• I’m Terrible At Multi-Tasking (And You Are Too!)

    This is a transcript of episode 100 of the Let’s Get Data-Driven podcast.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and I’m terrible at multi-tasking… and you are, too, so we’ll talk about how we can do ourselves both a solid and minimize the ish that is getting in the way of what we’re actually trying to accomplish.

    I’m a huge advocate for focusing on one to three specific outcomes at a time. This is why you’ll frequently hear me remind you – on this podcast, in my membership, on my social media – that to maximize your results, you want to ensure that you and everyone on your team has 1-3 key performance indicators – or what the cool kids call KPIs – to account for at one time. That doesn’t mean these can’t or won’t change – of course they will, based on what your work focus in on – but anything more than that and your efforts are too scattered to see any real results and anything less than that, you’re not building in the accountability required to produce reliable, consistent growth towards your goals.

    I believe and promote that by minimizing the number of things getting your attention, you are then in a position to maximize the results you get from what you actually are investing your attention into.

    For the last six months, my primary KPI has been on my membership retention rates.

    What is a retention rate? A retention rate is the percentage of people in your membership who continued to subscribe or renew their membership over a period of time.

    And why does this matter? Having a high retention rate means that members are getting enough value from your offer that they choose to continue being a member. It means your offer is meeting the needs and expectations of its members, and I wanted to make darned-tooting that this was the case before I invested time or effort into anything else.

    As such, once I launched the Membership To Get Data-Driven last fall, I kind of put blinders on to all the other numbers in my business. I worked on finding the sweet spot of the right amount of contact, access, new resources, the whole nine yards, and I finally feel like I’m in a good flow with my membership.

    image c/o The Membership To Get Data-Driven

    My results support my feel-good flow vibes, too, because my average retention period for members to date is 5.2 months over a period of 7 months, and all-in-all, I have a 73% retention rate with over 100 members. The foundations for the Membership To Get Data-Driven feels solid to me, my numbers and the feedback I’m receiving have validated that this offer and its value are on the right track. It’s now time to kick promoting this mother into high gear!

    However, I’m kicking it Company Of One style over here, and while I do have someone who rocks socks to help me with my scheduling, the whole she-bang really falls on me. Retention Rate has been front-and-center while my other KPIs have revolved around this podcast: I really wanted to establish a system that would ensure my podcast episodes were delivered consistently – check! – and that I created a system that would make it translate to video with better YouTube production as well as the ability to chop that up into short form videos (SFVs). I do feel that I accomplished this as well, but between maintaining great Retention Rates, Consistent Broadcasting, and Increased Video Output, this hasn’t left a lot of room for anything else.

    I have not been connecting with my email list; I have not been collaborating the way I’ve wanted to by reaching out to other podcast hosts; I have not been building affiliate relationships – in short, I haven’t been marketing!

    Which sounds bananas when you look at other numbers that are promising. For instance, the sales page for my membership converts at 11.78% and I have done nothing to improve, optimize or even analyze it since I first launched the Membership To Get Data-Driven. Likewise, the social media posts that perform best for me aren’t the SFVs that are excerpts from my trainings and podcasts that take a whole lot of time to produce; it’s the quick-and-dirty ones I make on the fly sharing news stories that get my attention and think are worth sharing. There’s plenty of low-lying fruit there that I know I can improve on.

    But guess what? That’s OK – in fact, it’s good! – because I’m terrible at multi-tasking and you are too, which is why we can only truly hold ourselves accountable to 1-3 things if we expect to do those things well. (And I have and I’m proud of myself!)

    However! I’m now ready to do some other things well. Which means… something has to give, right? I have no intention of taking my eye off of the Retention Rate prize – it’s a priority, it’s THE priority – and so this means that if I want to put marketing KPIs front-and-center, the podcast is going to have to take a backseat while I do that and so, I’ll be taking the summer off from the Let’s Get Data-Driven podcast.

    If you’re worried you’ll miss me, I’m happy to report that there’s a private podcast feed in the Membership To Get Data-Driven and I’d love for you to join. One of the things I’ve gotten the most glowing feedback for was my onboarding process for the membership so if you want to see that in action, I really feel that this alone is worth the $19 to join because I believe that a low-priced offer can also be a human-centered offer and I’m out to prove that to each and every one of my members, which I hope will include you.

