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Inbound Success Podcast

What do the most successful inbound marketers do to get great results?

You’ve heard the stories about companies using inbound marketing to dramatically increase sales, grow their business, and transform their customer relationships, but not everyone who practices inbound marketing knocks it out of the park.

If you want to know what goes into building a world class inbound marketing campaign that gets real, measurable results, check out the Inbound Success podcast. Every week, host Kathleen Booth interviews marketing folks who are rolling up their sleeves, doing the work, and getting the kinds of results we all hope to achieve.

The goal is to “peel back the onion” and learn what works, what doesn’t and what you need to do to really move the needle with your inbound marketing efforts. This isn’t just about big picture strategy – it’s about getting actionable tips and insights that you can use immediately in your own marketing.

Dec 9, 2019

Big data sounds great, but how can marketers extract insights and put together reports without spending all of their time crunching numbers?

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Anna Shutko of Supermetrics talks about how marketers today are dealing with data. From juggling data from 5+ sources, to wrangling spreadsheets and figuring out how to continuously monitor your data pipeline, Anna shares how Supermetrics clients are taking on these challenges while saving themselves considerable time - and how you can, too.

Highlights from my conversation with Anna include:

  • Supermetrics is a marketing automation tool that transfers data from a variety of sources to the marketer's destination of choice.
  • In addition, Supermetrics offers data warehousing through Supermetrics for BigQuery.
  • Supermetrics' goal is to make marketers' lives better and easier so they can focus on what actually matters.
  • Anna says that marketers today need to be technologists who know their business, know their platforms, know at which stage of the funnel they want to use the platforms, and know how to use data from all those platforms together to create a comprehensive narrative from their data.
  • According to Anna, the best KPI for any marketer is revenue. If revenue is growing, then marketing is doing its job.
  • One of Supermetrics' customers was able to cut the time they spend on reporting down from three to four days a week to a few hours.
  • With a platform like Supermetrics, which allows you to continuously keep your data updated in real time, you can simply check the data once a day, knowing that its up to date, and then go about your business.
  • You can also simply provide your stakeholders (ex. board) with a link to view your data at their convenience.
  • Anna says that the biggest mistake marketers make is to focus on vanity metrics like impressions.

Resources from this episode:

Listen to the podcast to learn more about how marketers are cutting their time spent on reporting using Supermetrics.


Kathleen Booth (Host): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast.

I'm your host, Kathleen Booth. And Today my guest is Anna Shutko, who is a product marketing manager with Supermetrics. Welcome, Anna.

Anna: Hey, Kathleen, and thank you so much for having me on the show. It's such a pleasure to be here.

Kathleen: Yeah. And I think you might actually qualify as my guest, one of the guests who is coming from the furthest away because you are in Finland right now. Correct?

Anna: Correct. Yes, we are based in Helsinki, Finland. And yeah, so originally from Russia, and I moved to Finland and I've been living here for about seven years now.

Kathleen: All right, and how -- just because the weather is changing here, so I'm currently kind of obsessed with weather -- how cold is it where you are?

Anna: Basically, it's plus seven degrees Celsius. I'm sorry, I don't know what it's like in Fahrenheit.

Kathleen: Cold, cold. I know that's cold.

Anna: Kind of cold yeah. It usually drops to minus 20. So it's-

Kathleen: Oh my gosh. I don't know how you do it, I would not survive in that climate. Well, it is getting colder here and the seasons are changing. But I'm so excited to have you on and to pick your brain because we're going to talk a little bit about analytics, which is something that's very near and dear to my heart. But it's one of those topics I think people talk a lot about, but they don't get very specific on and so I am actually really excited to get specific with you.

Anna: Yes please.

About Anna and Supermetrics

Kathleen: So before we dive into this, though, can you just talk a little bit about, first of all, yourself and what you do and also what Supermetrics does?

Anna: Yeah, sure. So I'm Anna Shutko and I've been working in Supermetrics for three years now. So I am one of the first employees of the company, I joined as employee number seven in 2016. And since then we've had a really, really rapid growth. So it's indeed an exciting journey. And I'm still continuing as you can imagine, the company is not the same as it was, not the same at all. Now we're hitting 70 like headcount. So it's been quite a wild ride.

