Using Google Analytics in a Few Clicks

On March 22nd, Chicago AMA members and guests gathered at 1871 to hear from Google Analytics expert, Andy Crestodina. In addition to being the Co-Founder and Strategic Director at Orbit Media, he also serves as a mentor at 1871, an Adjunct Professor at Loyola; and was named in the “Top 10 Online Experts I’m Following in 2015” by Forbes Magazine. The night’s topic was “Applied Google Analytics: Insights and Actions,” a presentation that he will be giving as a keynote speaker at an upcoming conference–and we were lucky enough to hear it first!

A well-seasoned speaker, Crestodina breezed through his slides with the ease of a professor teaching his most passionate subject. In fact, he joked that if his soon-to-be-born child could learn one thing, he hoped it would be Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). His over-arching statement is this: Traffic times your Conversion Rate is what will equal success for your website.

Let’s take a look at how he illustrated this throughout the evening. The broad topics covered were:

  • Reporting vs. Analysis: How most marketers get Analytics wrong
  • Turning ideas into questions
  • Analytics Insights
  • Audience Insights: WHO is visiting?
  • Acquisition Insights: WHERE are they coming from?
  • Behavior Insights: WHAT are they doing here?
  • Conversion Insights: WHICH pieces of content are successful?

Before diving into the tips and tricks of Google Analytics, Crestodina ensured that the group was on the same playing field by quizzing the audience on the difference between data (pages of reports) and analytics (words written about those reports).

Analytics are KEY to your business, and he likened them to being the driving wheel of your company–you wouldn’t just hand that over to anyone, would you? He encouraged each of us to take the driver’s wheel and learn to run these reports, perform the analytics and cautioned against outsourcing the analytics 100% to an outside firm.

Additionally, once you have the analytics in front of you, he encouraged the asking of questions, putting the answers into actionable tasks and performing a series of tests to ensure the path taken was helpful, fruitful and profitable to your company.

The reports sections included and discussed in his presentation were: Audience, Aquisition, Behavior and Conversion. These four sections of Google Analytics contain reports that can unlock the mystery of who is visiting your website, where they are coming from, what they are doing once they are there, and which content is getting them to stay. Let’s take a look at a small sample of the reports discussed.

Audience & Acquisition – Mobile vs Not

Within three clicks in Google Analytics, you can discover what percentage of your website traffic is fed from mobile devices. That’s interesting. Take it a step further. Combine Traffic data with a CRO analysis and you can find out if your mobile audience is less or more engaged than your non-mobile audience. Now you have somewhere to start, questions to ask and answers to test.

Behavior – “The Report of Broken Dreams”

Again, with just a few clicks within Google Analytics, you can see the terms that users searched for and then the amount of people that left your website because they couldn’t find what they were searching for. The insight? Write about that topic! Crestodina says to think about your website as if it were a city.  Put your “Billboards” where your “Traffic” is. Know your most popular road (or paths, on your site) and load it up with your best and most searched for content.

Towards the end of his presentation, Crestodina quoted Barry Feldman: “Your website is a mouse trap, your content is the cheese.” He asked the audience: “Are you writing content that your audience desires?” And added, “Strong websites have a conversion rate of 1-3%. Below that, you aren’t going to make any money; over that, you’re going to be a millionaire.”

The message was clear: Traffic times Conversion Rate equals success. Crestodina provided clear steps on how to run a good set of reports that any business owner can start with to help he or she analyze why a piece or a side of that formula is not working for his or her business. The presentation ended a joyful applause and a few whispers of “I wish I could go work on these reports right NOW!”

About the Author

Ms. Ramsey is the owner of Besty Bash, LLC, a creative social media & digital marketing firm in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys listening to live music and chatting about it on her blog,

Twitter: @TweetsByBetsy / @LaurenIgnited

Social Media Rules! How Can Higher Ed Marketers Reach Prospective Students?

When trying to reach Generation Z or Millennials, SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter are the “it” social media platforms. Print still serves a purpose — mainly driving the recipient to your digital presence – but social media is the place where engagement and conversion happens. That was the message Michael Mullarkey, chief executive officer of Chicago-based Brickfish, delivered at the Higher Ed SIG gathering that took place April 6.

