building a community around your niche. Need more tips on using web analytics and digital marketing to grow your consulting business? Don’t miss out on this episode.

I am very excited to have Jim Sterne joining us. Jim, welcome.

Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Jim, you’re a speaker, consultant and author of a whole bunch of books on advertising, marketing analytics and more. You’re the Founder of the Marketing Analytics Summit, Co-founder of the Digital Analytics Association, Creator of the Analytics Cohorts Mutual Mentorship Program, as well as your own company. You’ve worked with all kinds of well-known organizations like AT&T, Pfizer, IBM, Verizon, Wells Fargo and a whole bunch of others.

I want to explore with you how people can leverage marketing analytics to grow and scale their business and how you’ve done that with your clients and in your own business. Before we go there, let’s go back in time a little bit. How did you get started before you got into the world of consulting and analytics? What was your education like? What were you doing before you started the business?

My college degree was in Shakespeare. I’m an English Literature major focused on Shakespeare. My first job out of school was selling Apple IIes out of a retail store. I answered an ad that said, “No experience necessary,” and I qualified. I said, “I don’t know much about computers, but I think they’re awesome. I’ve never sold anything before, but these are so exciting I think people should buy them.” The guy said, “Okay. Sit over in the corner for two weeks and read the manual. I will pay you for two weeks, but don’t talk to anybody.”

At the end of two weeks, this guy came into the store and I was alone. He came over and asked me a bunch of questions about the computer and I answered them as best I could. He said, “I’m thinking about using it for accounting.” “There are accounting software packages up there and I’m afraid I’m new. I don’t know anything about them.” He hollered into the back room and said, “You should hire this guy.” That was the test.

Was that an actual test or was that a real customer?

It was a friend of the owner who was there to drill me and put me on the spot. I passed the test. I went from there to selling business computers to companies that had never owned one before. My background is in explaining brand-new technology to people. I got into technology sales and marketing, sold software development tools and then when I saw Mosaic, the first web browser in 1993. I said, “That changes all of sales and marketing,” and ran out to find people who could tell me, “What’s the best way to go about using these tools?” Nobody had any answers and they started asking me questions. I started writing books and that’s how I fell into it.

I want to go back to that time when you were in the Apple store and you were reading the manual for two weeks. Is there anything from that experience that still sticks with you because that set you on the trajectory to where you are now? Is there anything in how you studied, approached it, thought about learning something new that you think maybe others missed or contributed to getting you on the path of where you are now?

The big a-ha for me was that the computers were awesome. You write programs and they do exactly what you tell them to do. There’s no person, animal or plant that will do that and the computer will, so that’s exciting. You can control it completely, but then comes the time when somebody says, “What would I use it for?” “What do you want to use it for?” Now, we have a conversation. “What is the practical application of this new technology?” That’s all that matters.

What matters most is the practical application of any new technology. Click To Tweet

“I want to use this computer for my business. I want to use the worldwide web to sell things. I want to use marketing analytics to help me get better at my marketing. I want to use artificial intelligence. What does it mean? How does it work? Where should I use it?” That’s where I find the most interest is understanding the technology well enough to describe the practical applications. In fact, my latest book is Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Practical Applications.

You went down this path. You started off studying this manual for two weeks and you then had lots of conversations. You moved from selling consumer computers to business computers and then you said you started to see that this browser, Mosaic came out and this was going to change things. What was going on inside of you that made you want to further explore that and start to reach out to people who might know what the future would look like? Why not just go, “This is a new technology,” and keep doing what you were doing at that time? What was going on in your mind that pushed you forward in that direction and down that quest?

Every conversation I had about the internet was creative. It wasn’t, “This is how it works.” It was, “If it works like this and you can do this, then you should also be able to do that,” and people would go, “That’s a good idea.” Every single conversation for years. Now, why did I not create PayPal or Google? It’s because it was so much discovering new stuff and then sharing it. It turns out I love teaching. Being a university professor is a type of teaching, very academic, research-oriented and pedantic by definition. Business education is on the conference stage with a spotlight in a room full of people asking for your business card. That’s a lot more fun and it turns out to be very lucrative.

