Chris Mercer, the co-founder of MeasurementMarketing.io, is a sought-after measurement marketing expert.
Mercer (as he’s known) and his team help marketers, marketing teams, and agencies know, trust, and grow their numbers.
By planning out what’s important to measure in their marketing, then how to actually measure it (using tools like Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics), creating dashboards that are actually useful, and pulling actionable insights from what’s being measured to begin forecasting and optimizing future results.
Mercer spends countless hours reading, practicing, adjusting, and innovating to improve his skill set. He has a knack for teaching and is known for his ability to simplify even the most complex ideas for his audience.
He can be found speaking at conferences and events, such as Traffic & Conversion, Social Media Marketing World, Content Jam, TravelCon, Digital Elite Camp, Baby Bathwater Institute, and others.
The Ultimate Guide to Website Traffic for Business
What you will learn
- What “Truth is in the Trend, Power is in the Pattern” means
- The importance of data for marketing decisions
- Why true education comes by “doing”
- How Mercer found riches in the “niches”
- Why you need to be ready to start when you get “the call”
- How to identify when you have that “Aha” moment
- Why action is key and trumps ideas
- Why you should be documenting to teach your team
- Whether you should document processes with text or video
- The difference you need to understand between “process people” and “project people”
- Whether new laws on Privacy are threatening the digital marketer’s “status quo”
- The Big Question To Ask – “How Did I Get This Result” and what does that mean?
The 5 step framework for making sense of business marketing data:
- What question do I want to get an answer to?
- What information do I need to collect to get that answer?
- What action will I take based on the answer?
- What’s the forecast for that action?
- Then optimize your actions to improve the results
Jeff Bullas: Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Jeff Bullas Show. Today I have with me Mercer. His first name's Chris, but there're so many Chris’s in the room that we just decided to call him Mercer. So, welcome to the show, Mercer. It's an absolute pleasure to have you here.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yeah, happy to be here. I appreciate you having me.
Jeff Bullas: Now, Mercer is an analytics guy. Now, when people hear analytics and data some people just start to scream and run out of the room. So we're trying to keep this interesting and keep it without using acronyms. I have a term about acronyms. It's called when you see an acronym, shoot it, because it's industry speak. All right?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Fair point. Exactly. Yeah.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. And so, we're going to have... He's the founder of MeasurementMarketing.io, and we're going to dive into that a little bit. Mercer started his career in radio advertising. Radio still exists today, thank God. It's morphing and evolving and splintering into things like podcasts. And here we are, we're on a podcast. And this will be turned into a YouTube video as well. So, it's a brave new world, and Mercer is going to explain a little bit about these challenges and opportunities as a business owner in a digital world running a virtual team. We're going to dive in a little bit about that as well, I think, and we're going to find out what MeasurementMarketing.io does. Chris, what got you into this industry? And I believe you started in radio advertising. So, how did you get into radio advertising?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: I did. It's a long sort of twisted tale. But radio was my first job just because I quite literally would have people come up to me and say, "Oh, with a voice, you got this great voice. You should go into radio."
Jeff Bullas: You do.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: I walk in this radio station. This is literally what happened. I walked into a radio station that I just knew. I saw them. They were there. And I was like, "Hey." They're like, "Can I help you?" I was like, "Yeah, I need to know. How do you... how do you become a DJ?" They're like, "Why do you ask?" And I told them that, "Because people say I should be a DJ because of my voice." They're like, "Well, I guess you have a tape?" I'm like, "No, I have no idea what that is." It's like, "Come and make a tape." So I did, which is just reading commercials. I read a few commercials. They were like, "We're going to make room for you." And the rest was history, so I thought. Then I met the salespeople in the radio station.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So, you had DJs, which was the fun part of radio, but it does not make a lot of money unless you're at the very tippy top sort of Howard Stern level. The rest doesn't make a whole lot. And then there's the salespeople that were actually making the dollars. And that's where I was like... I started looking at, how do I do that? That seems like that will get me paid a little faster. And I started learning sales, and my first job in sales the guy was like, "Well, I don't know... Do you have any experience?" I'm like, "No, I have no experience."
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: This is the general manager at the time. This is exactly... It was old school, but it was perfect. Gives me a phone book. For those pre-internet, this was the internet printed on paper, essentially, like Google, but on paper. And so, it gives me a phone book, and he's like, "All right, you're going to make up a holiday PSAs," like public service announcements. It's like, "Hey, don't drink a drive this holiday season brought to you by ABC lawyer," right? Something like that. Make up the script, produce the commercials, sell the packages, here's your prospect list. Gives me the phone book.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: I would be DJ for my shift. And then later that day, I would come down and work for 100% commission, and the goal was I would split everything 50/50. So what happened is I sold so much that that 50% it was cheaper for him just to hire me as a salesperson, which he did. So, that's how I got into sales. And that's where I started really having this cool combination of learning copy because it brought in the marketing because you had to... I wrote scripts. As a salesperson, you would write the scripts for your client. So, I had to write a script that would convert. I had to produce the script. I had to measure the results. In a lot of ways it was really foreshadowing much of what we do now, except it was just a lot harder to do it because there was no pixel that could be fired or anything that reported back to the mothership or anything that we have now as digital marketers, but that's where I got... It's where I cut my teeth. I learned all that stuff there.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And then I really started to understand. I moved very quickly into sales management, and started really just appreciating and learning sales in general. How to manage a sales team, how to train the sales team, managing the pipeline of sales, predicting out your sales, making sure that you hit budgets, all of that stuff. So I got very much into the numbers at that point. So I've got the sales and marketing spend with now I'm getting the numbers because that's how you manage a team. And then long story short, I figured I've been through corporate America a bunch of different ways. I was in at the time in a recruiting firm, and running a couple branches for them. And it was okay, it was good. But it was just to the point where I realized, "I just don't want to keep doing this anymore. And there's this new thing called the internet that I heard people also create businesses on."
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And so, I tried to do that. And it was like, "All right. So, we'll do it the old fashioned way." My wife and I saved up a bunch of money, six months worth of savings. We moved from New York, we were at the time. We both quit our six figure corporate jobs, and we moved down to Austin. We had six months, and it was like, create a website, get it working, and make it profitable, so that we can keep going. And that's been 10 years now 10, 11 years since that. So, I started my first site. It was a WordPress site that was a membership site to show people how to build WordPress sites. That led to people saying, "Hey, why don't you just build my site for me?" So I had to learn outsourcing because I didn't... I mean, I did some of it. But I wanted to expand that.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And then I realized, "Well, everybody builds websites, WordPress, how do I differentiate myself, or ourselves?" And so it was like, okay, conversion rate optimization because that was new. Everyone was just building things before. Now, they were actually starting to improve the results of the sites to optimize the conversion rate. So we said, "Okay, we'll build your site, and then optimize the conversion rate." And then here's where our future really took a turn: because I needed to optimize a conversion rate, you must first measure that conversion rate, enter Google Analytics and tools like that. So we started using Google Analytics.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: The thing that I didn't realize is I went a little deeper down how to set it up than most other people even knew was possible. So we would set it up for a client, and say, "Okay. By the way, this is how you manage your forms, and here's a goal on it. Here's how you know what traffic source is causing leads and which traffic sources causes sales. Here's how to tweak your traffic sources blah, blah, blah." We just thought everybody did that. But very quickly realized nobody did that with their numbers. They just didn't know how to do that.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And so, we started having client referrals, that instead of referring those people to build websites it was, "Hey, can you show us how to do that with our analytics?" And that's when we decided to switch and really move into what is now MeasurementMarketing.io to help people learn how to use tools like Google Analytics, and Tag Manager and Data Studio. They're all free. They're not that hard to use as long as you have a proper framework. And now marketers can know their numbers and know ultimately how to grow the numbers. And that's what brings us here.