The SIG meeting, which was held at Troquet North, was a discussion about how to optimize social media for colleges and universities. In keeping with our new format for these gatherings, the meeting was more of a moderated conversation as opposed to a presentation.  It was a huge success!

Brickfish, whose slogan is “Engagement is Everything,” manages the content and social media of large brands like Neiman Marcus and Hertz.  Relevant, fresh content along with a quick response to visitors’ queries is essential to the success of any enterprise. Generation Z and Millennials expect instance responses. Mullarkey believes Facebook is still important, but these cohorts spend most of their time exchanging rapid-fire communiqués with their friends on SnapChat and WhatsApp. Marketers need to become a relevant part of these exchanges.

Mullarkey also spoke about the shrinking reach of Facebook and Instagram. Once brands established their presence on these platforms, these firms monetized their sites.  You now have to boost your post to expand your reach and that requires paying for it. He offered some advice about how to get around having to pay, which includes unique, relevant content, engagement and short video.

Bottom line: For us higher education communicators, it’s new a world. We just need to fasten our seat belts and enjoy the ride.

Betsy Butterworth Dean Petrulakis

Betsy Butterworth and Dean Petrulakis

Co-Chairs, Chicago AMA Higher Education Special Interest Group

Mark Fenne, Director of Channel Marketing, Weber Stephen Products to Speak on Sept. 29, 2015

On September 29, Mark Fenne joins Chicago AMA to present “Creating a Hands on Brand Experience, ” for our September Evening With Experts Program.

BIO: Mark has held numerous sales and marketing positions over the last 20 years with World Kitchen, the Sanford division of Newell-Rubbermaid, and Wilton Industries building strong global brands including Chicago Cutlery, CorningWare, Sharpie, PaperMate, Wilton, and now Weber. Within each of these brand experiences, Mark’s keen desire for connecting with consumers while they are shopping has grown and become his current mission professionally.

While at Wilton, Mark served as National Account Manager for Target, growing multiple categories in housewares and in grocery. Prior to Wilton, Mark worked for 6 years at Sanford starting out in Channel Marketing before moving into National Account Management. He developed numerous modular Back To School displays for Target and other mass retailers, before assuming full responsibility for one of the fastest growing back-to-school retailers, Walgreens.

In 2007, Mark joined Weber as a Regional Sales Manager, managing Weber’s representative agencies who were responsible for servicing and growing the business in the Central region. Mark’s drive for making the brand more relevant and modern in today’s shopping environment resulted in his promotion to Director of Channel Marketing for the Americas Marketing team in late 2013.

His passion for packaging, merchandising, understanding of the retail environment and love for the Weber brand made him the perfect candidate to lead and launch the Weber Mobile Grill Academy Experience Tour in 2014.

Mark is an avid griller, and considers himself a “home cook with flair”. He is a professional musician and shares his passion for music and food with his wife and 3 teenage boys.

Evening With Experts Event Recap I: CMO Panel

image1On June 11th the Chicago AMA brought together a panel of three industry leading CMOs to tackle the audience’s toughest questions and provide insight on their past experiences and current challenges as marketers. Our panelists stressed the importance of integrating a marketing strategy that focuses on multiple media outlets. Moderator Pete Krainik of the CMO Club stated, “The idea of integrated marketing has not gone away.”

Megan Bueschel, CMO of Mario Tricoci Hair Salons, led the discussion on media channels stating as we see the marketing landscape change more media channels are merging. Our CMOs believe the future holds more one on one media channels. As more media channels emerge and merge Bueschel told attendees that it is essential to prioritize media channels to be relevant to your audience.

Patrick Bernardi, CMO of Hu-Friedy Manufacturing, summed up our evening with the comment, “It’s the CMO’s job to show them what’s possible.” He also stated “… as a CMO you have to be honest with what’s working and what’s not working.” Daniel Ash, CMO of the Chicago Community Trust gave an example of this with insight on the trust’s content strategy. Ash knew Chicago Community Trust’s strategy needed “to be responsive to the community instead of expecting the community to respond to content that was being pushed out to them.” Ash concluded the evening with some final words of wisdom, “Pay attention to the extremes and you will learn how to move people to your brand.”

Andrea MinhasWritten by Andrea Minhas, Co-Chair of Communications, CMO Panel

Evening With Experts Event Recap II: CMO Panel: Current Trends and The Future of Marketing

On June 11th the Chicago AMA brought together a dynamic panel of distinguished CMOs to engage on changing media, customer behaviors, technology platforms, and the value of talent for organizational success.

