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191259580_7c83705fdf_zYes, I’m about to break out the “X is a lot like baseball” analogy (Photo courtesy).

If you’ll indulge me for just a moment, I’d like to take us on a trip into Sports Analogy Land.

Let’s talk about baseball.

The object of the game is to move your guys around the bases and keep your opponent from doing the same thing. Seems simple enough, but once you delve a little bit deeper and factor in the human element, the game becomes immensely complicated.

There’s hit-and-runs, knuckleballers, suicide squeezes, pitchouts and more.

All of a sudden, there’s strategy involved.

It works similarly in online marketing. Getting leads and then turning those leads into conversions is just as simple of a goal, but how you do that is a matter of who’s playing the game.

As far as building strategy goes, analytics is the bread and butter for both. Just like a baseball manager uses batting average and OPS to set his batting order, we use keyword research to stack relevant pages with heavy hitters.

Going even deeper, baseball teams can use statistical models to get an idea of how their team is doing. You can see who’s pitching well, who isn’t, who’s moving around the bases, who isn’t and how it applies to opponents.

It’s the same with web analytics. Traditional web analytics you a great idea of how your strategy is doing against the human element of the equation — customer behavior.

But in the end, it’s an incomplete picture.

14269217153_cc0f57a9cd_zMake sure to high five your marketing team after they build a
comprehensive customer behavior model (Photo courtesy).

Baseball players and baseball managers don’t just look at the stat sheet to build their strategies for the next game. They watch oodles of game film, they talk to other players who have faced the same opponent and they even experiment while at the plate.

It’s the same with online marketing. Analytics are great for building a baseline understanding of how your efforts have measured up against customer behavior, but it doesn’t give you the complete picture.

First of all, analytics won’t tell you who your customers are. You’ll know where they are, but you’ll be missing out on crucial market segmentation information like age, gender, income and other interests.

How to fix this? It’s time to get creative. It might take some data gathering, or you could get an idea of your audience through social media channels. However, one should be cautious that not all customers become social media followers and vice versa, meaning that your figures might be skewed.

Secondly, while your web analytics are giving you the “what happened” of customer behavior, you are missing out on the “why.” There are so many variables on a page, why does a lead fail to convert? Do they get disgusted and give up? Do they get distracted and go somewhere else?

Was it dinner time, and their session just timed out?

This takes some more legwork. You can dig directly into the “why” by doing market research, or you can start doing a little on-site testing — call it the online marketing equivalent of a batter adjusting his stance at the plate — to see what customers respond to better.

From there, you can begin to draw conclusions about their behavior.

And thirdly, we have entered an era where brands are expected to connect and have a dialogue with their customers online. It’s no longer a one-way street.

Building a solid, comprehensive social media strategy is the way to do that. You’ll forge deeper connections with your customers, and they will provide you with insight into how they behave online.

So, if you’re just using your web analytics to model customer behavior, you are getting just a piece of the total picture. By expanding your reach and building a comprehensive marketing strategy, you’ll be ready to knock this one out of the park.

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When the iPad was released back in 2010 Apple Founder and CEO Steve Jobs said that tablet would eventually overtake PC computers.  Many people scratched their head in skepticism after hearing those words, but now there are some numbers to back up Jobs’ prediction.

For the first time ever figures from Gartner who have been tracking the growth of the tablet market have said that by 2015 total tablet sales will reach 320 million vs 316 million desktop PC sales.  It looks like Jobs’ prediction will come true in just 5 short years, but will iPads truly replace the desktop PC in the office?

When Steve Jobs was at the 2010 D8 conference a few months prior to the first iPad’s release he compared PC’s and tablets to vehicles.  His analogy is perfect for understanding why the desktop PC isn’t going to be leaving your office anytime soon:

“We were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers and America started to move into those urban and suburban centers, cars got more popular. PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around. They’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people.”

I believe that X will be a lot higher than people think and for years to come.  Let’s look at the value the desktop PC provides that a tablet can’t match.

1. Multi-Tasking

If you want to get into some serious work it’s going to require multi-tasking.  There is a reason most workstations today involve multiple monitors, because we can get more work done if we can see things side by side by side by side. Multi-tasking has gotten easier on tablets, such as the iPads ability to quickly jump from one app to another.  But so far integrating a side by side feature on tablets like what Microsoft’s Surface has been doing just hasn’t been that successful for real down to business work.

 2. Number Crunching

The computing power required to crunch those numbers on your excel sheet require mega processing, of which tablets are just able to compute.  Sure Microsoft’s Office products just came over to the iPad a month or two ago, but just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you can do it within the timeframe you’re expecting.  The simple case is If you’re crunching huge spreadsheets at work, and it’s taking your desktop hours to compute…..just image how long it will take on your tablet, if it doesn’t freeze.

 3. Comfort

Sure the mobility of a tablet is extremely appealing but sometimes it’s not the most comfortable.  When it comes to getting down to business having a small tablet screen shoved inches from your face so you can see all the small details just isn’t comfortable.  Having a keyboard with nice big screens is simply more comfortable for spending multiple hours doing the 9 to 5 grind.

So will iPads be replacing your desktop PC at work?  The answer is a big, fat, NOPE!