You have this idea and you got excited that you want to move towards the future to better understand what might be coming down the road. Were you a well-known name? Were you established at that point? How did you decide to go out and write books all of a sudden?

I wanted to read one and there wasn’t one. I went to a conference called Internet World and there were 400 people there and an exhibit hall with about twenty exhibitors. I went to every booth, “What do you sell? What have you got? What are you doing?” The very first booth was John Wiley & Sons. There were books on how to write HTML and online security. “Where is your book on marketing online?” “There’s a booth over there where there’s a publisher that has Mary Cronin’s book called Doing Business on the Internet.” “I saw that. There’s only one chapter on marketing. Where’s the whole book?”

“What would be on that book?” “It will talk about this and this.” The guy said, “Do you think you could write that?” I said, “I was a Shakespeare major. Sure, I can write.” He gave me an outline for a proposal which is essentially a marketing plan for a book that you use to convince the publisher to give you money to write a book and that was booked number 1 of 12.

You have no formal business writing book publishing experience. You are by definition, not a marketer. You have not run marketing at an organization or were you?

I did, but very small. The largest company I’ve ever worked for was 100 people. I was in the marketing department. I did the trade show booth, direct mail and brochure.

CSP 227 | Web Analytics

 

You had some practical experience in the world of marketing. You were not at that point, an established name, but you had the excitement and motivation to do something about it. What I’m trying to get at is a lot of people have ideas, but they don’t move forward with them because they find reasons and excuses for all the things that might hold them back.

To me, it seems like in that situation, you could have easily gone, “There’s some cool stuff coming probably down in the future. I’ll read about it. I’ll try and stay on top of it. Nothing really exists.” You are going back to doing what you were doing, but you took action. You moved forward and explored it. You could have “failed” by asking some of those questions and found that things didn’t work out, but that set you on a whole new path.

It was a combination of my background. I was in sales and marketing. I sold computers. I did very well there. I was in the marketing of software development tools, how do you ask engineers about their software and understand it well enough so you can explain it to other engineers who might buy it. That was me. I had that. Part of that was understanding networking and systems. I get marketing and systems. “Here’s a system that will change marketing,” and I can explain it to people.

This is exciting. This is a whole new world and nobody’s doing it right. That was the thing that drove me nuts. Tom Peters said, “Nothing happens until somebody gets pissed off.” I was pissed off. I was going to websites and they were so slow and stupid. At that same Internet World Conference, I went to the organizer and said, “You’ve got all of this stuff on how to set up a server and technology, where is the presentation about doing business and marketing?” She said, “What would that presentation have in?” “It will have this and this.” “Do you think you could give that presentation?” That’s how I started as a public speaker.

I had given a presentation to user group meetings, but this was out in public saying, “The internet’s awesome. Your website sucks. Here are some examples. Here is Betty Crocker.” It’s not up yet. It’s 1996 and Betty Crocker doesn’t have a website. That’s embarrassing to General Mills. “Here’s Hewlett Packard. They’re making these horrible mistakes. I’m trying to click here and here.” I would do it in a way that would get a laugh out of the audience. Invariably people would come up and say, “I’ve been telling my boss the same thing for months. Will you come to my company? We will pay you to come.” “I can do that.”

This is such a great demonstration of asking questions, “Where is the book? Where is the presentation? Where is the booth?” From that, when somebody gives you an opening, maybe you weren’t prepared in terms of what the talking points were, but you had enough knowledge on that topic to be able to open up their eyes and mention something that they could clearly connect to value for their organization, community or their members. You get the book deal. You write the book. What happens when the first book hits the bookshelves?

My father is very proud of me. That was it.

The more you do, the more you know. Click To Tweet

No big business? Nobody knocking down your door? How did that feel to you? What were you expecting with the first book?