    Also, please consider this your permission slip to give some things up. Nothing is permanent – especially in the online world – and you can put something down and come back to it later; it will still be there. If you’re listening to this, I doubt that hearing me say I’m going to take a few months off of the podcast means you’re going to decide to unsubscribe from new episodes when they do drop, right? The same applies to you. Consistency has value, yes, but know that focusing on the select few right things is far more valuable, and I encourage you to do that. If you need help figuring that out, we’re coming up to the halfway point of the year and we’re talking about it in the featured workshops that drop every month and I answer your questions Love Line style on the private podcast so again, you don’t have to figure things out in a bubble.

    With that, I am making like Alice Cooper and acting like School’s Out For Summer. You know the Membership To Get Data-Driven in there in the meantime and you can always see my face sharing news stories I find notable over on Instagram @omgrowth – and we will talk soon, although maybe not as soon as we usually do, but still, soon!


  • The Biggest Mistakes I’ve Made with MARKETING DATA as a Digital Marketer

    This is a transcript of episode 99 of the Let’s Get Data-Driven podcast.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and before we hit episode 100, I wanted to share with you some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made with marketing data as a digital marketer. Because I’ve made plenty and you may have made or be making these, too. Because acknowledging our mistakes is growth – or in our case, OMGrowth – let’s get growing together.


    In an effort to see where my traffic was coming from, I once created this templated page that I would duplicate with personalized content like a header that said “hey, friend of WHOEVER SENT YOU” because I thought this would make it easy for me to see how and why they reached my page. And it did but it was a nightmare and there are far simpler ways of achieving the same outcome.

    The problem with this strategy is that not only did I have a boatload of unique pages to track but when I wanted to update the content on them, I had to update the content on all of them. For instance, if I retired offer or added a new offer, I would have to go into each individual page to add that thing, or I’d have to create a new templated page and replace all the pages I created.

    What I should have done instead and now do is I have one generic page that all my speaking opportunities gets redirected to using some customized code instead. This way, if I’m on The Jane Doe podcast and I’m asked to share where people can get some of the resources mentioned on the podcast, I would send people to and set it up so that this URL redirects people to that one generic page using UTM codes that will identify where this person came from like This way, when I look at my analytics and filter for “Medium: Podcast”, I can see all the traffic that came to me from all the different podcasts I spoke on.

    If you want to explore this more in-depth, you’ll find tutorials for how to do this in the Membership To Get Data-Driven, because while I value being able to track the ROI on my speaking events, I would never again create unique landing pages for each presenter I collaborated with, especially when I can use UTMs to generate clean reports on this for me.


    I used to sell Dashboards that plugged into your Google Analytics and if you want to hear more about why I no longer support or promote the use of Google Analytics for most small business owners, listen to episode 53 for the background on that. It would happen where people would have issues with how their data populated their dashboards and they would ask my if I could “just connect it for them” and agreeing to do so was always, always, always a mistake.

    The reason that you would encounter issues with how your data is reporting isn’t an issue with the Dashboard but rather, it’s with how your data collection and storage is set-up. This means you need to run a full audit on your analytics account and its settings, or hire someone to do so, and this can be time-intensive and therefore, it is its own expense. Furthermore, it’s a recurring expense because for as often as these platforms and privacy legislations are updated, you will have to have an expert adjust your settings accordingly to ensure you continue collecting clean data.

    Any time I agreeing to helping someone get their dashboards set up, I would almost immediately regret it because the problem was never with the dashboards and reporting and always with the set-up, and I never charged enough to include a full account audit. As such, it always felt a little bit like the relationship between Sharon Stone and Robert DeNiro in Casino where you start off saying, “I mean, why not have a go at this?” only to end up where all parties are inevitably dissatisfied with the arrangement.

    Keep in mind that data analysts don’t spend most of their time analyzing data; they spend most of their time cleaning their data sources. Google Analytics is not out-of-the-box software you can plug-and-play without adjusting the settings and I highly recommend that you hire someone who is knowledgeable about privacy regulation to review and audit how your data collection is set up on an ongoing basis to ensure you’re doing so in a legal way but also in an accurate manner that benefits your reporting goals.


    Since these mistakes aren’t mutually exclusive, it’s worth noting that I did use and recommend Google Analytics for a long time. In fact, I still think it’s a great tracking platform for the right person who can either ensure the settings are privacy-compliant or who is willing to hire someone who will set-up and regularly audit and update their use of the platform. But like I said in the last mistake, Google Analytics isn’t an out-of-the-box platform you can just slap onto your site and you’re good to go. I mean, you CAN do that and it’s convenient to do so, but it isn’t responsible to do this before you understand what you’re consenting and agreeing to.