Jeff Bullas: Cool. So how did you... You sound like you built WordPress, you dived into Google Analytics. So, did you do any technical training or you just learnt by doing?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Most of it was learning by doing but a lot of technical training in terms of using Google, right? So you Google stuff. I would, of course, buy somebody's course if I could, if it was out there. Back in the day, there wasn't a lot that was out there. It was like analytics was a thing. And people thought they were setting it up by putting the code on the pages. And they would just sort of jump in Google Analytics. We've done that before too, where you jump in to look at a tool like that. You see a bunch of reports, your eyes kind of glaze over, you're like, "Nothing means anything. I'm just going to come back and figure this out in a couple of years." And that's what a lot of people do.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: What we realized is that it needs to be set up. You have to take certain steps inside of it. And then when you set it up properly, it's like all of a sudden it starts reading like a storybook in a very real way. And you can see the story of how your users are interacting with your website, and if they're interacting the way you want them to, and what actions you can take to improve things. It's a phenomenal tool at that point. So we started with understanding that we had that need, there wasn't a lot of stuff out there. So it was a lot of googling and asking questions and bumping into walls until we figured it out. Then it was just a matter of okay, how do we teach this so it's simpler? So that "normal people", people that aren't numbers people can do this stuff.
Jeff Bullas: Okay. So, let's step back a little bit in terms of learning and doing online courses and everything. So in your radio advertising days you said that you'd learn how to write copy, then learn how to, about getting leads in sales, learning sales, how to write copy. How do you teach yourself that back... That would have been almost pre-online courses day.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: For sure. Yeah.
Jeff Bullas: So, how did you learn those skills? Sales, marketing, yeah.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Before there was Google, there were books. And so, you would buy books on sales, right?
Jeff Bullas: I've heard of books.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yeah, yeah. They're very much like the internet. It's very limited. It's kind of like a really long blog. That's what a book is nowadays, but printed out, and it doesn't get updated ever. You have to buy a new copy every time.
Jeff Bullas: My son goes to... He wants to learn something, he YouTubes it all the time.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Nowadays, you can. I kid you not I am teaching my mom the internet. And I have shown her YouTube to do that. Now she's YouTubing people trying to figure out how to do things on the internet. Simple things like just what a browser extension is or something like that, but she didn't grow up with it. She needs the skills to be able to operate in today's world. So, YouTube is a fantastic resource. But back in the day it was books. It was sales courses that were on cassette tape. Remember cassette tape?
Jeff Bullas: Absolutely.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Ah, see? So I'm old school that way.
Jeff Bullas: I used to drive around in my car with different sets of tapes depending on the requirement of the time listening to people like Brian Tracy, you write [inaudible 00:10:25].
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Oh, all the Nightingale-Conant, yep.
Jeff Bullas: Yep, yep. So, there was Tony Robbins. I had his cassette tapes. My car looked like a recording studio with all the tapes in it.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: You had all the Earl Nightingale stuff? Oh, yeah.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And you did, I mean, especially in sales back then, right? You're in your car. I literally bought a car because it didn't have a cassette player, I upgraded my car. So I would have that. So I could keep that. Because my thinking at the time, and it still is, is if you leave your own mind to come up with its own thoughts, and it's not trained to do otherwise it sometimes doesn't produce the best thoughts for you. It takes some training to think in a way that's going to be useful. And so, having other people's thoughts constantly in my head and the other training, another way to think about stuff. It just trained my brain to think in a certain way. So I liked having it as a constant background all the time.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, I hadn't reflected on that. Almost forgotten about the fact that I was learning about tapes. And then it became CDs.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Then it was CDs.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: For what feels like a very brief period of time because it pretty much jumped to mp3, but yeah.
Jeff Bullas: Now it's YouTube, and it's podcasts, and it's online courses. But still, I fell in love with books at the age of five when I discovered reading and I used to... There was the eight o'clock turn off the light rule at home when I was young. And soon as the house went quiet, I turned on my lamp put it underneath my bed, pulled out my book, and read quietly till I fell asleep. Quite often waking up in the morning with a lamp almost burning my arm that was next to me as I'd fallen asleep with a book next to me. So, I fell in love with books, and still do. Then I started a blog, and started writing, and then fell in love with words and word wrangling. So yeah, it's learning is still much the same. It's just the medium. And the medium that's changed now.
Jeff Bullas: I still have to remind myself because I'm a bit of an older generation. But I think I've got a young heart. I'm going to go, "Ah, all I have to do is YouTube to find out what to do." Because this is the thinking, whereas the younger generation, that's the first thought. I'll YouTube it, and I'm still trying to teach my mom how to send a text, but she does know how to do FaceTime, which is really cool.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: There you go. That's great.
Jeff Bullas: But most of the time it's accidental so that's fine.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: It's a start.
Jeff Bullas: But you're learning. It fascinates me, and I suppose there's a certain reason why I was... My university degree was in teaching, so I became a secondary high school teacher.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Oh, that's great.
Jeff Bullas: About 30 years later, I changed that teaching to online through the blog.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: I used to teach accelerated learning back in the day. So kind of the speed reading and advanced note taking skills and that sort of stuff. I agree with you on the book thing because I remember when I was a kid opening a book, it was like... I didn't do a lot of fiction reading. I just never got into fiction reading. Occasionally, I would, mostly if I had to because of a school assignment or something, and I enjoyed it. But I really liked nonfiction. Because it was that idea of that now I have a capacity, a skill that I did not even know was a thing.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And not only do I know it's a thing now, but I know how to use it, how to practice it, and how to improve the world around me, right? Improve my environment because of that. And having that, there's things you can't unsee anymore. That light bulb moment going off and you're like, "Okay, I'm going to say it like this now. Oh, that's why that happened. I'm going to avoid doing that now." It just helps you navigate through life. I just remember that feeling over and over and over again with books. So, I can absolutely relate to that.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, I start my day reading before meditating, 20 minutes of meditating, but I'm reading Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces at the moment. And it goes back to myths and storytelling, and how embedded they are for millennia in the human psyche, and reading and diving into his really incredibly beautiful insights about myths in religion, myths in community, myths through fairy tales. It's primal because it just gets to the heart of what it is to be human, and humans write stories to try and make sense of the world, and wrote myths, and created them. I'm an avid book reader and ongoing learner. And especially in today's age where everything changes so quickly, and I wish that sometimes it'd just slow down. We've just had accelerated learning over the last 12 months.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: That's a fact.