And I started as a marketing generalist, because as you can imagine, we're a team of seven, and everybody was doing everything, I was the second employee on the marketing team. And as the company grew I realized that product that's Supermetrics does is my passion and I want to devote more and more time to it.

Now as we are hiring more people, I'm actually able to concentrate in product more and more as we go so I'm very excited about it. And in the future, I will be leading integrations marketing, which means, and I will explain everything how Supermetrics works and what integrations are in a minute, like integrations as their own stream as their own branch of marketing, so to say, so yeah, pretty excited about it.

And like I mentioned, I fell in love with the product from day one. I remember how I was applying to Supermetrics, and I opened the website, and I saw this amazing product in the website was look really, really bad, but the idea was there. And yeah, since then, we changed the website and we added many more new and far more amazing products but I'm continuously in love with the company and products that we do so this is where my passion as a product marketing comes from.

Kathleen: I have to just say, as a marketer, I have to laugh when I hear you say that you came in and you had a bad website because this -- I have experienced that in my career. And I never know whether to be excited or sad, because sad that you're coming in and the website stinks but excited that you get to come in and like change it and immediately show such big results of your marketing efforts. Like a website redesign is an awesome opportunity to just make a huge impact on a company's marketing so there's great opportunity there as a marketer, but it's also like "aargh."

Anna: Yeah, I totally feel you on that we had a huge redesign project, but actually now the website really matches the company's identity of the company's products and shows how amazing they are. So I would prefer to see it as an opportunity.

Kathleen: Yeah, you guys have a great website. So if you're listening and you have not checked out the Supermetrics site, definitely take a look at it. It's really well done and very cohesive from a visual branding standpoint. I've always liked your site.

Anna: Thank you so much. Yeah, so a couple of words on what is Supermetrics and what do we actually do in this little red box.

So, Supermetrics is a marketing automation tool and we started by developing a tool, which transfers data from different data sources, or as we call them "Integrations", those things, which transfer data from different APIs to different data destinations.

So we transfer data from platforms like Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook ads, Twitter Ads, and now new ones for example Quora Ads, name it to spreadsheet tools and we started from transferring all this data to Excel then we move into G Suite. So next product was Supermetrics for Google Sheets aka transferring data from now it's 50 plus sources to Google Sheets.

Then as Data Studio got rolled out, we partnered up with Google and we're actually the first ones to develop Connectors, which work entirely in Google Data Studios UI. So transferring all these different data to Google Data Studio.

And now we enter the data warehousing space with our newest product Supermetrics for BigQuery and this is a completely new product game changer. So marketers can take advantage of BigQuery and store a lot of historical data there without necessarily learning how to code, really like hardcore, so everything is pretty intuitive. You can set transfers, and then visualize the data in big powerhouses that we're calling Tableau, Power BI for example.

So that's the evolution of Supermetrics. In short, I love to describe it as a data pipeline, just easy to imagine, right, pipeline, we transfer data as if it's like water, for example, to all those different data destinations, and keep the work flowing.

So previously, without Supermetrics marketers had to copy, paste, or download CSVs. So imagine, if you need a report for your client tomorrow, you have to go to every single platform like Facebook ads, Google Ads like I mentioned, ecetera, copy, paste, or then download all those different CSVs and compile them into one file. Edit every single data type and make sense out of the data and it was nightmare. I cannot even imagine how people did it without Supermetrics before.

So we basically automate the whole thing so there is a really smooth sidebar or engage Google Data Studio there is this selection tool where you can very easily connect to all the sources you need. And you can select, which data do I want. For example, I want clicks from yesterday's clicked by campaigning for example, I want Facebook ads campaigns. And boom, this data just appears in your spreadsheet.

It's really easy. I think it's the easiest if you watch the video, and I will add all the links to the video. So then people can pause the podcast, follow along or check our site out if they want to.