That was exactly what I was expecting. I was told from the beginning, “If you write a business book, it is an extremely thick business card. That’s what it is. Nobody’s going to turn it into a movie. Nobody’s going to stop you in an airport and ask for an autograph. It’s not going to happen.” “Fine.” I needed to write the book so that I could have my say from start to finish without being interrupted.

Now you have the book, what do you do with it? Nobody’s knocking on your door. You’re expecting, as you said, that you’re going to be the one that’s going to need to go out and promote this thing. Walk us through. What steps did you take? What happened next?

It’s public speaking and getting onstage. Instead, I’m an out-of-work independent consultant somewhere in the middle of California, who has an idea that will give a presentation, I am now the author of and not a self-published by my brother-in-law, who has a printing press. John Wiley & Sons published my book. By the way, the professor at Stanford asked me to present there and the professor at Harvard asked me to present to their class.

Now I have enough creds that somebody will say, “We’re interested in having you present at our conference. Do you have any example material?” I did some videos, which were difficult because this was before YouTube, webcams and any of that. People said, “He can stand on stage and speak a sentence without stumbling over his own toes. We’ll have him on our stage.” That’s where my business clients came from. That’s where additional writing material came from. The more you do, the more you know, then came blogging and then I put on my own conference.

When the book just came out, those presentations you were doing at Stanford and different places, what percentage of that was for free and what percentage of it was paid in the early stages of promoting the book?

75% of it was free. I would do everything in my power to get them to pay for travel. If you will pay for a plane ticket and hotel room, I will buy my own lunch just so I can get on stage in front of people, because that was my marketing. That’s where my clients came from.

CSP 227 | Web Analytics

 

How did you know that before you started doing it? I’m asking this because a lot of people, especially consultants, tend to be conservative. They look at investment as something that you want to hold back doing for as long as you possibly can and see what you can do before you put money into something, but you have this mindset where you are willing to essentially “give away” your time, expertise or value because you saw something that could come from it. How did you see that? How were you prepared for that? Was that a hard thing for you to do to “give away” your time?

I started in sales and marketing. As a salesperson, you go out and sell. You don’t sit there and wonder why the world is not coming to you. You will make it happen. It has a lot to do with a presentation I saw. This is before Google. A guy by the name of Eric Ward was the first one to stand up and say, “The most important thing to search engines is not whether you get exactly the right words, but it’s how many people have links pointing into your website, so I can help you build links.” This was a new idea.

He stood up and instead of having a PowerPoint, he had an HTML page that had lines of exactly how he did his consulting. “First, we do this and this. That was a link off to a tool that I use and that’s how I use that tool. I do this,” and then a link off to that tool, then link off to that net. “You don’t have to take notes because all of this is available on my website at this URL.” He described his entire consulting practice. He gave away exactly how he did it with links to the tools and gave it away. He was flooded with people trying to get his business card.

For everyone, why do you believe he was flooded with business even though he was giving away all of his expertise?

Because it was so clear that he understood how to do it, he had done it and he proved to everybody how much work it was. “I’ve got more money than time. I will pay you to do that for me.”

You’re getting on stage, building up your reputation, authority and expertise. How did you then start to transition that into actual consulting engagements? Were you onstage saying, “Here’s where to contact me?” Walk us through what that looked like, from getting up on stage to giving your presentation to turning that into business.

The crucial point was never to push it. The very bottom line of all of my slides is my email address and that was my promotion. The rest was, “This is what’s wrong with this website. This is how this website could be better. Here’s how you can measure whether it’s better. Here’s how you can test to see which way will be better and if you have any questions. I’ll be around afterwards, but I have to get out of the way of the next speaker. Thank you very much for your attention.” People would come up and give me business cards.

In terms of “giving away” your time, doing free presentations, not being overtly salesy, but having your contact information, how much of this whole process do you think still works now?

It’s always a good idea to create a gathering of humans around an underserved topic. Click To Tweet

I think it still works great. I don’t have a YouTube channel or a following on TikTok. I haven’t played with Clubhouse for months. I may not be the most current person out there, but I did manage to make myself a large fish in a very small pond when I started my own conference. I was an internet marketing strategy consultant back when people said, “What is that? Describe the internet to me.”