Moderator Pete Krainik delved into the discussion by asking what are the different ways of finding the future. CMO Daniel Ash commented on his experience with The Chicago Community Trust and outreach campaign On The Table celebrating community philanthropy. It is important to encourage community building and put the community first by modeling the desired outcome. Megan Bueschel, CMO of Mario Tricoci Hair Salons and Day Spas, added the necessity of prioritizing channels and asking where is your audience and what is your brand. Patrick Bernardi, CMO of Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., stressed the importance of distribution and community advocacy for timage1he brand and the obligation of marketing efforts to align with the brand.

Current marketing trends show emotional and customer experiences are vital to the future of marketing and long-term growth of an organization. Bernardi sees technology enabling an enriched customer experience though the need to know why you are in business must be answered. Ash believes content journalism and human emotion are key to all we do. Customer insight and data have shown social consciousness has disrupted business. Mission matters and legacy brands have an opportunity to enter this space and develop a deeper narrative around the brand. Bueschel agreed with Ash adding social consciousness is the best thing to come from the millennial marketplace and the right direction to go. Mario Tricoci’s campaign Mario Make Me a Model is part reality television with an opportunity to launch thriving modeling careers. Bueschel loves traditional marketing and sees beacons, hotspots, and entrepreneurial channels on the rise. Integrated marketing Krainik observed, is not going away.

An audience breakout session included sharing ideas on what amazing changes will happen in the upcoming three years. Groups determined hyper personalization, beacons, and weaving brands into the consumer story to be significant. Empowering advocates with content as well as curation and data will continue to be strong. YouTube, hashtags, and employee ambassadors should be utilized. Budgets should not hinder video content nor video quality.  Zappos does a great job and an excellent example in quality content.

Talent will set your organization up for success. With all the data available, Ash highlighted a need for respect of consumer privacy and an environment for people to exchange ideas and set a leadership tone. Krainik considered nuanced skill sets for culture. Bueschel emphasized a demand for excellent writing and communication proficiency. Bernardi found contributions from opinioned thinkers and risk takers factor greatly into an organization’s success.

Final thoughts on marketing, Krainik, go with what works. Bernardi, what do you want your audience to understand. Bueschel, find a call to action either through a mystery or gamble. Ash, keep in mind design thinking and extreme users, marketers have to understand both.

Krainik concluded the discussion offering to have the biggest impact, if there is not enough anxiety it is not big enough.


Written by Jackie Maman, Co-Chair of Communications, CMO Panel

Evening With Experts:  The CMO Panel – The Future of Marketing

On June 11th our industry leading CMOs Megan Bueschel, Sandy Kolkey, Patrick Bernardi, and Daniel Ash are ready to take on your questions.  Join Pete Krainik, Founder and CEO of the CMO Club as he moderates on today’s ever-changing marketing landscape. 

Get to know the panel

Megan Bueschel, SVP/Chief Marketing Officer at Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas enhances brand awareness through the “Mario, Make Me a Model” program and established the company’s robust mobile marketing and membership programs Mario PLUS Massage & Facial.  Additionally she also directs public relations strategies and manages new product and service development for the 15 location salon and spa group.

Sandy Kolkey, Chief Marketing Officer at Turtle Wax, Inc. leads the development and launch of a full integrated branding program including broadcast, cable, digital, social, search, ratings and reviews, email and website.

Patrick Bernardi is Chief Marketing Officer at Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., LLC, navigating in global branding, CRM, distributor communications and online strategies for the world’s principal manufacturer of dental instruments.

Daniel Ash is Chief Marketing Officer for The Chicago Community Trust.  As The Chicago Community Trust commemorates its 100th anniversary, Ash leads marketing communications, and public and government relations strategies that enrich the Trust’s mission.  Ash’s esteemed career in the nonprofit sector aims to advance social causes.

Join the conversation on twitter @chicagoama #camaexpert #cmo

For more information and registration, please visit:


New CEO of AMA to Visit Chicago AMA on October 7

Russ Klein, CEO, American Marketing Association will join the Chicago Chapter on October 7 for it’s Evening With Experts program to meet area members and marketers alike. “We are very excited to have Russ join us for one of our events so quickly,” said Michael Long, CAE, Executive Director of the Chicago Chapter. “Our members and supporters care very much for the future of the AMA and their Chapter, and it is great to see the new CEO engage with us so quickly to get to know members, their challenges and aspirations for AMA.