Jeff Bullas: That virtual businesses, virtual work, remote work, whatever term you want to give it. So let's have a little chat about, and I'm curious about how you got into starting the business. I know you said that you left radio advertising and got over that. You're marketing manager, you discover the internet, sounds around 2010.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yeah, it's right about 2010, yeah.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Okay. So tell us how you start the business. And then some of the challenges you had along the way, and what you did.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: The initial challenge is one of the I think that anybody that comes from a structured environment meaning you're working for somebody else, you're on somebody else's dime, and there's somebody else. So, the external force that's pushing you, the initial challenge for me was that I didn't have that. Don't get me wrong. I'm all about the hustle, and I get all that thing. But at a certain point, it was like, "Well, you don't have to get it done this moment." There's no one that's going to bust you at a meeting publicly tomorrow if this happens, or anything like that. So it's putting a structure in place to make sure that you're accountable to yourself, especially if you're just at that freelancer mode where it's the power of one. When you start your company, when we all start a company, it's just us. We're everything. We play all of the roles.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And so, for me, it was being aware that I was playing all of the roles. And I think that's the biggest shift that I went through. Because when I realized... If it was just like, "Oh, I need to do this for myself, for my own little company." There wasn't really that, but it was like me as the employee, let's say, the website builder role or the content or the instructor role, or the marketing role, or the manager role. And I would start to flip roles in my head where I'm like, "Okay, the manager role of me is assigning this in Asana right now," or whatever the project management thing we were using back then is assigning this tasks to the marketer version of me so that I send traffic to the site. The manager part of me is assigning this task to the instructor role, so that I can get this done.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: For me, I had to structure it like that so that, one, I could get the job done, and it made sense. There was just this little structure that I was familiar with, but two because it very quickly made me aware of all the roles. And that meant, I needed to... Now that I could see all those different roles that I was filling, I could work toward building the company and making that switch. Because at the end of the day, a lot of entrepreneurs, I think, join the thing because they like making candles. And so, I'm going to be a candle store, then they start making candles, and then they realize, "Oh, my gosh, I have candles, and I'm a janitor, and I'm an accountant. And I have to do the marketing." And now you're a business owner, and it's different. There's a big difference between those two.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So when I saw all the roles that I was filling, I went to work to add team members, and then replace my roles in the company where I could. And so, that role model has really been the biggest thing that I learned the earliest to help me move things forward.
Jeff Bullas: That's very cool. And it is a challenge for all of us when we start. I had to try and put together a WordPress site. Wrangled that very badly, but at least it was after it was live, how to do a domain name, get that link to WordPress. There are a lot of moving parts, especially if you're not that technical, and I'm not that technical. And then, yeah, you're right. You've got to sell this stuff, or how do I make money out of this? So what was your aha moment? Was there an intersection of both experience, expertise, and doing what you love? Was that an intersection that drove you to an aha moment? And did you get one of those or you just went, "I think it's the internet's going to be the future?"
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: The thing that led me... So, this is a true story of how... I almost said I figured out the internet was going to be a thing. I mean, back then, everybody had the internet, but the people that were making money online it was in... It just wasn't... It was like dating online. Back then it was like, "Oh, you met them online?" Like it's one of those weird things. Now, that's just normal. That's how you do it. But back then it wasn't like that, so people that were making money online it was kind of like this dark little corner. Some of this stuff was scams. It was to be worried about. There just wasn't a lot of education out there about it.
Jeff Bullas: It was, yap.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: I took educational steps. I was reading blog posts, and everything else. There is a guy named Mike Filsaime who I was in Long Island. He happened to also be in Long Island. He was very popular, still is a digital marketer. Mike was running a promotion with a guy named Chris Farrell called AffiliateDotCom. Long story short, I sign up for their list by first launch being on the user side of that. There's a launch model, and I'm getting all excited, whatever, they're having this live broadcast, and you can do a chat and answer questions.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So they do this chat, and I answer a question. And Mike's like, "Oh, you got it. I'll go ahead and mail you this pen as a prize." And I'm like, "Oh, I only live 10 minutes away." I noticed this because I saw his address on my email, and I had driven by his office to see if it was a real office or not. And it's just pure luck. This is the universe gives you sometimes a clear hint. That was mine. So I go there, and he goes, "Oh, yeah, just come by. That's great." So, I come by after a very long day at work. And I'm going in and they're at this point in the middle of the launch. And up until this point, I knew that the internet, the possibilities of online digital, anything on the internet was there, but it wasn't crystallized. It was just kind of like an idea like, "Oh, yeah, that makes sense. It's probably a thing." I was going to...
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So then I walked into his office. They're in the middle of the launch in this 24 hour period of whatever it was, and at the time they have this big whiteboard, and they're recording all of these sales. And of course, I'm kind of a numbers guy so I'm looking at the whiteboard, and I'm thinking, "This is the revenue." So I'm like, 'Okay, this is revenue they're making." Then I'm like, "That's not right." I pull out my... I had a little calculator with me. I pulled it out, and I must have typed something wrong, and I do it again. This has been like eight hours into their launch or something, whatever it was, and it was $2.2 million in revenue.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Now, admittedly, there's affiliate costs and everything else, I get all that. But in my head, it was like there was a shift. Talk about that aha moment. It was like everything clicked. It was a different gear, and my path was forever changed. And so, I saw that and I went, "This is real." It was like, you just knew it was a thing now. It was like that was my burning bush, where I'm like, "It's a thing. I know it's a thing. I don't question it anymore." Now, how do I do it? But it's not is this really a thing? I don't know. Some people could do it. But I guess you have the special skills. I'm like, "Nope, it's the thing. I see it in front of me, very real." Now it's going in that direction, and figure out how to do that.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: That's what led me. That was the shift. That was the biggest aha moment I've ever had my entire life. And it was like, just a gear. My brain just changed forever. I could almost physically feel just like, boom, now you look at the world like this now. And it's never changed. I've been forever grateful to him and his team for that moment.
Jeff Bullas: I have heard of Mike. I've seen him in dispatches quite a lot. But what's really interesting, and the reason I asked you was there an aha moment? In fact, I'm going to ask this question a lot more. Steven Spielberg says that the opportunity or your purpose in the world will turn up as a whisper. It will not shout at you. I think for you it was maybe a little louder than a whisper, but you still acted on it. This is really cool.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: It's 100% right is the action that was the key. And keep in mind, I could have not showed up to that chat room. I saw the email address, and I could have been like, "Maybe this is just a P.O. Box. I don't have to drive by that." And to your point, I think that was the whisper. It was seeing his address at the bottom of his emails and seeing that and going like, "Oh, that's nearby. Maybe we should drive by and see if that's a real office location or not." I could have just gone, "Ah, it's a P.O. Box. I'm not even going to worry about it." And just discounted that. I could have not listened to that little gentle whisper. I could have not signed up for the list as opposed to going, "Oh, this is something that maybe you should take a look at."
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And what was cool because I think you're right. It is that big aha, the big obvious win that happened for me would not have been a possibility had I not listened to the tiny whispers. And I think that's where the real courage of action takes place where you go, "There's lots of logical reasons that I can tell people that I didn't take that action." They'd be like, "Wow, that makes total sense." But you did it anyway. Because there's just something there where you were like, "It just feels like I need to do it," and you do it. And you take that little leap, which leads to a bigger leap, which gives you the obvious win where everyone goes, "Well, of course. Of course, you made it in this level." And it's like, "No, it's because of all this other stuff that led to that."