So yeah, you will just really see how easy it is to create a marketing report and our motto, so our idea is to make marketers' life better and easier so they can focus on what actually matters like talking to the client, analyzing this data, spotting trends, sharing this report with their colleagues.

If it's a collaborative tool, like Data Studio, it's super easy to do. And because we're a data pipeline, it gives us this flexibility. So we don't really have a fixed data destination where we transfer everything. People already know how to use Excel, so they can just transfer their data there and just go ahead and continue their work. So that's who we are.

How marketers are taking on big data

Kathleen: I love that. This whole topic is so interesting to me, and I was just having this conversation with somebody the other day, because my company is also in the data space, but we just happened to be in cyber security but there's a similar problem with marketing and with cyber security, namely that, there's all this sort of excitement around the availability of big data. And data is wonderful but what winds up happening I think, a lot of the time is there's a lot of noise and not a lot of signal. And meaning there's a ton of data, but you don't necessarily need to look at all data, right? You need to get to the data that matters the most. And the most important thing isn't the data itself it's the insights you source from it.

And so, I would love to just kind of get your thoughts on especially for marketers. Do you see marketers successfully dealing with that challenge right now and how do they do that? It is such a big, hairy kind of area of I could be measuring all the things and tracking all the things. I guess this is like 10 questions in one I want to ask you so many things, like what are the most important metrics? How are marketers winnowing it down to what matters the most? Like, you guys work with a lot of companies, how many exactly is it?

Anna: So yeah, indeed we do and I think I already previously mentioned to you, so it's 400k, 400,000 people who've tried or are using Supermetrics across all the different products, so huge numbers.

Kathleen: That's interesting, it must give you some pretty fascinating insight into what information marketers are tracking and what they're looking at and what sources they're drawing data from. So let's start out actually by a lot of the people who are listening to this podcast, a lot of them tend to be practicing marketers and they're senior enough that they deal with strategy, but they're also kind of deep in the weeds with some tactical execution. And if somebody is listening and thinking I need to set up a reporting framework and I need to decide what are the most important KPIs to track? Can you share a little bit of, through what you see in the platform, like, what are those top KPIs that you tend to see marketers looking at?

Anna: Yeah, so of course every single marketing reporting framework is unique and it depends on the company, there is no right or wrong, there is no one framework or one approach I could share and then everybody would apply it and then I would be in a very happy place. I wish that would be possible. But it's an art, it's science and everybody has to use their own judgment.

Of course, I can pinpoint some things for example, nowadays you're completely right -- marketing is becoming more and more and more data driven. And marketing is actually becoming more and more technical. So there was this one chart I love referring to which is called the MarTech 5000. Not sure if you've heard of it.

And it just shows on a larger scale, how the MarTech space has transformed over the years. So in 2011, there were something about, if I remember correctly, 150 solutions. And right now there are over 7,000 solutions.

So imagine all those platforms and every single marketer is using maybe in their own platform, or some unique custom setups in the same HubSpot or Salesforce in the same platform everybody's using.

So like I mentioned, is becoming more data driven, it's becoming more unique and is becoming increasingly complex. And what I see is that the profession is changing so we're not just more curious anymore, we have to be marketing technologists to successfully implement all those strategies. So knowing the platform and knowing at which stages of your funnel, you should use a particular platform, maybe it's a new platform, like Quora Ads for example. And it's an entirely new set of metrics because the nature of platform is different. You also have to take that into consideration.

So basically to sum it up, knowing your business, knowing the platform, knowing at which stage of the funnel you want to use this platform, and knowing -- and this is where Supermetrics comes into play very nicely -- how we can use data from all those platforms together to create a comprehensive narrative from your data.

Say you want to use, for example, Search Ads as top of the funnel, this is what we see commonly happening, people using Search Ads, maybe display ads to attract attention so they will be metrics like impressions, to impact your further questions like impressions clicks, in a way micro conversions or conversions as in their positioning to the website or going into down the funnel.

Then in the bottom of the funnel, people are already more familiar with the company. So there can be many different other platforms coming into play that continue handling data so they can go on the website track. So then there is Google Analytics.