    We all do this – and I’m as guilty as anyone – where you sign up for a platform without fully reading the Terms of what you’re agreeing to. Episode 69 was a bit of a case study of how I joined TikTok, THEN looked into what I had agreed to (which I don’t have to tell you is the wrong order in which to do things), and how and why I made the decision to leave the platform once I knew and understood what the implications would be. It was more convenient for me to start swiping videos than it was to carefully read what I had agreed to, and as a result, I’m a lot more vigilant about looking into what I’m signing up to now.

    This doesn’t just apply to the tools you use and social media you sign up for, either. I encourage you to take the extra moment to manage your tracking preferences when you’re on specific sites and inform yourself as to what you’re agreeing to. You’re not a “hit” or a “user” – you’re a human being – and although you deserve to be treated as such, you also have to pay your due diligence and communicate how you’ll accept you and your audience’s personal information to be treated.


    If you’ve listened to me for any period of time, you know that I prefer the term “visitors” to “users” because yes, I get we’re speaking in the context of the people who use our things, but drug dealers refer to their client base as users and there’s a bit of a con-artist connotation that I can’t shake. Is this a personal issue? Maybe, probably, but it doesn’t hurt to think about it. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to think of those people as human beings. It’s a whole lot easier to think of them as people with experiences and needs and desires that you can help them with, rather than users whose pain points you want to exploit and maximize profit from.

    When you’re dealing with data and analytics, it can be especially easily to lose sight of what we’re talking about because it’s just numbers in columns; but those numbers represent people and there’s a ton of value – for both you as a digital seller and the person on the other side of the screen – when you remember that fact with how you show up online.

    Instead of hits and views, you can take a human-centered approach of “would I click on that? why would I click on that?” Instead of worrying about learning conversion copywriting, maybe you can look at your captions, your sales pages, your emails and just be honest about how helpful and how engaged you would find yourself being with that same content if the script were flipped.


    In a similar vein is the over-automation of processes. For instance, if most of your engagement is automated, you may be engaging “wrong”, amirite?

    Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of automations in place to help with my engagement. Social media posts are scheduled, for instance. I get alerts telling me to record a personal welcome video when someone joins the Membership To Get Data-Driven. I get similar alerts telling me to send a handwritten cards when someone buys a course. But all of these engagement-based automations exist as a way for me to welcome and open the door for conversation or engagement or just plain old making people feel seen. I’m re-thinking concepts such as the “welcome or nurture funnel” where you send a set of automated emails designed to introduce yourself and your offers because I’m thinking – and I haven’t figure this out yet – but I’m thinking I’m not the one who should be doing all the talking and I’m not sure how to do that. Should I test video welcome messages to new subscribers the way I do for new members? Is that even realistic? Maybe. Maybe not.

    I don’t have all the answers but I’m definitely questioning a lot of things – especially the things we put on auto-pilot – because as much as I advocate for not manually doing work you don’t have to, I’m equally passionate about acting like a human being online and maybe we don’t have to automate quite as many things as we do and have.

    Likewise, looking at numbers on a screen will never tell you as much as your actual followers and buyers can tell you, from their mouths, the burning questions you have about things like “your client journey” and “what made them buy”. Make your market research easy on yourself and just ask!


    Looking at #allthedata is overwhelming and it’s why I say over and over and over again that #allthedata doesn’t matter #allthetime.

    Having said that, it’s easy and a lot of times, we’re encouraged to focus on the wrong things. Social media may be the pillar example of this but what metrics do you have front-and-center? Your followers, your views and your likes, right? For a long time, I equated “likes” with what is doing well for me and I was looking at the wrong dang thing. I care so much more about what people are sharing and saving as examples of what is really resonating with my audience – and if you want help finding those types of insights, there’s a training in the Membership To Get Data-Driven on how to find all of this juicy information and you’ll find the link to join link in the shownotes – but I can do a lot more and take better data-driven decision by looking at what people are saving and sharing than what they’re liking.

    Furthermore, all data – regardless of the source – is never perfect and will be increasingly imperfect as privacy laws expand. That’s why instead of focusing on exact numbers, it is far more valuable for you to focus on identifying trends and patterns. If you need an example of what this looks like in action, I’ll link to a couple of examples that will show you how to do that from my Instagram:

    Understanding your numbers to make data-driven decisions isn’t like accounting where the numbers have to be exact; the goal is to take the areas you’re investing in and set yourself up to easily identify what the returns are for those efforts and where the gaps, inefficiencies and low-lying fruit are for you to capitalize on next.

