July 4, 2024

Chris Mercer

Chris Mercer is the Co-founder of MeasurementMarketing.io, a company that provides tools and training to help businesses measure their marketing efforts. With over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and training, Chris is renowned for his expertise in measurement marketing, making him a sought-after speaker at conferences and masterminds across the USA, Mexico, and Europe.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • [5:47] Chris Mercer’s approach to teaching measurement marketing in today’s shifting digital landscape
  • [21:03] The critical role of attribution in your marketing strategy 
  • [22:31] Why measurement should be approached as an ongoing project, not a one-time task
  • [24:11] How first-party data retains control and ownership over your marketing data
  • [25:18] The significance of considering measurement as a department within your organization
  • [28:19] Tips on developing your organization’s ‘measurement muscle’ for sustained success

In this episode…

Are you getting the most out of your marketing data? What if you could measure every aspect of your campaigns with pinpoint accuracy and know precisely what’s working and what isn’t, almost in real time? Are your current strategies maximizing the potential of your data in the ever-evolving world of marketing measurement?

Chris Mercer, a marketing measurement expert, tackles these issues head-on by explaining how he developed methodologies to navigate the complex landscape of marketing analytics. He emphasizes the importance of not just collecting data but understanding it as a form of communication with your audience. Chris also shares insights on building a “measurement muscle” within your organization, advocating for treating measurement as a core department rather than an afterthought. This approach ensures continuous improvement of your marketing strategies based on real, actionable data. He breaks down the significant challenges affecting measurement today — tech changes, privacy laws, and shifting user behavior — demonstrating how each impacts data collection and usage.

In this episode of the Timeless Marketing Podcast, Brian Kurtz hosts Chris Mercer, Co-founder of MeasurementMarketing.io, as they explore the art of mastering marketing measurement. Chris introduces a practical framework you can implement immediately to enhance your marketing outcomes. They also discuss the importance of first-party data, the pitfalls of relying solely on platforms like Facebook for analytics, and the necessity of understanding both your results and the processes behind them.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Quotable Moments: 

  • “Measurement is how we listen to their side of the conversation.”
  • “Measurement is not a project; it’s an ongoing thing.”
  • “You have to have a little bit of measurement muscle in your organization.”
  • “First-party data is so important because you’re collecting your information.” 
  • “Having measurement upfront makes me a much better marketer.”

Action Steps:

  1. Adopt a mindset that sees your website as a salesperson engaging in conversation with your audience.
    • This approach personalizes digital interactions, enabling a more nuanced understanding of customer behavior.
  2. Develop a “measurement muscle” within your organization by making it a vital department.
    • Focusing on building measurement skills within your team ensures data-driven decision-making.
  3. Embrace first-party data collection to maintain control over your marketing outcomes.
    • Owning your data empowers you to navigate tech changes and privacy laws with agility.
  4. Treat measurement as an ongoing skill to refine over time rather than a one-time project.
    • Recognizing measurement as an evolving practice prepares marketers for continuous adaptation.
  5. Implement the framework provided by Chris to effectively measure and respond to marketing efforts.
    • Utilizing a structured framework allows marketers to adapt their strategies based on actionable insights.

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Titans Xcelerator.

Titans Xcelerator is a private mentorship program for direct response marketers.

It is one of the most giving communities and serves as the de facto board of advisors and marketing insurance policy for over 250 of the best and brightest direct response marketers, copywriters, media buyers, marketing agencies, senior executives, anyone in direct response marketing, who is committed to growing and scaling their business.

And you don’t need to spend 10s of 1000s of dollars either. 

Titans Xcelerator is 1/10 of the price of most groups of its kind. 

And with a private membership, you’ll receive access to the full presentation from today’s episode, along with the Q&A and discussion that followed. 

As an added bonus, you’ll receive access to a vault filled with many more private calls just like this one.

The bottom line: you don’t have to grow your business alone. 