They continue with another platform. Quora Ads again is a very good example because there you can have different targeting levels and you can target different questions now that people have already got their food for thought about your company. And in the end, you can, again, hammer them with more maybe brand-related content now that they're already familiar with your brand and then lead them gradually to closure.

And again, this is where understanding of the product comes in handy. I will give our own Supermetrics example. So we have Supermetrics templates, basically, those are free to use files, which people can use and they work with our Connectors.

So it works like this, you get this file, you click three buttons, and it all happens in Data Studio UI or, for example, Google Sheets UI and this is gets populated with your data as you use Supermetrics Connectors. But the trick is that you have to use Supermetrics Connectors to automate this dashboard. Of course, you can put your own numbers and the formulas would work, there is no problem with that you can also use it manually.

But the beauty of those templates is to use them in an automated manner. So by knowing that those templates, activate trials, again, if we talking about SaaS, you know that in the bottom of your funnel, you can put this specific lead magnet, like in our case, this is the Landscape, there can be some our tool and then usually tracking through Custom Code or through Google Analytics, how those things convert and then afterwards I think that at this point, people start using more and more complicated platforms to track this post-purchase journey to accurately predict what kind of people convert? How do those people behave? And are there any like rookie purchases?

So this is, again, where HubSpot comes in very handy. The platform has expanded a lot. Or Salesforce, then you can connect this data from Salesforce to top of the funnel, or middle of the funnel content data and then see how people who click on your ads and search literally through the whole journey have converted and what kind of people are there and based on that data, then you craft an improved marketing journey.

Now that was a really long explanation but yeah, just hope to get the general idea out there so that you should know the business you're in. You should know the tool, you should know how to use those tools together, how to use this data together. And yeah, just focus on metrics like ROI that's my personal belief because marketing cannot function separately or completely separately from overall business, it has to bring results, it has to bring insights.

So I think revenue is a very solid indicator of whether something working or not working, and in our case, this will be ROIs.

Marketing tool sprawl

Kathleen: Yeah, that makes sense and you touched upon something I wanted to ask further about, which is you have to know your platforms and I think you said you need to be a technologist these days, which I think is really so accurate. There are so many different platforms and you can't just be a strategist anymore you have to know how to get in and make these software tools sing for you, because that's where a lot of the value gets unlocked. Do you have a sense? Well, let me back up how many different data sources or platforms does Supermetrics integrate with right now?

Anna: It depends on the data destination. So for example, for BigQuery, it's far more complex to add a data source, so we have less of them there. But I would say that more than 50 if we don't count those in detail, or like early access, fully integrated, fully developed platforms, there are around 50 and I have to say that our engineers did a great job because not only do we provide the basic of I call them the basic metrics for some platforms like HubSpot, for example, or Adobe analytics, we also provide the Custom metrics. So if people have created their own metrics, they are also able to fish them out with our tool and like visualize them.

Kathleen: So there's about 50 different fully integrated platforms and plenty more kind of in development. Do you have any sense from the way that you all have seen customers using Supermetrics of, on average, how many different sources the typical marketer is pulling in? I'm just curious.

Anna: Yeah, of course, I will give you a very, very rough number because there is no generalization to be made. Some people prefer to use one platform very heavily others prefer to use a bundle. But I would say that around maybe like five would be something like an accurate number.

Kathleen: Yeah, it's so interesting, because just from my own experience even in small organizations, like, my company is small and in early stage, hopefully will be very big in a year. But, we still, I feel like we have a lot of different platforms. We have marketing automation, we have our website, we have Google Analytics, we have our CRM, like our video marketing platform, our SEO add-ons, there's just so much and pulling it all together is a little bit of a nightmare.

And I imagine without a tool like this is super time consuming, and I think that that's probably one of the biggest pain points marketers have, is the amount of time they spend on reporting. Like you said, you work with a lot of different companies I know you and I talked and you have some examples of companies that have used the platform and some stories about how it's helped them save time. Can you maybe share some of that with us?