    So there you have it – some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made with marketing data as a digital marketer and I’d love to hear yours as well, so if you’re feeling like sharing some mistakes you’ve made, reach out to me @omgrowth on Instagram. In the meantime, next episode is my one-hundredth and I look forward to sharing that one with you next week so we will talk soon – baiiieee!!


  • How UTM PARAMETERS are the Future of Analytics in a Cookieless World

    This is a transcript of episode 98 of the Let’s Get Data-Driven podcast.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and in this era of the cookie-pocalypse where your ability to use third-party cookies to track your visitors’ activities is about to go obsolete, I get a lot of questions about how tracking will work moving forward. For instance, people are rightfully concerned about how affiliate links will work or how they can see which campaigns brought the most traffic. That’s why in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how the extinction of third-party cookies will impact your marketing and the best way for you to continue tracking the ROI on your efforts.


    Several years ago, we started seeing changes to the way online behaviors were being tracked, and these changes have been gaining all kinds of momentum.

    In 2017, Apple introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in its Safari browser, which limited the ability of third-party cookies to track people across different websites. In 2019, Mozilla announced that it would block third-party cookies by default in its Firefox browser, while Google announced plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by 2022.

    In early 2021, Google announced that it would delay its plans to phase out third-party cookies until 2023, in order to give businesses more time to adapt to the changes. At the same time, Google has been testing its new Privacy Sandbox technology, which is designed to provide advertisers with alternative ways to target people without relying on third-party cookies.

    This time period in internet history is often referred to as the “cookie-pocalypse” and we are moving towards an online world without third-party cookies as web browsers and advertising platforms adapt to new privacy regulations and to people’s expectations around data privacy.

    So what makes cookies so problematic?

    Let’s start at the beginning, when Lou Montulli, a Netscape Communications employee, is said to have coined the term with his favorite childhood snack in mind. Legend has it that he was inspired by the practice of dipping cookies in milk, which he felt was a metaphor for the way that cookies allow websites to “dip into” a user’s data and remember their preferences and activity.

    Which is a fun way of visualizing what cookies actually do: cookies are small data files that are stored on a visitor’s computer by websites to track their online activity. While these have been in use since the 90s, only now are they being increasingly scrutinized for the concerns around data privacy, tracking and consent.

    Hence, the “cookie-pocalypse” and the privacy issues present with the use of third-party cookies, which are cookies that are set by domains other than the one that the person is visiting. These cookies are often used by advertisers to track people across multiple websites and build detailed profiles of their behavior and interests, which can be used to deliver targeted advertising.

    As such, major web browsers like Chrome, Safari and Mozilla have implemented significant changes to the way they handle cookies, and this is having an impact on the way you can and do track your website visitors and advertising campaigns.

    But cookies aren’t the only method you can use to track your marketing; you also have the option to use UTM parameters.


    UTM parameters are these little tags you can add to the end of the links you’re sharing to promote your offers. In turn, these allow you to track the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns and they help you better understand the ROI of your online advertising efforts. You can look at your analytics and see the traffic you attracted for which offers, from which mediums, via which traffic sources, even through which specific pieces of content to better assess and understand how your promotions are performing and make more data-driven decisions.

    If you’re interested in better understanding how UTMs work, I encourage you to use the link in the shownotes to sign up for some free trainings I have to offer on using UTM parameters and if you want to cheat off my test paper with copy and paste formulas, I encourage you to join the Membership To Get Data-Driven where I have these all mapped out – literally, with workflows and everything! – for you to swipe.


    Unlike cookies, tracking with UTM parameters doesn’t happen automatically; you have to be intentional about adding these bits of codes to the links you’re sharing in order to benefit from their tracking abilities whereas cookies are just pervasively embedded into browsers.

    Whereas UTM parameters are transparent to visitors because they’re seen as part of the URL your visitors click on, cookies are more invasive in the sense that you don’t know what’s being collected. Part of the problem with cookies is they often collect Personally Identifiable Information – or what the cool kids call PII – because they’re designed to remember things like preferences and login information and ad targeting as they track and collect information about behaviors across multiple sites.

    Meanwhile, UTM parameters don’t collect any PII; they’re designed to provide you with insight as to what campaign, for what offer, through what channel someone clicked on to end up on your site, visiting whichever page. UTMs simply track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and visitors can choose whether or not to click on a UTM-tagged URL. In contrast, third-party cookies can be used to track user behavior across multiple websites and collect sensitive data without the person’s knowledge or consent, and that’s where the problem lies and why they’re going the way of the dodo bird.