If you want to see how Titans Xcelerator can help you grow and scale your specific business, go to BrianKurtz.net/help

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:00  

Welcome to the Timeless Marketing Podcast with Brian Kurtz, your connection to insights from some of the top direct response marketing minds on the planet.

Brian Kurtz  0:16  

Hey, it’s Brian Kurtz here, host of the Timeless Marketing Podcast. Today’s episode is a clip from one of the two-hour calls inside Titans Xcelerator, my private mentorship program for direct response marketers. Before we get to that, I have one question for you. Do you have a marketing insurance policy? If you don’t, you need one. And that’s why I created Titans Xcelerator, which is one of the most giving communities and serves as the de facto board of advisors and marketing insurance policy for over 250 of the best and brightest direct response marketers, copywriters, media buyers, marketing agencies, senior executives, anyone in direct response marketing, who is committed to growing and scaling their business, the bottom line, you don’t have to grow your business alone. And you don’t need to spend 10s of 1000s of dollars either. 

Titans Xcelerator is 1/10 of the price of most groups of its kind. I know because I hosted a group that was over $20,000 a year. If you want to see how Titans Xcelerator can help you grow and scale your specific business, go to briankurtz.net/help. That’s B-R-I-A-N Kurtz [dot] net [slash] help. And with a private membership, you’ll receive access to the full presentation from today’s episode, along with the Q&A and discussion that followed. As an added bonus, you’ll receive access to a vault filled with many more private calls just like this one. Again, if you want to see if Titans Xcelerators are fit for you with no obligation. Go to Briankurtz.net/help. That’s B-R-I-A-N Kurtz [dot] net [slash] help. And feel free to email me directly. I respond to every email with questions about this episode. Or just to say hi, brian@briankurtz.net. 

Now onto today’s episode. The last Titans mastermind live meeting before shutdown, before, you know, the world fell apart in covid 2020. Was in January of 2020 and we were in Austin, Texas. We ran the Titans mastermind. I ended up staying with Carla. We stayed an extra few days. And my friend David Gonzalez, who kind of owns Austin, and he has the internet marketing party, and he’s just a great guy. And so he told me, Oh, you’re going to be in Austin, you’ll come to the internet marketing party, you’ll speak and the day before, I don’t know what he called it, he called it a think tank, but basically it was like these young, aggressive, direct marketing rock stars want to grill you on a hot seat. That’s not what that’s not how he presented it. He said, Oh, it’ll be a think tank, Brian and so I’m in a room with people like Mercer and trying to think who was there, not Troy Erickson, but Kurt Maley. Who else is in the group, Mercer?

Chris Mercer  3:41  

There’s a like, Jonathan Herbert sometimes is on those, yeah.

Brian Kurtz  3:44  

He’s a copywriter, a world class copywriter. I think John also, it could be, yeah, yeah.

Chris Mercer  3:49  

Because what he’ll do is he goes out and he caters the group to whoever the speaker is. So it kind of changes each time. 

Brian Kurtz  3:55  

Yeah, you couldn’t find anybody to cater to me. So that’s what it was so and it was, it was great. I mean, they basically wanted me to talk about my business model. And they were there, we came up with some great ideas out of that. And I think we came up with improvements to this program and Xcelerator from that meeting. And so I met Mercer. I thought he was in, I think I followed, we followed up with sending some books to many of the many of the guys who were there, and just a great meeting. And then Theresa, just recently, she was at traffic and conversion, and she said, I went to a presentation. It was the best thing, basically the best thing that she heard at traffic and conversion, which is saying a lot, because that’s the place where you get the best speakers, the best content. 

