Yesterday was MeasureFest’s inaugural edition from Brighton. Hosted in the city’s Corn Exchange, MeasureFest this time provided three distinct sessions; Attribution, Testing, and Measurement (which could also have been called ‘How to wrangle Google Analytics data into a better, prettier, and more comparative format’).

All in all, there was something there for everyone, but not everyone was likely to enjoy all of the sessions. Let’s take a look at the agenda for the day…

Russell McAthy – Attribution You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Harriet Checkley – Attribution 2.0
Lewis Lenssen – Measuring The Marmite Media
Martijn Scheijbeler – Scaling Your Testing Program for Maximum Impact
Connor Wilkinson – Creating a testing culture in Asda
Tim Stewart – Roadmaps & Experiment Design – Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
Neil Barnes – Turbo Charging Your Google Analytics Data
Adam Englebright – Google Analytics Minus Google Analytics
Elayne Phillips – Measuring Communications in Downing Street
Nikki Rae – Segment or Die! – The underused Cliché


Given the breath of different marketing disciplines covered by the three sessions, it would be silly to try to cover each talk in the detail they require and deserve, so instead I’ve chosen some of the key discussion points of the day on which to ruminate.

#1 – Testing strategy

One of the points that stood out most from the talks at MeasureFest yesterday was in the strategy behind A/B and MV testing. There were widely different approaches mentioned across a number of talks and it certainly got me thinking….

The main discrepancy in the approaches seemed to be in whether a value judgement needs to be placed on any test before it happens, in order to determine what value the result of a test might possibly have.

On the other side of the coin was the approach of Dutch speaker Martijn Scheijbeler from The Next Web, whose approach seemed a lot more free and objective than those of his corporate red tape restrained fellow speakers. His approach, do everything fast and without any pre-judgement of its result or budgetary impact, was certainly a lot more exciting and the very definition of an agile testing environment.

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That’s not to say his team aren’t aware of overall KPIs or goals, just that they don’t let red tape restrict them from the potential to find something unexpected.

The pace and breadth at which Martijn’s team in Amsterdam worked at testing impressed a lot of people in the Measurefest audience…

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You can find Martijn’s slide deck from his talk (Scaling Your Testing Program for Maximum Impact) below. (Warning: contains coarse language!)

[slideshare id=55469738&doc=measurefest-151124161336-lva1-app6891]

#2 – The (potential) impact of Adblocking

Lewis Lenssen, Rakuten’s Attribution’s Marketing Director was asked about the impact of Adblocking by a member of the audience after his talk. His main points were that many people use ad blockers because the ads they encounter slow down page loading.

Lewis highlighted that it was up to the advertising networks to find solutions to these issues. He also said the industry needs to be more transparent about the data it collects and how it is used in order to combat the increasing use of ad blockers.

Interestingly, just this week, news hit that Yahoo had banned US users from accessing their webmail if they had Adblockers installed. Yahoo confirmed the changes, which includes a pop-up box asking users to pause their ad-block software before they could access their inbox.

Some think this action is rather rich, coming from a company who admitted that adverts on its homepage had been infected with malware for four days last year. For more information on the arguments for and against, check out the video above from Mashable.

#3 – Simple GA solutions

Both Neil Barnes from Friday Media Group and Adam Englebright from Measurelab extolled the virtues of Google Sheets and its facilities to hook it up to GA to produce easy, digestible dashboards from standard GA data.

The emphasis was definitely on making the most of the free data we get from Google Analytics, and creating ways of viewing data from multiple domains side-by-side. There was also an acknowledgement that employing familiar Microsoft graphical elements, such as pie charts, line graphs and colour formatting makes dashboards easier for non-analysts and non-technical stakeholders to view and digest.

Key point: the power of hooking up Google Sheets and GA should not be overlooked. Scheduling capabilities provide a useful and simple way to get daily/weekly overviews. These are both free, and can be easily shared and accessed.

Adam Englebright’s slides can be seen here and Neil Barnes slides and templates can be found below.

[slideshare id=55570438&doc=turbochargingyourgoogleanalyticsdata-151127085159-lva1-app6892]

So there are the points of discussion which stood out most for me at this year’s MeasureFest. As always, there were some great quality talks from some super experienced and savvy marketers. Let me know what stood out for you from this year’s event. What one thing that you heard would you take away and action this week?