Supermetrics customer stories

Anna: Yeah, definitely, and I love sharing those stories because the clients are amazing and some of them have been with us through like absolutely everything. So they started using Grabber, which is now our legacy product so the tool pulls data into Excel. And now they want to try or are already trying Supermetrics for BigQuery you can imagine some of them have used all five of our products, so definitely an evolution there. But coming back to your question one of my favorite client success stories is Sleeping Giant Media. These guys-

Kathleen: It's a great name, side note, I just like the company name.

Anna: Yeah, they're great and the people they're amazing. So the team is based in Britain, and they've been using Supermetrics like I mentioned for a while. They started with Supermetrics for Google Sheets and now they're looking into Supermetrics for BigQuery. So Sam, big shout out to Sam is our one big Supermetrics fan and he even talked about us at Brighton SEO, which was just amazing we never asked him to but he just went out there and spoke about us. It was really heartwarming. So he told a story that they used to spend around three to four days just on marketing reporting, aka copy, pasting numbers, collecting-

Kathleen: Three to four days a month, right?

Anna: Three to four days a week.

Kathleen: Ah, oh my goodness.

Anna: Imagine well, I guess they were not doing it exactly like every week, but maybe like every other week let's say. They are a fully functioning marketing agency providing a wide range of services.

So he would get in Monday morning and start collecting data and then they're emailing all the cc's. By Wednesday evening, he would finish all reporting for one maybe two clients, depending on the scope of the project, of course. And then he had Thursday and Friday. So Thursday the client meeting to discuss how campaigns are going, whether there is some adjustments have to be made, et cetera, et cetera. And then it would just leave basically Friday and well, if he's not doing reporting next week, then the next week to implement all the changes. Which to me sounds crazy, because this is something you should not be spending that much time on.

This is not a very highly intellectual job like copy, pasting numbers feels so basic -  people doing this and he's started using Supermetrics so he's time basically time he spent on reporting cut down to something like an hour or maybe like an hour and a half and if he needed to do a reporting for absolutely all the clients in the agency that would be in one day.

Kathleen: So what does he do with all his newfound free time?

Anna: Great question. So he's already talking, well, obviously you started sharing those results with the clients. So he started talking to the clients more and this I think even further reinforces the idea that we help inbound marketers because then we encourage with this free time you can have more human connection. You can ask more relevant questions, you have more time to even think or like process the client's needs.

And, in addition to this, he was able to make more relevant analysis now that he had more time. So he could actually process the numbers in his head and think, "Aha, what would our next steps be?" And then react accordingly?

So we usually have two types of reports people are doing with Supermetrics. So one type of reporting is this for example, monthly reports where people pull together numbers from all those different sources to assess their monthly progress to see what kind of plans do they have to make for the next month, and then so on and so forth.

And the second type of reporting that we commonly see is the ad hoc reporting. So say, okay, this campaign, this bid is acting wild I did not know what happened. Some numbers are going down they're not normal compared to the benchmark or this is someone unusual behavior. Let me just quickly pull out a few numbers and compare them and figure out what's the root cause? Is it something seasonal or is some competitor in the picture, like to understand what's happening.

And I really loved one comment, this is from a different client the agency is also based in the UK, they said that it's much, much faster and much easier to pull those numbers with Supermetrics rather than going through the whole Facebook ads UI trying to dig into campaigns and figure out what exactly went wrong. So there you go.

So you can also do this ad hoc kind of very quick analysis to see whether some immediate action has to take it and I think this makes you very, very proactive versus being a reactive reporter. You look at the numbers, it's like, "Oh, my God." The moment is gone, things have already happened. But this way, you can very quickly act upon those changes and as a result make your clients happy and avoid some potential setbacks. If you for example, have Black Friday and say something's going wrong then you don't have much time to react. You're losing money basically. So yeah, it really is-

Kathleen: Do you have any sense for how often, because Supermetrics really gives a continuous flow of data, correct?

Anna: Yeah.

How often are marketers reviewing data?