And she said, Mercer did something that he has to do for Titans Xcelerator, basically. And I said, reach out to him. She did. He fortunately said yes. He wasn’t too turned off by that hot seat. He did it for me. And he thought that I have a legitimate group, and I do and that’s why he’s here, and he’s going to talk about it. It’s sort of like measurement 2022 which is a great topic to lead off the new year too, because, you know, we’re direct response marketers. We live measurement. Measurement is all about what we do, and Mercer has some great insights on this. And again, as I said in my post, I said, you know, I really trust Theresa because she’s, she’s a tough sell. I mean, not, you know, you can’t get by her, and it’s good if it’s if she says it’s good, I know it’s going to be good. And I know Mercer is, is a rock star, as I said, So Mercer, the floor is yours. If you want to share a screen, feel free and go for it. 

Chris Mercer  5:47  

Alright, everybody should be able to see my screen at this point, so we should be good. Alright, so we’re going to talk about how to measure marketing, essentially, right? That’s what everyone’s trying to figure out, is what’s working and what’s not. And there’s been a massive amount of changes over the years, measurements, one of those things that changes quite a bit. So we’re going to talk a little bit about that. We’re going to start with this slide. I start with this every time this group is obviously keen on this particular topic. This idea of one thing I’m going to cover a lot. I’m kind of famous in my presentations for giving a lot of different things. The reason I do that is so every time you rewatch them, which you should, it’s good. This is recorded, so when you rewatch it, you will pick up another new thing in order, especially with measurement, it can get complicated quickly. 

If you’ve ever jumped into Google Analytics and you’ve got batted around by that thing and you’re like, oh, let’s come back in a couple years and try to figure this thing out. That’s because you tried to do probably too much too soon. And you didn’t have enough muscle yet to work the program. And so it can feel like that. We just take too much too soon to get overwhelmed and frustrated and shut down when I’m going through this presentation. It may feel like that at certain points where you’re like, Okay, I just barely hung out of this one thing, and now there’s another thing. Don’t worry about it. The other thing, it’ll be there when you need it. That’s part of the reason I put it in here. So again, you can rewatch this each time, and pick up another new thing. But the things you’ll be looking for, we’re going to focus on three main topics. The first is the mindset. You might find just your one thing there, and when you have something that you’ve heard in a different way, to somebody’s point, earlier, they were talking about the Epiphany, right? That’s what we’re looking for. 

Some thing where you’re like, I’ve never quite heard it like that, but now, all of a sudden it makes sense. Or now, okay, I just learned I should go do this thing. I’m going to start doing this one thing. You focus on that, you build a skill, and then you come back, make it better later, right? And rewatch the workshop to pick up something from it. So maybe you’ll find that one thing in the mindset we talk about is how to look at this, because that’s where most people go wrong. The second thing is, we’re going to talk about the superstorm. This is the stuff that’s getting all the headlines for those that are around in this world last year, when Facebook and Apple were getting into their little tiff. We’ll talk about that and kind of why that’s happening and what you can do about it. And then finally, we’re going to end with a framework. This is a framework you will be able to use. We’re going to go into this in intricate detail of the framework so you can actually start to use this in your own organization as well, and you’ll actually be able to use it today if you want it. 

So we’ll go through each of those steps. And again, your job is really to kind of find that one thing that you can take action on. Don’t worry about everything. You don’t need to know everything. Just focus on the one thing that you pick up from this one time that you’re watching this. Then practice that skill. Come back, rewatch it. You’ll pick up another new thing, all right, so very quickly, my origin story at a high level, is I would start teaching WordPress. That’s how I got into digital marketing. Was creating a WordPress site to show people how to do WordPress sites, and that very quickly led to people saying, This is great, but it’s a lot of work. Can you just build my WordPress site? And I was like, All right. So I learned this thing called outsourcing, and we created a little agency, and so we started building WordPress sites. But I wanted to differentiate myself as an entrepreneur, because everybody was starting to get into this, or at least it felt like that, and I didn’t want to be a commodity. So at the time, there was this new thing in the US. 