By the year 2000, people said, “Internet marketing strategy consultant, that means you’re unemployed. I’m so sorry.” “I need to narrow or specialty,” and by that point, web analytics had started and I got excited about it. “It’s not my opinion that your website sucks. We can measure and improve it.” Where do I go? There were vendors selling tools that had user group meetings. I did some keynotes at those and then said, “This is crazy. This needs to be its own conference.”

I put on my own Marketing Analytics Summit in 2002 and 50 people showed up, 30 of them were vendors, 10 of them were consultants and 10 of them were actual people who were trying to solve the problem. It was instant recognition of, “These are my people.” They had never met each other before. There was nobody inside their company who understood what they were talking about.

They suddenly had a community out of thin air and that conference is now 20 years old this coming 2022. It’s cranking right along. My Web Metrics book came out that year and the conference came out. A year later, the audience said, “It’s not enough. We need a professional association.” The Digital Analytics Association is eighteen years old in 2022, with 5,000 members and going strong.

I love how we’ve had a very similar path in the sense that based on what our community asks for, we also developed. When we started Consulting Success, we were sharing free content online for many years. People said, “Do you have a course on how you can become a successful consultant?” We said, “No, but we’ll create one.” After that, “This is great. My business is growing. Is there a way to work with you? Do you have a coaching program?” “No, we don’t, but we’ll create one.”

I love that you’re taking that demand from the marketplace and then building it. When you talk about creating a conference, you’ll often hear people say that’s a heck of a lot of work and it can be very stressful. What was the experience like for you of creating a conference? When and when would you not recommend the people create a conference? Is that a viable marketing strategy now?

With a COVID override on it, it’s incredibly difficult now because all of my sponsors are putting on their own virtual events. Fair enough. They need to promote themselves. Everybody’s doing a webinar every day and that’s fine, but human beings like to gather. As vaccinations increase and Omicron stops being a problem soon, please, we are going to come back together in droves because we are social animals.

It is always a good idea to create a gathering of humans around a topic that is underserved. Somebody says, “We’re going to do a conference on sewing machines.” “A lot of people are doing that.” “We’re going to do a conference on left-handed sewing machines.” “That’s interesting.” “We’re going to do a conference on left-handed Japanese sewing machines.” “That’s my jam, sign me up.” Always creating the community around something very specific because then they want to talk to each other about it.

CSP 227 | Web Analytics

 

Could you speak a little bit more about that example or your own experience of narrowing in and specializing? Even when you have a successful consulting business, you end up with baggage and waste. You’ll find that as you start to analyze and you’ll notice right from analytics, but you look at where are the majority of your sales and traffic coming from? It’s like the 80/20 principle in full effect, where a small minority of whatever is contributing to the majority of the output or the result.

People are often though very scared to narrow it. How did you get to that point where you feel so strongly that you’re not going to have a conference for sewing machines, but a conference for left-handed Japanese sewing machines? A lot of you will look at that and go, “You’re going to leave out so many potential people.” Talk to me a little bit more about where that conviction comes from.

It comes from the advent of the internet. If I’m a consultant in Santa Barbara, California with a population of 80,000 people, I have to be all things to all people because there are only so many people. Now, I have the internet and I can reach out to everybody. If I say, “I do big data analytics.” It’s like, “So does everybody.” “I do marketing analytics.” “A lot of people do that.” “I do internet online marketing digital analytics, specifically for the aircraft industry.” There are only three people who need me, but they’re going to know who I am because I’m going to pop to the top of Google every ten minutes for them.

I’m interested in your specific situation and experience because you’ve written twelve books. You cover a lot of different areas of marketing online, analytics and these different pieces. You do have a pretty wide umbrella in terms of coverage. How have you taken those different areas of expertise and narrowed them in to build a business around them? What what’s been your approach to taking all this and deciding what to monetize and what not to?