Kathleen: And so you could theoretically be checking it all the time. But do you have a sense for how often at least in best practice cases, marketers are looking at that data?

Anna: Yeah, so they can set triggers that would refresh data automatically. So I would say that people do so that they set up a reporting dashboard, then they set it up to refresh, so that the data is there for the next day, usually. Of course, they can do like hourly refresh again, if it's a fast pacing, budget campaign, but usually they you do this, I come in to the office, I see fresh data in my dashboard. So every morning, we can do a quick catch up with my colleagues, look at this internal report and see how all of our different clients are doing.

If it's an agency, if it's an internal team, then just see how campaigns are performing and then see what we're doing during the day. So that's the usual, I would say, very typical scenario, or according to my experience.

Kathleen: And then it seems like, for reporting, like if you're somebody like me, who has to put together a report once a month for your board of directors, you could just really kind of screenshot and paste the graphs into a PowerPoint or something along those lines if you wanted to, or you could distill the data in some other way for like a monthly report.

Anna: Yeah, definitely, you can do this. What I would do personally, if I was the one doing this, I would use Google Data Studio because this way you don't have to copy paste anything and you can share this file with really nice dashboards they've updated their design and they're rolling out as far as I know, more comprehensive and even better looking design soon. So you can just connect all the sources put all the numbers and like I mentioned also provide those templates so you can get some inspiration from there.

Our designers also do a very nice job creating those lovely designs. For example, we have some Supermetrics for HubSpot templates there in our gallery and I will also give the link to all the materials and the gallery so people can check them out or if they listen to the episodes and try everything themselves.

Check out the Supermetrics reporting template gallery

But yeah, I would do something like this. And then at the same time, you would not need to refresh the data because the data will be refreshed automatically there. And the board of directors can see new numbers and in addition, you can also connect your custom data source, aka if you have revenue numbers in a database, many companies do have those.

So especially if it's a board of directors, they would be very interested in the impact marketing has made on their revenue and other business metrics. So you can pull this data from the database and you can show it side by side with the marketing spend, for example, to give them an even bigger picture.

The biggest mistakes marketers are making with data

Kathleen: That's great. So any thoughts on, you know, what you see the marketers doing as far as the biggest mistakes they're making with tracking data reporting on it, et cetera?

Anna: That's an interesting one. I actually have never thought about this. Mistakes.

Well, maybe one thing that comes to my mind is maybe like focusing too much on the vanity metrics as I call them, aka like a lot of clicks or like impressions or worse like it's a impressions. Metrics that give you ... I would say these are maybe like unrelated metrics in a way that they're not very directly related to the business metrics, because for example, in some cases, sales cycle can be quite long.

So you cannot accurately assess how much the campaign will generate in the future just simply because people have to go through multiple steps and multiple touch points to even get to the discussion about purchasing your product or tool or license.

And so yeah, focusing too much on impressions, focusing too much on metrics then, like I said, not maybe necessarily related.

This comes back to the product. You should know your sales cycle and I would suggest breaking it down into different steps and basically monitoring and benchmarking each step and see the conversion rates. I don't exactly remember, a gentleman did an episode with you and he suggested a very good framework for this. There was even Excel spreadsheet. So this is maybe something we could also pulling back to this episode in the comments.

Kathleen: I'll have to figure out which one that was.

Anna: Yeah, unfortunately, I don't remember.

Kathleen: We'll figure it out.

Anna: We'll figure it out.

Check out the episode Anna references here

Kathleen: I know we can do it and we'll put the link in the show notes. Yeah, I know that I've had so many great guests it's interesting who've contributed so many great ideas that oftentimes I was thinking and in fact as I listened to you talk, that I need to go back and listen to some of my earlier episodes, because now I'm on I think I just published Episode Number 117 when we're talking about this, and there's so many earlier ones that are still great in terms of the information they deliver.

Who is Supermetrics right for?

Kathleen: I imagine that this type of reporting isn't right for everybody because some marketers might have much simpler platforms or maybe not. Maybe it is for everyone can you talk through who do you generally see using a solution like this?