Jeff Bullas: Exactly. Yeah. When we were talking before we hit record button here I was mentioning that in the middle of reading Joseph Campbell's, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which in other words, there's thousands of heroes out there that you answered a call. That call was to do what you're doing today. And then the next step is part of the hero's journey, which has been used in I think all the top 10 Hollywood movies of all time. They're all using Joseph Campbell's story arc, the hero's journey, the next step is crossing the threshold. And that's what you did too. You stepped into the unknown. It would have been a different world to what you're used to, I'm sure. So, hats off to you and to everyone that does answer the call, and then crosses the threshold because it's an unknown.
Jeff Bullas: And some of the stories he uses too, his example is that Christopher Columbus sailed to America with a crew that he had to drive like his children because they had a medieval mind where they thought they were going to go out on this ocean that they couldn't see the end of. And at that time, the belief was that you went over the edge of the world. So, they were going to the unknown, and it's really fascinating how myths and stories get back to the reality of how we live life as human beings. So, you cross the threshold, you've started. So what were some of the challenges for you?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So the biggest challenge is first realizing that it's bigger than me. That I have to act as if a little bit and realize, "I'm not just a one person show. Even if, in all measurable ways you are. So I split up my head. I say, "I'm not a one person show. I'm a staff of 10 people, 10 different roles working in this company, and I'm hopscotching my way through them all." But that's where I am. That's what I'm doing. And maybe they're not all full-time jobs because it's a tiny little company. It doesn't need full-time people in those roles. But that was the first mental shift I did. And then it was a matter of working to bring people on board into the company. And realizing the second you hire your first person that you've really hired two because what's happened is you hired them, and then you hire their boss, which is you. And you now need to really learn how to train and manage and there's all these other roles that you didn't know were there, in addition to all the other stuff that you were just doing.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And so, there was this concept of okay, I got to figure out how to do the training and understand that in the beginning they might be half as good as I am at the actual thing I need them to do. But I'm not hiring them for their performance today, I'm hiring them for their performance tomorrow, and next month, and next year. And so, I invest in them so that ultimately they can take it much, much further than I ever could.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Like when I hired my first video editor, I used to do all the videos for the courses myself. I hired him, he was doing the videos. He was doing them not like I was doing them. And then I could go to him and say, "Well, how would you improve this?" He said, "Oh, I would do this. I would do that." And then he took the editor and just did stuff with it that I would never even know the editor could do. So, now he's obviously in charge of the video editing. I don't have to worry about it anymore. And the company now, as a whole, the company has a better skill set in terms of how to edit videos because of that, because I was allowing that to go forward.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So I think that was the biggest lesson for me in terms of expanding the company and realizing every time I hire somebody I'm hiring two. I'm hiring them and their trainer. Now I'm doing it at a different level. I'm hiring them and their trainer, but the person, one of my staff is probably training at this point because we're building that next level down. But I still think like that. I know that I'm going to handicap this person a little bit. They're going to be slowed down from their normal job because they're training somebody who's going to help them out. But that department will net bigger gains in let's say 13 to 16 weeks. And that's why I'm taking the action I'm taking. I'm always playing that medium to long term game. I'm not trying to solve a problem I have today. I'm trying to solve a problem and steer the ship through things that I can see six months out, and that's why I build the team that way.
Jeff Bullas: So, who was your first hire?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: It was a writer. I'd been to an online conference. Sorry, not an online conference. I'm just used to saying online conference now since they all are. I was at a live conference, which used to exist back in the day where there were people all in the room together, and no one wore masks. It was fascinating. So I was in this room, and there was a guy talking about outsourcing, which I had never really heard of at that time. It was just me. And he was like, "Oh, yeah there's all sorts of things. You can use the Philippines, and here are some benefits to it, and you get this website." So I went to his website, learned about it, posted a job, hired somebody. It was not a lot. It was a few hundred dollars a month at the time, and they could help to write posts that I didn't have time anymore to write because I was getting caught up in other stuff. And having that writer, that person to come in and talk to them and train them. That was the very first hire.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Now that one I would say was definitely more of my learning curve because I got some decent posts. I was happy. She stayed with us for quite a while. But it was my second hire, which is our video editor. That's the one... He's been with us now for six some odd years at this point, almost seven. And that one was where I was like, "Okay, I've learned what I needed to learn now. And it's not just to hire somebody to get some stuff done." But I didn't really have stuff because sometimes you do that. You hire the EA, the executive assistant, or the VA, the virtual assistant. But you don't really have a job for him. It's like, "Oh, they're going to help me out." But then you got to realize you have to create a job, a role, where you define what they do. That's an additional thing you now have to do to get the thing done that you're trying to do in the first place.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And so, with our video editor, I'd already learned that at this point. So, I was like, "Okay, here's my videos. I understand how you do the videos. I know, I know how to do the videos not for me, so I can teach them to him." So now everything I did was the intention of teaching it to somebody else. And that has always been a thing with me. Anything that I do, even if I know I'm going to be doing it for a while it is with the intention of eventually teaching it to somebody else. And ultimately, so they can teach it to somebody else. So, we can hire people in our company. And then as the organization grows, they can rise through the organization and fill underneath. That's what our general flow has been.
Jeff Bullas: That's really interesting because with remote work you can't stand around the edge of their desk and learn by walking around. So one of the things that we're certainly exploring a lot more, and it's been interviewing some very interesting guests around the topic of remote work, Liam Martin and others. He has a community on remote work called Remote Running. But there's this real thing about documenting everything as you go. Otherwise, do not go back and try to document what you have already done. But to try and document everything you do as you go. So when you get into going, "Oh, this is the process and the document for how to do a podcast." And that really then feeds into once you've documented then you can scale. So, how do you go about documenting what you do? Because obviously, you would have had the digital video mostly in your head a lot of it. Is that right?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's important to think about that term documenting because I get it. It makes sense. We're like, "Oh, just document everything that you do. And then you try to do that, and you're like, "This takes an enormous amount of time."
Jeff Bullas: It does.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And then you're like, "I don't have time to do this." Then you just move on. Or you just do the thing because it just takes longer to document it than it is to do it, and then documents never get done. So what I have found is that you document in a way that is more natural for you to operate in. So, for me it's videos. I will get on a call with somebody if I need to "document." It doesn't matter. I just need it out of my head and into their plate. That for me is a document. It doesn't mean it's a Google Doc with images and checkboxes and everything else. I don't do that. But I will get on a call, a Zoom call like this. I will get them on. I'll be like, "Okay, cool, I'm going to show you what I'm doing right now." So first I do this, and I will talk through what I'm doing. Now they got the video and I will say, "Go build a document out of that."