AMA_New_CEO_Russ_Klein_0728On August 11, 2014 – Russ Klein became the new CEO of The American Marketing Association (AMA), the largest professional marketing association in North America. An accomplished marketer with more than 30 years of experience in both the corporate and agency settings, Klein most recently served as the chief marketing officer for Arby’s. Klein replaces Dennis Dunlap, who is retiring after 15 years as CEO of the AMA.

Klein joins the AMA as the organization moves forward on a number of important strategies, including international growth, particularly in China, as well as illuminating the envisioned future state of marketing for its members.
Klein is a recognized marketing innovator who brings three decades of experience with some of the world’s foremost brands.  Prior to his role at Arby’s, Klein served as CMO for Burger King, 7-Eleven, and Dr Pepper/7Up companies.  Known as a pioneer in integrating digital and broadcast media, as well as content marketing, Klein has led highly successful revitalized brands and businesses on behalf of several pre-eminent private equity firms including Bain, Goldman Sachs, Hicks & Haas, Roark Capital and TPG.  In addition to launching new brands in China, he received numerous awards and recognitions including a Titanium Lion at Cannes and “Advertiser of the Decade 2000s” by Adweek.
“Disruption is the new normal in marketing,” said Klein. “The AMA has long been a trusted source of insights for the marketing world and I consider it a real privilege to guide the organization into the frontiers that lie ahead. The AMA will continue to be a torchbearer in lighting up the pathways of change not only in the future state of marketing but commerce in general.”
Amidst the changing marketing and media landscape, the AMA plans to release in the coming months a new collection of commentary and insights on the future state of marketing. It will explore various paths of change going on in the industry.
Click here for more information on the October 7th program.

Centare Sponsors CMO Forum

Today, Centare, a premiere product strategy, software development, and business coaching firm announced it would be sponsoring Chicago AMA’s Evening With Experts: CMO Forum – Perspectives on the Future of Marketing.

We are excited to have one of the top 5000 fastest growing companies sponsoring the CMO Forum. It demonstrates how timely and relevant the topics of the CMO Forum are to marketers.” – Michael Long, Chicago AMA Executive Director

Centare offers total product strategy, world-class software development, and business agility coaching and training. We believe that people matter more than processes or tools. It’s reflected in our culture and what we bring to the organizations we partner with. For nearly two decades, Centare has dedicated itself to improving lives through modeling and teaching what it means to be a better organization that builds better products. We are expert practitioners in the areas of Total Application Development, Organizational Transformation, and Consulting.

Read more Info on the CMO Forum.

Centare Contact:
Mike Crosse
Director of Client Solutions
P: 312-957-8564
Chicago AMA Contact:

Michael Long, MPA, CAE
Executive Director – Chicago AMA
645 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-0449 office

Evening With Experts: CMO Forum Panelists Announced!

Chicago AMA Announces CMO panelists for its Tuesday, June 17, 2014 Evening With Experts CMO Forum “Perspectives on the Future of Marketing.” For more information on this program, visit: Chicago AMA’s Evening With Experts Series.


John Anton, Vice-President and General Manager, Valspar

John Anton started his career in sales at Nabisco, later became a strategy consultant for Kurt Salmon, and then spent eight years in marketing at Mars Petcare. In 2010, he joined Valspar to lead that company’s shift from a largely private-label brand to one of the leading consumer paint brands in the U.S. He is a frequent speaker with CMO Collective, on their Governing Body, ANA Marketing Masters and published in AdAge, Adweek to name a few.


Christopher Kohn

Christopher Krohn, CMO and President, President and Chief Marketing Officer Christopher Krohn oversees the growth and development of the nation’s largest restaurant deals site. With direct oversight of the company’s information technology and marketing teams, Krohn is focused on optimizing the consumer experience to drive the business and brand forward. A veteran e-commerce leader, Krohn has extensive experience scaling businesses and cultivating strong consumer-facing brands and teams.