This is how long ago it was called CRO, otherwise known as conversion rate optimization. So we would build the WordPress site, optimize the WordPress site for the client. It’s separated from us, and it was a pretty, pretty good product. But in order to optimize, you, of course, have to measure. You have to understand how to use measurement tools. So I can say, here’s what drop in rate is, or here’s what your conversion rate is, and here’s what we’re able to do now and all that fun stuff. So that’s what led to measurement, and the rest, of course, is history. Not exactly true for us. For me in particular, this is my own personal journey. The real aha moment that I had in this whole measurement concept was that this is not about tools. And that was a big thing. It’s kind of a fairly recent thing for me. It’s not about learning Google Analytics. It’s not learning about, you know, Google Data Studio, Google Tag Manager, or Adobe or wicked reports, or any of the tools that are out there that help with measurements. Not about that. It’s all about your mindset.

Everything starts with this mindset, and if you don’t have this particular part down, it doesn’t really matter what tool you have, you’re not going to be able to properly use it. One way to think about this is, if you learn how to swing a hammer, it doesn’t mean that you can automatically build a house, right? Building? House requires other things, and in order to build a house, you must use a hammer. But just knowing how to use a hammer doesn’t make sure it doesn’t mean that you can build a house. It’s all about this mindset. So in order to talk about this and to think this through, if we look at this picture and you think, okay, what are these two people doing right now? These two individuals do it. Not a trick question. There’s having a conversation. Same thing here, just having a conversation, a couple people having a conversation, still just a couple people having a conversation. But to take that a step further, what we’re really looking at is somebody, hopefully listening and somebody responding, and then maybe they flips back and forth, but it says it’s all a conversation is it’s just listening and responding. That’s it listening and responding. 

And that’s an important point, because when we look at this slide and we say, What’s going on here? Yes, there’s a conversation, but now it’s kind of more probably up our alley that this is a conversation to hopefully lead to a transaction. So now you’ve got a salesperson, you’ve got a customer, they’re, in this case, having a conversation. Salesperson is probably asking questions, leading and they’re responding based upon what that customer is saying, what that prospect is saying. So they’re trying out, you know, maybe it’s the driver. You don’t need a driver. Let’s look at the putters or whatever it is, trying to get into some practice swings. Ultimately, their job is to get them to go to the checkout and purchase that. But it’s still just a conversation. It’s still just listening and responding. That’s all that process is. Now, what about this one? 

And this is where it does feel like it’s a bit of a try. Bit of a trick question, because you’re like, Okay, well, everything else was conversation, but this one’s not a conversation. There’s no conversation happening here. And if we think that that’s okay, because I did too, but that’s not true. There is a very real conversation that’s happening here. There is still listening and responding. There is still listening and responding. It’s that she’s having the conversation with the website now, and the website’s having a conversation back. And in reality, what’s actually happening in most digital sites, maybe yours, is that there’s very little listening going on, but there’s a whole lot of responding. So you create your website, you create your store, your funnels, your customer journeys, whatever they are, and you’re constantly promoting yourself, which obviously the website’s supposed to do. But how do you know, if you’ve got it right, right? How do you know how to get to this point? 

Like, if you had a salesperson, if you could talk to somebody, and some of you have models like this, where you’re speaking with a customer like this, mastermind’s a great, great aspect, Ryan, would you know, help have a conversation to encourage the value and then get you ultimately into the mastermind group. But the concept here is that you’re trying to have a conversation. You need to have a conversation because you don’t know if what you’re saying is going to work. You don’t know what objections may be coming up, unless you can have that conversation. So how do you make this something more like this, right? How do we actually do that? And when you’ve got a site that looks like this, you still need to make sure that you’ve got listening and responding going on. And the biggest part of that is the listening thing. How do you listen when you’re not there? How do you listen when it’s just the website? And this is the trick. 