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So whether that's our project manager that will do that, or the person themselves that has to do that job. Now we're at a point where the project manager is now part of our company, so she can tackle some of that. But back in the day, it was like, "Okay, now the video editor sees how I edit, how I thought about it. Here's why I'm putting this split here. I'm cutting this out here. Here's why I'm putting the fade in here because of this. Here's why I'm doing this because there's motion on the video, and motion attracts the eye. And so, we want to do that because analytics reports are kind of boring, so you want to do zoom effects and stuff." So, teaching him all of this, how I think about it, so that he has my recipes, my formula and can therefore because he knows those how steps, how I achieve, and how I think. He's more likely to produce the result that I would produce. In a perfect world take it even further which he has done. So, in that example is how I do it with a video editor.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And a project manager now it's me going through saying, "Okay, well, here's how I test something, or here's how I do the video," or whatever the thing is that I'm trying to teach. She'll watch that and then break it down into an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). Then we give it to somebody else who it's not their job. Now, this is only because we have the resources. You don't do this if you don't have a team to do that. Now our team is big enough where we can. I can give it to somebody where it's not their job, and be like, "Follow this SOP, and figure out how good that SOP is." Because if they get 80% of what I would do or the person that's... Because again, it's not just me doing it now. It's other people creating their skills. But if they can get to about 80% through that SOP, that's a pretty good SOP. Most of the time what happens is step one they're like, "I have no idea what you're talking about." Just because the SOP wasn't created simple enough for something like that, and it gets revised.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: At this point, we have the resources to finally get SOPs and processes and everything else. But I think to some extent you grow into that. I would never have had the company I've had if I had sat down for hours and hours on end. This is me personally, I would not have been able to do it if I had to write down everything in a Google Doc. It just wouldn't happen. So I did it in the best way that I could in a media that worked for me. For others, it might be talking it out on voice. For others, it might be writing it down. For others, it might be a face to face conversation if you can do that. But whatever it is, download it. It's get it out of your head explaining things to somebody else. Have them explain it back to you, so you can make sure that it was received. But you need that feedback loop of what I thought was communicated was it communicated? And you'll only know that when you listen to the other side of it coming back.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. And I think it's very important that by getting it out of your head, to do that you've got to think and structure it so it makes sense to someone else. I think that's for me, the art of creating. Whether you're creating a video or writing is getting out of your head means you're forced to structure, distill the noise, and complexity into simplicity. I think it's really, really important. I don't think a lot of people get that. They just go and do stuff, and there's just an incredible amount of knowledge sitting in people's brains. And okay, so how did you do that. It's just natural. So, okay, let's dive deeper into the structure of this.
Jeff Bullas: In fact, I sat down with a mate the other day, and he loves origami and creates. He's a maths teacher, ex maths teacher, but does origami and origami is actually very maths driven in terms of how you fold and everything else. He rang me up the next day sounding excited. He talked about getting... Explaining what you do your art to the world. And he said, "I'm going to read out to you how I make origami and what it means to me." And he read me like a thousand words over the phone. I went, "Yeah, that felt rather special to inspire someone to explain the gift to the world and how they do it. And it's pretty special." And the question also I had as you're talking there was, do you record those zoom calls when you're training someone explaining it?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yes. Yes, we do it on purpose. It's part of the plan because they need to review it later. I definitely don't expect that they're going to have it all. Because a lot of times, especially if you're training a team member, it might be the first time they're exposed to that new skill that you're training them on. So they're going to want to review it later and maybe take screenshots from it. Because just because video works for me and my modality and talking things out because I'm kind of auditory. The ability for me to learn that works. But for somebody else, they might need to actually implement it a little bit. They have to maybe write it down, take some screenshots, pencil it out, structure it out. And that's for me, that's a nightmare. I'm just like, "I don't have time." I just hate it because I'm just not built like that.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: But for other people they're like, "I could never talk this thing, and just talk through it like you do. It's impossible. I need to write it down and pencil it out and structure it and do..." That energizes them, whereas for me, it would just totally drain my batteries. For them, they love that. And that's what I think is another huge benefit of having people on the team is you start getting all of those different, those little DNA molecules. So things that energize me like teaching I can do all day long. I can talk for 24 hours a day if I'm teaching, but if you put me into client invoices and send out invoices I will delay that forever. It's not that it's hard. It's just emails, but it's extremely boring and process driven.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: My wife actually works with us. She's worked... We hired her four years ago now, and she is the opposite of me. So you give me a whiteboard, I can pencil ideas, no problem. You give her a whiteboard, she will freak out, does not like that. She needs a process. There was a huge... Boy, that's a whole conversation we can get into working with your spouse. But it was a huge lesson when I realized that because I'm just like, "What do you mean you don't know how to? Just go figure it out." Because that's what I do. So, of course, other people should do that. She's not built that way. She needs a process.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: When I learned that, when I learned, okay, create a process first, give her the process, and then she could execute on that process. Now clients get their invoices now for years because she's doing it. And she likes it, it's fine. For her, it's an energizing task, and she's taken that and still improved the process. It was not like she's just stagnant leaving the process there. She's made it better over time, but she needed the steps. And that's what she's comfortable in. And I can go do what I need to go do. She can go do other stuff that she does. She works with our, as an example, email automation, like Infusionsoft. We use Infusionsoft. So, she handles all of our campaign builds and everything else because it's very process driven. She does not come up with the campaigns. But when somebody else has planned it out, she built it. And so, it's just another example of how everyone can use their special skills and their superpowers to help a company grow.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, very interesting modalities. I think we've got to be very cognizant of that when we're teaching and also creating. And yeah, I prefer to read because I'm a fast reader. I can read about 1,000 words a minute.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Oh, that's great. Yeah, yeah.
Jeff Bullas: I learned that by listening to tapes, and also doing a lot of it, but then my son who's dyslexic prefers video. Other people like listening to podcasts to learn, or audiobooks. I think creating multimedia from one source is really important and recording. I think the other thing that's really interesting, and I've had conversation with others, too, is asynchronous communication versus synchronous communication. At the moment, we're having synchronous communication because we're backwards and forwards. It's a two way conversation live that we are recording. But by recording a Zoom call when you're training someone else, you can put that on your site, put it in behind a login platform. Basically, you can scale it as well. So, asynchronous is where you record it. And then thousands of people can watch or learn from it. And it's a one to many type of training and one to many communication.
Jeff Bullas: It's been interesting talking to other remote... Businesses that run their work remotely, which is a lot these days. Like myself, I've been running this virtually since 2013. So, this idea of having a virtual company, and I did everything myself as well. But it's really... I was writing about the other day that what's happened the last 12 months has accelerated how we work in terms of remote work and virtual meetings, and everything. It's accelerated change by I reckon about a decade. It's fascinating. So the challenges were as you started this journey, stepped into the gap, and to the unknown was number one, you were realizing that you're doing many roles. That was a big challenge in your head. And then the next part was to bring on board people to help you do that. What are some of the other challenges stuck along the way? You sounded like you actually had problems invoicing.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yeah, it was realizing the difference between Dan Sullivan's term. Dan Sullivan is a great business coach. He runs a company called Strategic Coach, but he talks about process versus project people. And that was my wife and I. So, I'm a project person, which means you can give me a whiteboard, I can come up with whatever. I can figure out something. I can create something from nothing. And I enjoy that, that fuels me, where she is process driven. So she needs to have a process already predefined that she can walk through. She won't be able to create it on her own. But she did evolve it from there.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So, if you give me a like, "Oh, this is a brand new company, we have to come up with an invoicing system." Got you. No problem. I can do all that. But the fourth or fifth time that I'm running that system, and if it has not changed, it's a problem because I just won't do it. Because it's very process driven, which starts to demotivate me because there's no more creation involved, which is what I needed. That's what I need. So enter her. She comes in, totally takes that over.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So, it's realizing that as an owner, and then also for my team members that my job now because my job as an owner... Again, I say owner, and it really shouldn't be that. It should be investor and then a manager. So the investor is the person who just owns a company. I am an investor in Amazon, but they do not call me to ask me about anything. I just get my returns. I am an investor in my own company, but I'm also the manager of the company. And so, this manager role has to look down at the team and they're looking at the floor, so to speak. And they're managing the different team members to make sure that everyone's in the right place, and that everyone is doing an activity that is naturally going to energize them based upon who they are, which is, so when we're hiring individuals that's what we're looking for.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: We're looking for, okay, this particular role, like the video editor role. There's a certain amount of process to it, but there's a certain amount of creative problem solving that needs to happen because it is not easy to make an analytics video fun to watch, right? So they need to be able to create some stuff. And so, that's what we hire for. We test for that. And I want to make sure that we're not going to trap him because I remember this. As much as I was good at sales. But I'll tell you a secret man, I did not like sales. I was just good at it, and there's a big difference because for a decade or two... I would not equate two, but for at least a decade I trapped myself in some very high paying jobs doing a job I did not like doing but I made a lot of money doing it. This is a horrible way to live, right?