    This means that if you’re going to track your marketing campaigns, you’re going to have to be intentional about doing so by using UTM parameters. Since these will continue to work as cookies become obsolete, this would be a good time for you to follow up on HOW the tracking takes places for the campaigns that automatically track for you and you may have taken for granted.

    For instance, the affiliate links you use to promote other people’s products for which you receive a commission probably use a combination of UTM parameters AND cookies. Paste your link into the address bar and look for a question mark symbol in your link. You may have to hit ENTER as some of these function with redirects that populate the UTM afterwards, but what you see after that question mark will identify you as an affiliate and anyone using that link to purchase the product will credit you for the purchase.

    However, the days of getting credit for that link for days or weeks on end afterwards are gone. It used to be – and in some cases, it still is but it won’t be for long – you could share a link and if someone went back to that person’s sales page without using your link a few weeks later to make the purchase, you would still get credit and commission for that person’s purchase. This is because cookies made it such that the web browser remembered that you sent that person there in the first place, but once they’re disabled, you’ll want to ensure people are using the link you shared with them in order to get credit for that purchase.

    Any instance where you’re using tracking that happens automatically – meaning, you haven’t put in place any intentional tracking but you’re getting insights and analytics reports for – will be an area you want to better understand HOW that tracking is taking place, and what you can do to continue receiving that type of information as automated tracking comes to an end.

    Whining about the changes and how hard everything is getting in online marketing isn’t going to improve anything; being intentional with how you approach your marketing efforts will. If you’re looking for resources to help you with any of this, I have those linked in the shownotes.

    As online marketers, I believe we’ve become desensitized to how creepy and pervasive a lot of our practices are. Some of the tracking we’ve become not only accustomed to but feel entitled to are things so creepy that we would never, ever dream of doing this in the real world. At the same time, it’s like we all agree that best sales referrals always seem to come from humans and relationships and collaborations. If we take a step back and see the big picture of how valuable connection and engagement is in the context of online marketing, maybe we don’t have to act so bruised about the fact that people have to consent to sharing their personal information with us; maybe we can take this opportunity to get intentional by getting back to prioritizing the relationship that goes along with collecting that type of information.

    Talk soon, baiiieee!!!


  • Navigating The Fine Print: Using AI to Make Sense of Terms and Conditions

    This is a transcript of episode 97 of the Let’s Get Data-Driven podcast.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and I keep my Sephora app cart loaded until I see the “right” samples show up because unless I’m getting the “good stuff” as far as samples go, I’m not buying. Also? I’m not above splitting an order in 2 to get more samples but the trick is that you have to put the order in the next day, and those samples may not be available. I may not play the slots but boss, that’s how I gamble – on Sephora samples!

    Today, we’re talking about another semi-compulsive thing in my life: my use of ChatGPT and AI. I’m fascinated by this stuff and wanted to share a use case – and a heck-no-it-isn’t-a-use case – for using it to better understand some more complicated aspects of data privacy.

    A few weeks ago on episode 94, I shared with you a resource that I love and recommend to help you better understand the terms and conditions you’re agreeing to when you use a platform, and what the data and privacy implications are for you and the information you share and/or collect on its behalf.

    In a perfect and totally responsible world, we would all be reading through the terms and conditions, right? But they can be lengthy and complex to understand where even if you do read them, you don’t always understand what it is you’re agreeing to. Of course, I always encourage you to consult with a legal professional if and when you have doubts or questions about any of this, and anything I tell you here is not legal advice.

    At the same time, you also have tools at your disposal to help you better understand these types of documents on your own ahead of seeking out any additional assistance you may want or need.

    I’ve been playing with ChatGPT a lot, and one of the things I’ve been testing is to use it to break down agreements set forth by platforms. There are two ways of doing this: you can either copy and paste the terms and conditions, and this would get you the most up-to-date feedback, or you can ask it to help you better understand the Terms and Conditions of a platform.

    For instance, I asked ChatGPT: “Can you help me better understand the Terms and Conditions of YouTube?”

    And in its enthusiastic and polite way, it informed me that I should really be reading these myself – very responsible, thank you, ChatGPT – and then it went into summaries of its content guidelines, copyright infringement, advertising guidelines, privacy and more.

    Now, we remember that ChatGPT and frankly all AI at this point in the game is to considered fallible; all AIs have been known to get things wrong and again, you should be doing you own research and verifications to support anything it tells you. But it’s a great starting point and this is how we’re treating it.