Anna: So our most common user personas, so to say, are marketing agencies, so somebody who is doing marketing reporting consecutively and then they have to do it almost every day or at least monthly to put together those good looking reports for their clients.

But of course, those marketing agencies can be of different size. There can be a five person as we are now seeing with required there can be a five person very tech savvy small team, which focus on marketing technology and purely some maybe hardcore analytics with the elements of normal distribution and some predictive analytics even or they can be a very big marketing agency like TBWA who want to work client success stories.

So yeah, agencies are very typical for us. Then we have internal teams so basically marketing departments, which want to monitor their own campaign, how they're progressing. Then even if they don't have a client, like you just mentioned, reporting to their board of directors and showing what impact marketing has made on their sales et cetera.

And also, we've added HubSpot Connector, which is not only marketing, but it's also CRM. So then they connect their marketing data together with the CRM data to give more background information and make a 360 degree analysis. So these are very, very diverse I have to say.

Kathleen: Great. So really it sounds like anybody, regardless of size, who has a strong focus on data, tracking data, analyzing data and reporting on data?

Anna: Yeah, I would say so. Well maybe there is some categorization, I would say that smaller teams tend to use Google Sheets and Excel aka Spreadsheet tools. If the team is very tech savvy, or they have a lot of historical data, then I would straightaway advise them to use Google BigQuery because they would immediately otherwise hit that cell limit and the reports will be bulky, the reports will be slow. This is just not the right data destination, if you want to store terabytes and even more like 2, 3, 4 years of historical data to see different trends.

So to summarize, bigger marketing agencies who have many clients, many big clients like big brands want to own their data because imagine those big brands spend a lot of dollars collecting this data, cleaning this data up. And they want a place where they can successfully store the older data so they can store data in BigQuery as their database and then they can instantly connect data from their Facebook ads, et cetera, to BigQuery through Supermetrics, and then visualize it, for example, in Tableau or Power BI to get the full picture of their marketing reporting.

And yeah, smaller teams tend to use Data Studio, Google Sheets, which are completely free tools, so they are not paying per usage for them. So for them that would be cheaper and therefore more suitable option.

How to learn more about marketing analytics

Kathleen: Okay. Now I'm going to spring a question on you that I didn't tell you I was going to ask you and you may not have the answer because this is totally off the cuff.

But as you spoke about this, you talked about, like, when you start to do more, you should move over to BigQuery. And I imagine for some marketers that could seem kind of intimidating, especially if they don't come from a highly analytical background.

So are there certain places that you know of, or can recommend if somebody's listening, and they're thinking, "Oh, my God, that sounds really complicated." I need to get up to speed and learn more about analytics and how to use something like BigQuery. Is there somewhere online they can go to learn and become better at analytics?

Anna: Yes, and I actually do have to say that we're working on this. We're very well aware of this worry that people have that, oh, I've been using maybe more simple UIs for my whole life. And now there was this whole like jobs and transfers and the whole different environment, which is coming with this BigQuery.

So first of all, I do have to say that we're working on creating a bunch of materials for BigQuery specifically that will show how can use Supermetrics products if you're a marketer like videos, where do you click? How do you create different kind of transfers? How to use different kind of joins?

So this is something that we're really hoping to provide and also we do have natively build Data Studio Connectors so after a marketer has gathered all the data in BigQuery, they can use our connector to visualize their data in just a few clicks.

And, again, as we publish a video you'll see it's very, very simple and what I really love about BigQuery, although it does sound intimidating, but Google does provide learning resources for that as well. And if you look at the UI, you will notice that it's very, very intuitive. So to say, well at first it's maybe a little bit challenging, but once you get a hang of it, it's actually pretty nice, it's quite clear.

From our side, we also provide this monitoring suite where you can see how your transfers are performing. Is your data flowing all in nicely? Is there something to worry about or not? Usually all our transfers are fine.

So people have mentioned and you can also see from the client success stories that data flowing in nicely and we haven't experienced that much challenges with Supermetrics for BigQuery.