This is the aha moment for me. Its measurement is how we listen. So if you’ve ever wondered about measurement, you think it is just about the users and your conversion rates and current value and everything else everybody else talks about all the time when it comes to numbers, and your eyes kind of go cross eyed. I get all that, and that is not untrue. All this stuff is useful. This is the key. This is why measurement exists. It’s how we listen to their side of the conversation, and then marketing is how we adjust our conversation to keep the conversation going the direction we want, right? So listening is their side of the conversation. That’s measurement marketing. That’s our side of the conversation, and our job is obviously to adjust our side of what we’re asking to say back to them so we can keep the conversation going the direction we want. Ultimately, in most cases, that’s just some sort of transaction. Now measure marketing, of course, is our company. Is how we got the name, measure marketing.io, and so at this point, I want to just do a quick one thing check. 

If you’ve already had that one thing, you’re like, Okay, we have to start listening to the conversation. Just being aware that that’s happening is a big deal for a lot of people. They haven’t thought about their website having a conversation with a salesperson or with a customer. In my head, my background. I was talking with Mike in our breakout room. He was mentioned. He was on the radio. I actually came in through radio as well, sales management as well. So I always think about the sales pipeline and managing salespeople and making sure the pitches are down and what they’re saying to get the customer to move through the journey, right through the pipeline. And the website for me is a salesperson. Every single page on that website as a salesperson. And if I just hired a bunch of salespeople and then threw them out into the market and said, Go convert prospects and never manage them, I would not have great results. 

But as digital marketers, we do it every day. That’s kind of the rules that people follow. They don’t listen so they don’t know how to use this website, and so they don’t know how to change and adjust the website so they get better results from it. So again, if that hasn’t occurred to you, we’re like, okay, we didn’t. And again, that’s no fault. Like, I didn’t occur to me either for years, but I realized there’s a conversation happening we can measure for that conversation that’s going to make me a much better marketer, because I actually understand what’s what they’re saying, in a way. So we’ll talk more about how to actually get that done through the framework in just a little bit. So. So with the mindset out of the way, and hopefully at this point, you’re going, cool, I get listening to the conversation is important. Let’s talk about the superstorm that we are all in right now. This is in my head, in the very real world, in the scenario, especially when it comes to measurement. 

This is what the scenario is. This is it? This is my favorite photo, because it encapsulates everything that’s going on. There’s massive changes. There’s a lot of wind and scary sounds and noise, and it’s constant. In this world of measurement, it is constant. Things are changing so quickly all the time. How do you actually hang on to it? Well, first, let’s talk about what exactly is going on. There are three that we call the superstorm, right? But they’re made up of three separate storms. The first one is, there are a lot of changes in tech. This is where Apple and Facebook got into their tiff last year. But that was just a public one, because Facebook thought, I think they could probably adjust a little more than they could, and flexed and made the world. Freaked out the world, but Apple’s been doing this stuff for years. That wasn’t just how it affected Facebook last year. So Facebook sort of made it a thing, but it’s been going on for years where Apple, with Safari, the browser for Apple, stopped doing third party cookies. Chrome in a few years is going to stop doing third party cookies. That’s going to make it harder to measure things. 

That’s why Facebook’s freaking out when the opt in stuff happens, where it’s like, Hey, don’t be I don’t be I don’t even be tracked, you know? But the Do Not Track stuff’s been going on for years. There’s so much of this happening with tech. And what’s happening is tech is the road, right? That’s the reuse of other people’s browsers, other companies’ browsers. You’ve got browsers like Brave, that are out there, that you can use, that that basically eliminate measurement. You can’t be measured if you’re brave. And more people are using that stuff every day. This is going to continue. And every day, because of tech alone, you’re going to be measuring less. You’re not going to see everybody in your stores. You just won’t, because you’re not going to be able to measure it. And in reality, this is just something we have to sort of go. Okay, well, we’re used to this world where at least we thought we could measure everybody all the time, doing anything we ever wanted, and this was the world that we thought we were in. It’s not entirely true, but it felt like that. Now we are at a realization where that’s not the world. We definitely know that’s not the world. 