Jeff Bullas: Yeah.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: But I wasn't aware that I was doing it. I just didn't think there was another option because it's like, "Well, you got to make money." But then I realized there is a way. You can live your life in a way that is congruent for you, that exchanges the value that you have to give with others that need it, especially now because the world is quite literally the market. So the much bigger market has ever been. So now it's just a matter of how do I exchange it in a way, doing it in a way that is congruent for me, that energizes me as I do it, and delivers value that you will be willing to trade the value that you have, which is typically in the form of currency. So, I'm trading the skills and the information. You're trading back currency and exchange. And we're both happy for it, and we've both grown up.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: To your point, it's not a zero sum game where I no longer have the value and you no longer have the value. Now we've exchanged it. We've built up and we both have things as we continue to grow and grow ourselves and grow the world. I think that was a big lesson is making sure that you're focused on things, not passion, because I think that's too much of a cliche nowadays. You got to be passionate about the thing. You gotta like it. You should like it. But you have to be passionate about it. I don't wake up every day going, "Yeah, I get to teach people." But teaching people energizes me.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So, I don't mind teaching people. I like teaching people. But I also like a lot of other stuff, but what I care about is that it energizes me. That at the end of the day I am doing it, I feel better. I might be exhausted. After a podcast like this, I might be exhausted, and want to go watch TV and zone out for an hour. But I enjoy it. It energizes me and I have this buzz that's going on when I'm doing it as opposed to invoices or SOPs, which will be a totally different feeling. I can do them. But man, I will not have the same focus at all, and I won't be as good.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, I'm the same. I hate doing the books. So, guess what, I hired a bookkeeper, accountant.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Ah, just such a great feeling. It's such a great feeling.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. And then I've got a tax accountant as well so it's let's-
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: That's a good feeling.
Jeff Bullas: I was going, "Yay." So, I can focus on what I enjoy doing, and what I'm better at rather than what I suck at, frankly. And I'm much more creative than the process driven side. So I certainly hire a lot more people that are more attention to detail, process driven, but interesting to hear about how you teach others through video and recording and asynchronous communication. So let's dive a little bit into MeasurementMarketing.io, and what the business is and how that works. So tell us about the sort of things you do MeasureMarketing.io, what sort of clients you help, what sort of products and services. And you should say what value you bring to this data driven world we live in today, as opposed to, oh, impressions. That's lovely. What does that mean? TV and radio were sold on impressions, wasn't it?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: There's many times in radio... This is literally how they would train. You go back to your client with something like a $2,000 ad campaign for that month, or whatever it was. And you go back to them and say, "Oh, well, I don't know how it worked. I didn't hear anybody say that they heard on the radio," or anything like all these other tricks you're trying to do to figure out traffic attributes, what we now know is traffic attribution, right? To attribute the result to radio. And so, the pitch was, oh, you didn't spend enough. You need to spend double the amount. And if you do double the amount, then you get the results. And so, yes, reach and impressions, I am very familiar with that part of the game.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Now we are in this world where there's pixels and everything else. It's kind of a really interesting time because we're in the peak of that. And now it's about to go down, where you're not going to have visibility as a digital marketer to everything that you once had visibility into. There are pixels. There's browsers like Brave. There's things like GDPR, and there's different... And that's just going to get worse. I don't mean worse in a bad way. I guess worse is the probably the wrong word to use, but it will be more of that, not less. So there's going to be more laws coming down. There's going to be more tech changes. Apple's changing a big thing right now that Facebook's in a big tiff with them about. Google's changing a bunch of stuff. Everyone's changing stuff.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: That will continue. I promise you that is not going away, and you're not going to be able to measure people at the level that you're currently measuring them, and that's okay. We don't really have to because all we need to know is the trend. It's one of the things we have in MeasurementMarketing.io is truth is in the trend, power is in the pattern. And that's what we help people find is use Google Analytics, use Tag Manager, use these platforms that are out there. They're free. They're available.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: I personally like small businesses the most. We do work with corporations, which is great from time to time, but small businesses are for me where the action is because I like getting my hands in it. I think small business owners are for the most part doing that. Corporations sometimes there's a lot of silos and the left hand does even know there's a right hand sometimes, and it's harder to get stuff done. Small businesses we love.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So, it's our job to help those marketing teams and marketers within those businesses to figure out what their numbers are. And what I mean by that is figure out what your results are. And yeah, you want to know how much you're selling, and if it was sold by Google or Facebook or whatever else. But more importantly, you need to know how you are selling those things. So how many people came to the offer page? How many of those went to the car page? How many of those actually purchased for an average order of how much? Because when you know those numbers, that's the recipe that you need. And people just don't realize that. When you know the recipe of how you achieve a result, it's a lot easier to scale out that result.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Or and is what mostly happens, if you see a recipe coming through where you're not getting a result, you can see why. Kind of like, if you're baking, and you're like, "Oh, I put a cup of sugar, whatever, it says a cup of sugar, but I put a cup of salt." Okay, that's what caused the bad bread. I'm just going to put sugar instead of salt next time. And you can tweak the recipe a little bit. You can very much do that from a marketing perspective too. You can measure if your copy is effective. You can measure where you need to change your copy, and do all sorts of cool stuff with these tools.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And so, that's what our mission is, is to help make these tools that on their face seem complicated. And I get why they are complicated if you do not have a framework. But if you have a framework to follow, you've got a path to follow, you've got some basic instructions and how to think about it and some support and help along the way. That's where we fill in the gap. So we've got like a do it yourself level. That's what we call the Measurement Marketing Academy. There are a lot of training videos. There are instructors. It comes with instructors, actual people that will watch videos and screenshots that you send them. They will send videos and screenshots back to you to help you figure out why that goal is not measuring or even talk strategy. what should a goal even be on my funnel? We will help people at that level too, to make this accessible.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And then for larger organizations, we have Done With You services where we have instructors that are assigned to teams to make sure that sometimes the boss wants to make sure the team has a measurement marketing culture. And so we'll do that. And we do have some Done For You services as well. But we really think, I mean, personally, I would recommend having that skill, the idea of measurement and knowing what your results are. But more importantly, how you're getting those results. To have that skill in-house as much as you can. It should be part of your business culture. Because when you know how you can affect the results because the results themselves we can't touch.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: It's funny to think about that, but you cannot affect the results. What you can affect is the activities, right? Those little nudges along the way, that's what you can actually affect. Those are the things you can change. You can turn up and down the Facebook campaign. That will send more or less hits to your landing pages. But you can't affect what that result is going to be. When you start to understand, "I can tweak the landing page a little bit, which will affect how more people get to the cart. I can tweak the cart a little bit, and that will affect more people that will buy." And that ultimately produces the results. But it's all those activities along the way that you can measure for and adjust, and that's where we love helping people out.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, it's interesting. You mentioned the term, love the little phrase, the truth is in the trends, and the power is in the patterns.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: 100%.