The subject is digital analytics. Where do people need help within digital analytics? My niche is evangelism. I think of it as the consulting pyramid. At the peak, I’m going to put myself at the top. At the peak of the pyramid is the guy who says, “Everybody, look over here. This is important. You should pay attention.” A company will have me come in and work with a couple of hundred of their marketing people to understand, “What is the internet? 1995. What is digital analytics? 2005. What is artificial intelligence? 2021.”

“This is a marketing team. We don’t know about data science. Explain what it is and why and how. How much should we invest, where do we go and who’s going to eat our lunch, if we don’t do it and get us all looking in the same direction.” At the end of it, they say, “We get it. Now, we need a strategy. We need help putting together a plan.”

I go, “There’s a bunch of other people who do that well. Here’s my invoice. Let me know when you hit some trouble spots and I’ll come in and audit what you’re up to,” but creating a plan for you in your industry at this point in time. There are six people over here who are members of the Digital Analytics Association who are good at that. The next group will come in and implement the plan. The next group will come in and be the arms and legs who will turn the cranks and make the analytics happen.

You’ve been now consulting and speaking for many years. When you look back in the benefit of hindsight, what is an experience, lesson, principle or approach that if you about the way that you approached it and the way that you think now knowing what you know, maybe there was a better way or maybe it’s something that you wish you would’ve done earlier or done differently? What stands out to you is the feeling like, “I could have seen success even faster or got to a different level if I would’ve done this differently.” Is there anything that resonates with you as you think about that?

It depends on how you define success.

How do you define success?

Be creative, invent, think deep thoughts, write, and dream. Click To Tweet

I am the master of my fate. I get to travel the world. I talked to some of the most interesting people on the planet. I am constantly learning new stuff. If at any time you put a contract to my head and forced me to write a book, “There’s another one. I can write you another one.” It is a fascinating lifestyle. If success is building a large company and selling it at a huge multiplier, I never had that impulse nor did I ever have the examples of people. I never worked for a boss I respected, which is why I’ve been working for myself for many years.

You’ve operated as a solo consultant, author and speaker. Do you ever have the desire at all to build a team, even a small one around you?

I have a small team. I built this Marketing Analytics Summit Conference and needed help and found somebody who had done lots of conferences for a long time. He became my operational and then chief executive while I’m the subject matter expert. He’s the guy who knows how to put a conference together. That company, which is called Rising Media produces 8 or 10 conferences and mine happens to be one of them. There was a team of people who I came up with the agenda. They built the website, they worried about the registration and they made sure that we’ve got a sales team. They make sure that the sponsors are happy. I’m just the pretty face.

As a solo consultant where a lot of your day-to-day is you, are there any struggles or anything that you feel you haven’t yet overcome or you’re trying to overcome?

It’s prioritization.

What do you mean?

I need at least two more days every week. There are too many things to do that I want to do. I’m careful at not overpromising. There are two times of the year and this is pre-COVID because since then, it’s been nonstop. In the middle of the summer, when Europe goes on vacation and now, we’re creeping up on Christmas and things quiet down. I get to be creative, invent, think deep thoughts, write and dream up new stuff and new partnerships. For the last couple of years, I haven’t had a chance to do that. It is just to deliver and deliver. I’m a horse in the traces. I’m enjoying the race, but that chance to kick back, I don’t schedule that for myself as much as I should.

Knowing what you know now and looking forward, is there anything that you are working towards changing in terms of your habits, support, structures or systems to help you to get better results?

I have a yellow sticky right next to the camera that says, “Say no more often.”

You’re an expert in the area of web analytics. I’m very interested in this topic. Let’s say you’re a solo consultant or you’re a small consulting firm, my question to you is how important is analytics? At what point should a consultant care about analytics and looking at their data from their website? How many people should they have coming to their website? How many clients should they have? What are the metrics that somebody should go to, “I should start paying attention to this,” and when should they not pay attention to it?