But yeah, more resources coming up. Google does provide their own resources and I think it's important for marketers to at least look into this if it's relevant for them, because this is the general trend. This is where the world is going and you want to be ahead. You definitely want to at least understand what kind of technologies are there.

I really liked the quote one of our clients have mentioned. So they said, "It feels like Google BigQuery compared with other providers is built with agencies and with marketers in mind." So that sounds reassuring to me at least that people do say that it's actually feels like it's built for marketers.

So I would say, yeah, wait for ours resources and then go and explore on your own and try not to be intimidated by this very techie sounding word.

Kathleen's two questions

Kathleen: Yeah it can be a lot to think about. But that's great that you guys are working on creating some resources.

All right, we can talk about data forever but I have two questions I always ask all of my guests at the end of my interviews, and I would love to get your answers. The first one is, we talked about how the focus on this podcast is about inbound marketing. Who can you think of that whether it's a company or an individual who's just doing inbound marketing really well right now?

Anna: Yeah, I will say quite a common answer and I'm pretty sure other guests have already mentioned this company. I think Drift is doing a fantastic job when it comes to inbound marketing, so they have not only created their own category, but when they interact with the people, with their clients, it feels very, very human, which I think they got this trend. This is something many of us need as marketing is becoming more and more techie.

We need this kind of catalyst, we need this human connection to feel welcomed. And like I mentioned, they're doing a fantastic job there and one very good example is this one scale playbook, those 41 or 42 plays. As you read through this playbook, you can literally see that the company's trying show their best and make people feel welcomed and warm if they're using their product.

Kathleen: Now, that's great. A lot of people have mentioned them, but that's because they're doing great things.

Anna: Exactly.

Kathleen: Second question is where do you personally go to learn and keep up so that you are able to stay abreast of the cutting edge developments in marketing?

Anna: Yeah, so I prefer not to have a one stop shop. So depending on the topic I want to learn more about I go to a variety of different resources. So if I want to learn something more general about what's going on in the world of SaaS marketing, I listen to the SaaStr Podcast.

Another amazing podcast I can recommend is the Growth Hub Podcast, and my colleague Edward is a proud host of this podcast. I really love his interviewing style and the guests, which have been on this podcast are simply amazing. So go check it out the Growth Hub Podcast, by Advanced B2B.

A couple of other things. So of course I go to MarTech Today and SEJ if I want to learn about news and recent updates, and for us it's especially relevant, because we need to keep up what's going on with all the data source companies.

Julian Shapiro, I'm not exactly sure if I'm pronouncing his name correctly, has a couple of fantastic guides on how to write a great copy, how to build a really nice landing page, how to A/B test. So one really good resource there as well and yeah.

How to connect with Anna

Kathleen: There's a couple new ones there that I haven't heard about. So we'll definitely check those out and put the links in the show notes. If someone wants to reach out to you, if they have a question about what you've talked about, or they want to learn more about Supermetrics, what is the best way for them to connect with you?

Anna: Yeah, so definitely the best way is to reach out to me directly, maybe not through the company Twitter, but I'm @superpoweranna on Twitter.

Kathleen: That's such a great handle.

Anna: I love it as well. It's like Supermetrics plus me. So yeah, @superpoweranna on Twitter, and yeah, just hit me up with anything.

And I also am very actively checking LinkedIn messages so Anna Shutko on LinkedIn, please don't hesitate to connect and I'm very happy to have discussions, answer the questions about anything there. So yeah, LinkedIn and Twitter, I would say, are the two go places.

You know what to do next...

Kathleen: Great. Well, I will put links to all of your various social accounts in the show notes so people can reach out to you and thank you so much for joining me. This was really fun just to talk about analytics and to geek out for a little bit.

If you are listening and you liked what you heard or you learned something new as always, I would love it if you would leave the podcast a five star review on Apple Podcasts. That is how people find us and hear about us.

And of course if you know someone else who's doing kick ass in non-marketing work, tweet me @WorkMommyWork and I would love to make them my next interview. Thanks, Anna.

Anna: Thank you so much Kathleen.

Kathleen: So fun.