Jeff Bullas: Can you explain what you mean by that? I sort of have a bit of an idea. Can you explain that term?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yeah, I think there's a lot of people. So, for example, in Google Analytics there's something called bounce rate. It's like the most famous metric in Google Analytics. Everybody knows bounce rate, and they're like, "Well, what's a good bounce rate?" It doesn't matter. There's no such thing as a good bounce rate. So what you do is you look at the trend. So instead of just knowing like... Or a conversion rate for that matter. If a trend, if you don't say, "Oh, my conversion rate is 3% or 2%. There is no a, there is no thing that's a static thing. Life just continues to move. And so, what you're looking for is a trend that will tell you, okay, are your numbers going like this up and down, wildly left to right, and you can't predict anything? Chances are they're not. Chances are they're doing something like this. There's a little trend. And when you see that how things are happening, right?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: You can look in your past information to see this. You'll see this trend. The important thing about a trend is that it tends to continue. So with something like that, when you know your range of a conversion rate is in between here, I can then start saying things like, "Next week, here's how my results should look based on the trend." And then you can measure against it. So when you're in analytics, people think they need to look at the numbers, and then just see a number and then leave with that. And it's not what you look for. You look at the trend because one single number does not a truth make. But a bunch of them tied together starts to show you, "Okay, here's how things are operating," and that tells you how you can forecast the future.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, it's very true. The challenge has been over the last year or two. I think with almost everyone is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google continues to tweak the algorithm as it does five or 600 times a year.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yes, yes.
Jeff Bullas: And you don't know what that recipe is or recipes are. And certainly we noticed a trend down in organic. And so, the only thing you can do is actually then put in place activities to reverse the trend. And then see if you turn the dial? Are you making a difference? Is still going down or is it still going up?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And you'll see it. Exactly. It's exactly right, and you'll see it. And that's an important shift because I think a lot of people naturally will look at their numbers, and they try to say like, "Oh, well..." It's a popular question we get. How are people using our site? And the first thing I ask them every time is, well, how are they supposed to be using your site? Because they don't think to ask that. They're always like, " I always wonder how users are using our site, or how users are using the blog." It's like, "Well, how are they supposed to be using the blog?" And they all have blank faces at that point because they've never thought about that question. But that's an important question.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: You don't just build a store, and then throw a bunch of people inside the store then see how they're using the store. And I mean that in a physical brick and mortar way, you would never do that. You plan it out. You say, "I'm going to put the door here. Here's how people should come into the store. I'm going to put this display here. They're going to go around this. The checkout is going to be over here." You think about the whole thing. You should be doing the same thing online. Just it's so fast to get a website up sometimes people forget they should be doing that.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: But when you think about it, and you say, "Okay, here's how my website should be working, of the people that come to my homepage 30% will go take my free lead service," or whatever the thing is you're trying to get him to do. "20% will go learn about our products and services. 10% will contact me for more information, and the rest of them are going to leave." When you know that's how the site operates the important thing about, again, looking at the trend. When you have the trend you can predict how it's going to operate next week. So if you send a bunch of traffic, that's what's going to happen. And you can measure against that to make sure that you're getting the results you need.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. You mentioned another term before. You mentioned that we're going to get less and less data now. And that's because of the new privacy laws like GDPR in Europe. We've also got an interesting case going on here in Australia where the government's going to Facebook and Google got to behave themselves a bit better. The free ride is over, and they're kicking and screaming. And guess what, the thing that gets a little bit with Google, for example, is they now create snippets of top of Google search results that don't take you to the people that are producing the content. They keep it to themselves. Google used to say do no evil. Now it's sort of flipped a little bit towards the other way. The reality is they do need to share the content they're using with others to actually share the incredible profits they're doing because the content creators are producing the data for them. It's going to be interesting. I think, I just thought of a term, maybe like you talked about pixels, maybe we reached a peak pixel time in history.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: That's exactly right. You should absolutely coin that phrase. I like that, peak pixel. I will help promote that for you because you're right. I mean, this is it. It's like this is the peak of all data at this point, and it's all going to get a little more in aggregate due to a lot of extent. It's actually kind of interesting because there's some ways you can measure where there'll be... It gets a little complicated, but the idea is that a company will be able to measure a different way based on the server. Their way of measuring it will be based on the server, and they can actually measure it much more in depth details sometimes and depending on what they're trying to measure. And yet at the same time on the browser end like Chrome or Safari, the browsers that people use to browse the internet probably won't be able to measure as many things as you once were.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: But I want to caution everybody. Remember, this is what I cannot wait is math will make a comeback at least a little bit this year because we're so used to being able to have pixels everywhere and measure everybody, or at least think, and that's never actually been true. But we've thought it was true. So we've thought we had this whole world of everything that's going on. And now let's say half of that goes away. We have to remember how surveys work. You don't survey an audience of a million people to predict out how a million people are going to answer a question. You survey 10,000 people or 15,000 people. And then that sample size allows you to predict the trend, you have a big enough sample size, you can predict the trend because we are behavioral creatures, and we follow patterns. It's my favorite part about humans is we are innately predictable, it's amazing, it's great.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So, a sample size of 15,000 people will tell you how a million will basically operate with very little margin of error. So you don't have to have... If you have traffic, get a bunch of traffic to come to your site, and half of that goes away. Don't get me wrong, I get it, I feel your pain as well. However, you can still see the trend. Remember, truth is in the trend, power is in the pattern. So even though it used to say 10,000 visitors, now it says 4000 visitors, it's okay because you can still see the trend of how those visitors are using your site, and that will tell you if the site's having the conversation you want it to have with those users. So it's still incredibly useful even though we will have limited access to measurement.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, very good insights there. Now, the other thing I want to I suppose closer for a little bit before we finish up is your mentioned frameworks. You deal with a very complex environment, Google Analytics, then there's these other tools. And yes, it's overwhelming because there's so much data being collected. So, can you tell me what the conceptual level of the framework is? I'd be fascinated by that because-
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Absolutely.