You’re not going to be able to measure every single thing that everybody’s doing all the time, but you probably can measure a decent enough chunk. So even though the tech is making it harder to measure, it’s going to be okay, right? And for the framework, I’ll show you why that framework will help with that. That’s just the tech storm, which, again, will continue to get worse as tech evolves, Chrome being the next big one, probably in a couple of years. Then you’ve got this. You’ve got laws now, GDPR is the most famous one out of Europe, so you’ve got data and privacy laws. California’s got theirs. Brazil’s got theirs. The US will certainly have theirs. Every single country is going to have something around privacy that is just going to be a thing. So it will get worse when it comes to that. And by that, I don’t mean to degrade laws. They are needed in this case, because what’s happening is data moved from the in a process of moving, I should say from the company, like in this case, let’s say Facebook, saying, Hey, we can get to collect anything we want. We can do whatever we want with your stuff, right where, essentially the user is the product, and they just don’t care about what they want to. 

That’s their model. Now it’s that data is retaining ownership with the users. So now it’s, oh, I’m on Facebook, but that’s my data. I’m allowing you to use it, and I can take it back at any point. That’s the switch, and that’s the fight that’s happening right now. That’s where these laws are really pointing to, is putting data back in charge, where it’s the ownership isn’t the company that collected the data that owns it, it’s the customer that owns it, and the customer can define who does what With what right and including, I want to, I don’t want you to have any of my data more. Get rid of it like that’s the stuff that’s the stuff that’s that’s happening again. This is just going to continue, which means data at a certain point, you’re going to lose it, it’s going to be less of it to measure, right? And this can be scary, especially if you’re used to thinking we need to measure everybody all the time, right? The Good answer, good news about this, is you don’t, but it is something to just be aware of. Like, there’s going to be more laws that come out that make it harder to measure people. The third storm, and this is the biggest one, is absolutely this: the users we’ve got, our users that are out there, so they’ve been installing ad blockers. Maybe you have someone with your own Chrome browser, whatever browser you’re using, but an ad blocker that keeps you from being measured. 

You’ve got all this, you know, choices like brave we talked about earlier, the being able to, hey, I’m not gonna use Chrome anywhere. I’ll use bravery. I don’t want to use Firefox or Mozilla or whatever. I’ll use, you know, some other browser that automatically blocks stuff. Users just don’t want to be measured because it’s, it got a little creepy. Went over the top, right, and it’s, again, as an industry, you know, we probably pushed it too far, for sure. But that’s that, that’s where we are. This horse is not going back in the barn. Users don’t want to feel like we’re measuring every single thing they do all the time, right? Which is not to say that everybody feels like that. And that’s the most important part. Some don’t care. Many don’t care, but there are some that do, and there will be more that will. And so that’s the point, is that you’re going to be able to measure, again, less in the future, not more. This is why I rethink. Measurement and how we think about it, switching from we get to measure everybody doing everything all the time, to we just have to, you know, change how we think about this, because we’re walking into it. 

We’re already in a world, and then we’re walking more in through it, which will happen for 2022 2023 and beyond that, we’re going to have less data and but we’re still going to have to make decisions as marketers. So if we have to listen to the conversation, how are we going to be able to effectively do that right to measure their side of the conversation, if the superstorm is happening, and if you’re wondering, okay, where are we and all this superstorm thing, where are marketers? We’re this right here. We’re sitting here going, Okay, let’s batten down the hatches and hope we can figure this thing out. So the idea is that it is getting harder to measure. Remember, it doesn’t have to be harder, but it is getting harder. So then I’m going to talk about the framework that you can use that’ll make it much easier for you, but if you keep doing what you’ve done in the past, for sure, it’s going to get harder. You’re going to see things falling off. You’re going to see big, giant holes in the conversation. You’re not gonna be able to understand what’s going on to the level that you could before. So you will have to adjust how things are done. 

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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