Prior to joining, Krohn served as the chief marketing officer and vice president of business development at Whitney Automotive Group marketing the business’ multiple consumer-facing brands. He also has served in key marketing leadership roles at Harrah’s Entertainment and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, building consumer loyalty and brand equity. Krohn marries his marketing skills with a background in information technology and strategy, and has done consulting work for Bain & Company, Hewitt Associates and Accenture.

Previously an instructor of computer science at Northwestern University and adjunct assistant professor of marketing at the Chicago Booth School of Business, Krohn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.


Rodrigo Sierra, Chief Marketing Officer, American Medical Association

Rodrigo has a history of being a brand repositioning, media and public affairs expert with a proven record of developing innovative solutions. And now during a time of dramatic change with new healthcare legislation, he is tasked with re-aligning the organization, changing their brand purpose and marketing focus across all constituents.

With a distinctive and award winning career, Sierra has been instrumental in achieving meaningful results in high-profile corporate, media, government and regulatory positions. His brand & crisis management expertise and experience in strategy, policy and organizational issues have equipped him to create and implement proactive initiatives that effect positive change and sustainable impact.


FeilHeadshotsquareKim Feil, President , CMO Club – Chicago Chapter

Kim Feil leads in transformations by identifying profitable consumer, channel and marketing directions to tap unrealized competitive advantage. She has been a retailer, general manager, consultant and ecommerce leader in marketing, sales and strategy at OfficeMax, Walgreens, Sara Lee, Kimberly-Clark, Information Resources Inc, CadburySchweppes and Frito-Lay, giving her a unique 360-degree and multichannel perspective. As EVP, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for OfficeMax, she led marketing and innovation growth strategies for this $6 billion multi-channel retailer as it merged with Office Depot in 2013, including the national launch of its new business Services platform. As the first Chief Marketing Officer for Walgreens, she created a new marketing center of excellence to position the company as a leading community health and daily living destination for the company’s six million daily customers, delivering new retail, pharmacy, health and cause-based growth programs. The “ArmYourself” flu campaign earned the 2011 Grand Reggie and recognition as the 2011 top global retailer campaign by Oracle World Congress.

She has been named a “Woman to Watch” by Ad Age, Crain’s Chicago Business, Consumer Goods & Technology and Diversity Journal magazines; dubbed a “futurist” by Fortune Magazine in its nomination of her to their 2011 “Executive Dream Team”; recognized by Advertising Women of New York in 2010 for “Changing the Game” and inducted into the In-StoreMarketing Institute Hall of Fame. She is president of the CMO Club Chicago chapter, serves on the Global Retail Marketing Association Advisory Board and is active in the American Heart Association Go Red for Women campaign andthe Network of Executive Women.


Tim Moran is currently the Editor in Chief of by Adobe, the company’s thought leadership site for digital marketing insights, expertise, and inspiration for and by marketing leaders. He was among the team who founded the site more than five years ago. Prior to that, Moran spent 20+ years as editorial management in the B2B technology press, including EE Times, InformationWeek, and TechWeb.


MediaMath to Sponsor CMO Forum

Today, MediaMath, a global technology company leading the movement to revolutionize traditional marketing and drive transformative results through its TerminalOne Marketing Operating System™, announced it would be sponsoring Chicago AMA’s Evening With Experts: CMO Forum – Perspectives on the Future of Marketing.

MediaMath’s TerminalOne Marketing Operating System™ activates data, automates execution, and optimizes interactions across all addressable media, delivering superior performance, transparency, and control to all marketers and better, more individualized experiences for consumers. Powering the operations for thousands of marketers, including those representing 55 percent of the Fortune 100, TerminalOne enables its users to drive transformative business results across the entire digital ecosystem. Key clients include every major agency holding company, operating agencies, and top brands across verticals.

We are excited to have such a cutting-edge digital marketing technology firm sponsoring this event. It speaks great volumes about the quality of programs and speakers Chicago AMA continues to bring it’s constituents.” – Michael Long, Chicago AMA Executive Director

MediaMath Chicago Contact:
Ben Beal
Director, Sales – MediaMath
445 N. Wells #301, Chicago, IL 60654 / mobile 312-399-5696 / desk 312-800-9226
Headshotdigital_squareChicago AMA Contact:
Michael Long, MPA, CAE
Executive Director – Chicago AMA
645 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-0449 office