Jeff Bullas: What are the steps? So what's the framework that you help people with for them to make sense of the noise in the data?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Sure. So, the framework is really five steps. So, the first is the thing that everybody skips, which is planning. So, before you go into a tool like Google Analytics, you plan ahead a little bit. And that is I'm going to give you an acronym. I know you love them. QIA, so, Q-I-A, is really all this is. So, it's question, what question do I want to get an answer to? That's the first thing you need to think about when you're planning out. Second, what information do I need to collect to get that answer? Third, and this is the most important part of that process? What action will I take based upon the answer?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So, for example, before you go into analytics, you say, "Well, I want to know what my opt-in rate is. Okay, what will I need to know? I will need to know the number of people who saw my opt-in page. I will need to know the number of people who saw my thank you page, the after page, so I can figure out my conversion rate." Okay, cool. Now I have my question. I've got my information. Now, again, before I go in analytics, what will I do if that answer is, let's say less than 25%? Well, in that case, I'm going to go back to the page and maybe look at the traffic source because it should be converting between 25 and 35%. So I'm going to work on the targeting of the ad or the offer on the page. What if it's higher than 35%? In that case, I'm going to look to see if I can scale the traffic source a little bit and get more traffic to that opt in because it seems to be working pretty well. Okay, planning done.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Now we build. We go into Google Analytics. So if you're not using Google Analytics, set it up, make sure those pages are being collected so you can see how many users are, one, on the landing page, how many users are on the thank you page. So now you've got your build, and you've used those tools. Then you go into the reports. Into Google Analytics, that's where everybody starts. They start with the reports, and they've skipped those two steps normally. So you go into the reports, and you look at analytics. How many users saw the landing page, or the opt-in page? How many? 100. How many people saw the thank you page? 30. Okay, I've got a 30% conversion rate. Now that you see that in your reporting stage, so we've done planning, building, and reporting.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Now that you have your answer you go take the actions that you said you're going to take in the planning stage. Now, again, between 30 and 35 the answer might be, okay, it's where I want it to be. It's a matter of scaling. Let's go get more of that traffic because it's doing what I need it to do. And then, again, if it's not, you optimize either direction. So planning, building and reporting are the first three steps.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: The fourth one is one that almost no one does, but is the most powerful one, and that is forecasting. So if you know that your conversion rate is between 25 and 35%, and that's what it's been because that's been the trend. You've got a pattern of 25 to 35%. Remember, truth is in the trend, power is in the pattern. So, if you know that's what's going to happen you can predict out. You can forecast out and say, "Next week, my opt-in rate should be this."
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So, if you know that I'm going to have a podcast coming up, and I'm going to send a bunch of people from this podcast into this particular opt-in page. I've said, "Well, if I'm going to send 1,000 people from podcast traffic, or 10,000 people from my Facebook ad, or 100,000, people from my Google ads, and you can predict out, you can forecast out what actual number of leads you're going to get now. Now you're starting to tie activities to results. But it's not how many leads did I get last week? It's here's how many leads I'm going to get next week. And here's how I'm going to get those leads. That's what forecasting is all about. So you got planning, building, reporting, and forecasting.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: And finally, the fifth one is the one that everybody tries to start with, which is optimizing. That's where you actually start taking those actions, and you optimize the results. Because if you didn't get the number of leads you wanted, let's say from Google ads or whatever it was, you go back and say, "What was the conversion rate?" Conversion rate was 30%. Okay, why didn't I get the number of leads? Oh, it's because I didn't send enough traffic from Google ads. But you would have forecasted the amount of traffic you needed to send if you didn't hit that, you'll see it. And you'll see why. And now you can go back to Google Ads and start tweaking those sales so you can bump up the traffic number a little bit. Or if you did hit the traffic number, but the conversion rate was off, you know where to focus.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: But that's the optimization stuff, the idea of what do I adjust on my site to improve results? That's actually the easiest, simplest part of it. It will be blindingly obvious to you what action you need to take. But you got to go through all those four pillars first to lead to optimization. So that's really the framework in a nutshell, planning, building, reporting, forecasting, and then optimizing. And the tools become immensely useful when you go through that.
Jeff Bullas: I love it. I think that's a really great framework. And you're right about the optimizing people try and optimize. They don't have any visibility.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yes, exactly right.
Jeff Bullas: So, you can't optimize what you can't see or don't know.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Ends up being professional guessing, yeah.
Jeff Bullas: Exactly. So, just to wrap it up, what's maybe the most important thing that you'd like to say to our audience regarding what they should be doing, and what you guys do? So what's a couple of tips that you think people should really double down on?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: So first is results and how. Remember that phrase, results and how. You need to know what your results are, but you have to know how you're getting those results. I've spoken to a lot of people who come to us and they have a story where they sent Facebook some traffic to their offer. They made a ton of money. And this has been going on for years and they keep sending people Facebook money and then all of a sudden Facebook book doesn't work the way it used to for whatever reason. And they all look around, and they're like, "Hey, what happened? What broke? Why doesn't this work anymore?" And everyone's like, "I don't know." Because they never measured the how. They knew the results were good. They knew they were making money, but they never measured the hows.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: They don't know what broke. They have no visibility inside that black box that they've created for themselves. So then they come to us in a panic. It's what I call the curse of a good offer. I actually like people who don't have good offers because it's a lot easier to get them convinced what does. But when you focus on the results, and how, that is the most important thing. Know the conversion rates in between each little step. Know how your machine is working. Know your customer journey, or your sales funnel, whatever terminology you use. Know the different stages and steps between that because when you know that you can forecast it. That's how you can start to predict out and start to make plans six months out for your business.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Like for myself, I forecast our revenue out a year, and I do it a week at a time. So I have the entire year. We're recording this in February 2021. I have the entire year through December by week based on activities. How many landing page views we're going to have, how many cart page views, that's how I manage my team because I've been doing results of how for many, many years. I'm a little more comfortable with it. But that's where it goes. That's where you can... And you can get... Really, it's like having your hands on the steering wheel. So, if you've ever felt out of control of your business, and you don't know how much money you're going to make, and when it's going to show up. That's because your hands off. But if you have your hands on the steering wheel, which happens through knowing results, and how it can be a completely different world. That would be my best advice when it comes to measurement of any sort.
Jeff Bullas: I love it. That's really great advice to have listeners. So, just to wrap up, Mercer, how can they find you if they want to use your services, and want to get great results by measuring how do they get hold of you?
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Yeah, absolutely. So, MeasurementMarketing.io is our website. If you go to measurementmarketing.io/jeff, it will take you to our toolbox membership, which is completely free. So you can get into the toolbox. It's called the moment marketers toolbox. There's about 40 odd tools that are back there. It's our way of giving back to the community. There's a traffic tracking toolkit. There's a dashboard planner. There's ways to think about all this strategy stuff that I've been talking about with you here today. So all of that's free, and it also has weekly training videos to help you get started so you can get a feel for everything before you decide if you want to move into something a little bit higher, but that's what I would do, measurementmarketing.io/jeff.
Jeff Bullas: Perfect. Thank you very much, Mercer. It's been an absolute pleasure to chat to you from Austin, Texas for me here in Sydney, Australia. I'd never take this tech for granted. Here we are, high definition, audio, video, and it's recorded, and then we can share this with the world. And thank you for sharing your gifts and your experiences with the world. It's very much appreciated and look forward to catch up.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: It's been my honor. I appreciate you having me.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Well, look forward to catching up in real life in Austin, Texas. I've never visited. I've always wanted to go so-
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: I'll look forward to it.
Jeff Bullas: Yeah, so great to have you on the show, Mercer.
Chris "Mercer" Mercer: Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate it.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.