It’s a matter of volume. I have 100 people a day come to my website that is an insufficient amount of data to be meaningful. It is the curse of small numbers. If ten more people came to my website, “It increased by 10%.” It’s meaningless. If you are an individual, then what you care about is how many people are looking at your posts on LinkedIn? How many people are retweeting what you think is important? How often do people call and ask for help? That’s stuff that you know. You don’t need analytics. You don’t need a dashboard for that.

Where have you seen the shift? Is there a shift right now when it comes to marketing your services, other consulting firms that you know or other professional services? Are there any big opportunities right now that maybe COVID accelerated it? In terms of more online presentations, workshops, virtual round tables, or things of that nature, is there anything else that you feel right now into 2022 is a big opportunity for somebody who sells expertise?

I’m an old fart, but there are some basics that never change. The other stuff is the shiny new object. I made fun of Clubhouse earlier. Let’s make fun of the Metaverse now. If I were to provide my consulting in a 3D headset environment, it would be a curiosity and it would draw attention, but it would add no value. There’s nothing I can do in a fake 3D world that I cannot do on Zoom with a whiteboard that I can’t do in person.

When I first saw it on Twitter, I thought, “What’s the point? Are you kidding me?” It became a major way that information reaches me because I follow a very few number of people. I keep it under 75 and they bubble up to the surface the stuff I’m interested in. That’s incredibly valuable. I use Facebook only for friends and family. I don’t do business on Facebook. That’s not for me. As a B2B person, Facebook is not my place to play. LinkedIn is a huge opportunity. I will post on LinkedIn. I will write articles for LinkedIn because the fundamental underlying value thing is to produce.

CSP 227 | Web Analytics

 

Tell people what you believe, what you think, capable of and explain it to them. If they go, “I agree and I can do all of that myself,” you provided value. If they say, “I agree, but I can’t do it myself.” You’ve gained a client. If they say, “I disagree,” then either great. You don’t have to waste your time with them or they start having a conversation with you and you learn things.

Shifting into the future for a moment because your most recent work is about AI and marketing and where we might be going. I’d love to gain your insight and perspective as to what does the future looks like? What do you feel business owners, entrepreneurs and consultants, both for their own businesses as well as maybe for their clients stand out right now? Where are the big opportunities or what should people be watching or studying so they can make the most of what’s to come?

People should be paying attention to what AI can do and not paying attention to science fiction except for entertainment. For example, a consultancy, that when the recommendation is published as much as you can, should look at the tools that helping people write articles. There are now natural language processing and generation tools.

You give it a sentence or even a handful of keywords and it will write seven paragraphs for you, which you have to edit. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s better than an intern without any industry knowledge because the AI is out there looking at everything else that’s been published and coming up with something fresh. You can then edit and can write ten times faster. That’s valuable even to a solo practitioner.

How do you feel about that? In general, when you are the ones selling your expertise, a consultant who monetizes their expertise. If you’re using a tool like the one you’re talking about and I’m familiar with some of these out there. The content itself is not your content. It’s created by AI, a bot or whatever you want to call it. How do you feel about that in terms of being able to create intellectual property when that intellectual property isn’t yours?

You can edit it completely to the point where it is then going to be unique in yours, but when you can push a button and all of a sudden you can have an article or a piece of content, but you didn’t play a role and even the strategy around it. I’d love to hear your thoughts and perspective on that because maybe some of that might be holding some people back. What are your thoughts around that future?

There is a digital analytics expert and digital transformation guy that I depend on by the name of John Lovett. He got his degree in Photography. He had to fight for an extra six months to get his degree because the professor did not think that digital photography was a thing. It’s not real. Let’s talk about creativity. If the machine writes an article for you and it is original, it’s not plagiarizing. It’s taking concepts and bringing them together. You review that and you say, “That is how I feel about this. That is a valuable piece. I will put my name on it. You created it. You used a tool.” “You use spellcheck. That’s not fair.”

If it doesn’t make sense and you have to edit the bejeebers out of it to make it make sense, you created an article. I get hit all the time. “We’ll write blog posts for you for only $50,” and they’re horrible. It’s humans trying to pretend that they’re smart. If you’re a subject matter expert, you can tell, “This is crap,” but the AI stuff, it comes back crap and you say, “This is wrong and this is the proper phrase. Go do it again. You are using a tool to create your own article.”

