In anticipation of his presentation at eMetrics Summit in Chicago, June 20-23, 2016, we asked Chidi Nweke, Director/Head, Web Analytics & Optimization at Chidi Nweke imageSears, a few questions about digital marketing analytics. Check out Chidi’s interview in relation to his eMetrics Summit presentation entitled, Optimizing Analytics.

Q: Where does digital analytics sit in your organization and how does it interface with your business units?

Chidi: The digital analytics function at Sears Holdings sits directly under the Chief Marketing and Analytics Officer’s organization. This was a new function that was created, due to the recognition that digital marketing spend isn’t limited only to the online organization, but its impact is felt across the enterprise. To that extent a new function was created that reported directly to the CEO managing all digital marketing and media efforts for the enterprise as well as the marketing and analytics technologies needed to operationalize, optimize and measure the impact of the digital marketing and media spend. The function reports directly to the Chairman/CEO for the company. The digital analytics function which is part of this group is responsible for providing insights on marketing channel effectiveness as well as onsite web behavioral, omni-channel and A/B testing activities.

With respect to functions that the digital analytics team interfaces with, they include the digital marketing organization, online operations, online merchandising, core merchandising, Finance, Online Engineering, Product Management and the Executive leadership team.

Q: What’s the most important goal/trend for digital analysts to keep in mind for 2016?

Chidi: I would say the most important trend continues to be an aggressive and to a large extent, obsessive focus on the customer and how to understand what’s product, services and/or interactions drive value for them. To that extent, being able to identify a customer across browser, devices, platforms as well as offline transactions and being able to stitch all that together to get a single view of the customer is critical. This will allow us to be able to gain insights on customer behavior, based on those insights create audience that are addressable, target experiences to them and continue to measure and improve.

Q: What’s the latest analytics method/process/tool set that you have implemented and what advice would you give others?

 Chidi: We’re in the process or implementing Google Analytics Premium, via Tealium IQ. In addition, we will be onboarding Tealium’s Audience stream, which is their Customer Data Platform (focused on 1st Party Data) and leveraging it for visitor stitching as well as the creation of audiences that we can address. Key advice I will give to anyone is to first understand your business needs and how it could potentially evolve. Second is to spend a ton of time doing your due diligence on what tools to acquire. Third is to get the buy in of key stakeholders in the organization, and fourth is to be weary of the promise of one marketing cloud being able to address all your needs. Be open to following a best in class approach.

Q: What do you wish you could tell your five-years-ago self about this industry?

Chidi: It’s an industry that constantly evolves. Being successful in this space will require the ability to build solid relationships with other key stakeholders in any organization. Analytics without context is just data and reports. The stakeholders and business partners are the one who can help you plug the gaps as to the why.

Q: Sneak preview: Please tell us a take-away that you will provide during your talk at the eMetrics Summit.

Chidi: Know when it’s time to change direction.

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Don’t miss Chidi’s presentation, Optimizing Analytics at eMetrics Summit in Chicago this June 20-23, 2016.  Click here to register for attendance.

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