The creation of written content is one thing that AI is already ushering in because there are already opportunities to do this now. What else stands out? Where else do you see opportunities?

For consultants who are consulting to larger companies, the larger companies are using these tools for targeting advertising. “Are we putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time?” You’ve seen deep fakes. Let’s take a personality and have them say, “There’s this great steakhouse in town and you should go visit it. Its name is,” and then it goes through and it finds all the names of steak houses and that celebrity is now recommending 1,000 different steak houses. That’s AI.

Narrow your focus on your target market. Click To Tweet

What if I said, “This is the best book that you should read?” I do that for everybody on LinkedIn. I have now personalized. In fact, I’ve got one video where a guy said, “Your consultancy is the place that I like to help,” and he held up this paddle and it said, “Hi Jim,” on it. It’s extremely clear that the paddle is blank, but it grabbed my profile and put, “Hi, first name.” It got my attention.

How do you feel about that as the receiver of that attempt where you clearly know it is not being personalized, but it is different? What was your initial reaction?

I thought it was adorable. It was cute and I’m not interested in hiring that guy to do anything for me, but it was a fun example.

Before we wrap up, there are a couple more questions here for you. You have a lot going on from writing books, running an association, conference and consulting. When you look at your habits, principles and practices, what stands out to you? What do you feel contributes most to the superpower that you’re doing on a regular basis, anything that is part of your day-to-day or a regular basis?

I’m going to change that question a little bit. “Jim, what are you a sucker for?” Number one, travel. I get an email out of the blue that says, “We’d like you to come to Zagreb, Croatia to do a conference.” “I’ve never been there. Sign me up.” Number two, I knew this but didn’t know formally, I’m a mentor. I love helping people.

It is why I created Analytics Cohorts, which is a mutual mentorship small gathering, a masterclass, that meets twice a month for six months. “What are you working on? What are you trying to get to? How are you getting there? How do you like that job? What do you want help with?” That conversation is why I love conferences. COVID has been years now and we haven’t been able to rub shoulders. Let’s try to do that online.

From that, some of the people in my Analytics Cohorts said, “I need more. Will you be a private mentor?” That is so rewarding. I have always had the ego to think I could help people, but now I have the age and experience that I can say, “You’re interested in the music industry and you want to do analytics. I know the head of Amazon Music analytics. Maybe you should talk to her. Let me send you an email and introduce you.” That’s fun. That floats my boat.

We have your books, twelve of them that people can dive into and learn more about all these areas that you cover. In the last six months or so, what’s one book, it could be fiction or nonfiction, that you feel expanded your thinking?

You interviewed Felix Velarde. He is a friend of mine. We met through the social responsibility project and he told me about how he’s doing this consulting. I said, “You need to write the book and have other people learn how to do it,” and he said, “What do you think about this manuscript?” I sent back an edited version and he said, “Would you like to do it?” This is yet another hat that I wear that is helping small agencies double and triple in size.

Where else can people go to learn more about you and your work? What’s the main website that you’d like people to check out?

It’s Targeting.com, as in narrowing your focus on the target market and on Twitter at @JimSterne.

Do you have a lot of people reaching out to you to try and buy that domain from you?

It’s on a monthly basis.

Jim, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate you sharing some of your stories and best practices with us.

Michael, thank you so much for having me on this has been great and fun.

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About Jim Sterne

CSP 227 | Web AnalyticsInternationally known speaker and consultant to Fortune 500 companies and Internet entrepreneurs, Jim has over twenty-five years in sales and marketing – most of that on measuring the value of digital media for creating and strengthening customer relationships.

Author of a dozen books on advertising, marketing, customer service, email marketing and web analytics. Founder of the Marketing Analytics Summit (eMetrics Summit), co-founder of the Digital Analytics Association, and creator of the Analytics Cohorts mutual mentorship program.

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