    An asset of ChatGPT, though, is that it tends to build on its answers in a conversational mode so I kept asking it leading questions like “How does YouTube use, collect and store my data?” and then “what does it do with this data?” and “what am I agreeing to when I embed YouTube videos on my site?”.

    In my experience, this line of questions will give you broad, easily digestible answers that will make it easy for you to start questioning further into. I know I typically read through the brief answer it provides and think, “OK, but wait, I want to know more about this part of it” and you’re off to the races.

    One of the gold star questions I have is “when it comes to data privacy, what regrets do people have about using or signing up for PLATFORM NAME?” Again, it will give you a brief, broad answer that you can then pick off like a chicken bone to gain a fuller picture of what issues there may be with whatever platform you’re looking at.

    For instance, one of the regrets ChatGPT shared with me in this regard for YouTube was “targeted harassment” and it said, and I quote, “Some users may regret using YouTube due to targeted harassment they may have experienced from other users on the platform, which could potentially involve the use of their personal data.” And I’m like “GO ON!”

    Except, of course, that’s not clear enough guidance so what I actually asked was “Tell me more about targeted harassment with YouTube. How does the harassment happen and how is it targeted?” To which it responded things related to doxing and false flagging and other things I have a surface understanding of but then kept talking to ChatGPT like it was my friend until it finally said “Enough! You’ve asked too many question, come back in an hour.”

    Let’s get clear about something, though: AI isn’t a lawyer and shouldn’t be treated and seen as such. Treat anything it tells you more as a highlighter pen than anything else where it helps draw your attention to certain things you want on your radar, but anything it says can’t and shouldn’t be seen as any type of gospel or truth.

    Furthermore, if you’re using something like ChatGPT, the information it provides only accounts for up to 2021. Meanwhile, regulations are changing at a clip-worthy pace, and so are the terms and conditions of platforms you’re using. Again, treat any information it generates as insight rather than information.

    Finally, it bears worth mentioning that while you may copy-and-paste something like a Non-Disclosure Agreement someone else is asking you to sign to get a grasp on what it says before you fire it off for your lawyer to review and approve, you don’t want to be inputting any sensitive corporate information or personal data into these platforms. ChatGPT is under all kinds of fire with the lack of transparency they have around where they’re collecting the data and what they’re doing with the data we input into their systems. In fact, in ChatGPT’s Terms and Conditions, it is quite clear about the fact that it makes no promises as to how personal or sensitive information you enter into its systems will be handled and that you simply should not provide that type of data in any query you make.

    Nevertheless, I get that it can be tough to wrap your head around some of this stuff – unless you’re a lawyer who specializes in privacy, data or online businesses, this can feel like a whole other world – but I’m a big fan of making small incremental gains and if you learn something or find a way of seeing something in a way that helps you better understand it – even if you don’t totally “get” it in its entirety – you’re still ahead of where you were and that’s a gain, in my book, every time!

    Talk soon – baiieee!


  • Balancing PERSONALIZATION and PRIVACY With Your Marketing Campaigns

    This is a transcript of episode 96 of the Let’s Get Data-Driven podcast.

    I’m Lanie Lamarre and I have some automations set up to remind me to send cards out about once a week. When someone in the Membership To Get Data-Driven finishes The Roadmap To Optimization, for instance, I get alerted to send that person a little handwritten note. Everyone likes a note, and everyone like personalization… until you take it to far so today, we’ll figure out where the line between privacy and personalization is for you and your audience.

    I saw someone post about their dinner reservations from this nice restaurant on Instagram. This Story stood out to me because the restaurant – who printed their menus on fresh paper every day – took this as an opportunity to personalize the experience by printing the party’s name at the the top of the menu. Imagine getting together with your friends for dinner and having something like “Congrats, friends!” written at the top of the menu when you went out to celebrate a friend’s good news or something

    I love that. I love those opportunities we all have as sellers to personalize the experience for the people we are selling to. Any time you’re able to make someone feel seen, even in some little way like “hey! we printed out these menus… FOR YOU!”, I love that.


    In marketing terms, this is called “personalization”: the practice of tailoring marketing content and experiences to individual customers based on their interests, preferences, behaviors, and other relevant data. This can include using customer data to create targeted advertising, making recommendations based on past purchases or browsing behavior, or personalizing email and website content to reflect the customer’s interests or past behaviors.

    When it comes to online marketing, personalization is especially important and let’s start with my favorite reason why:

    • Personalization addresses people like they’re human beings: While most listicles will put the next reasons front-and-center, everyone wants to feel seen and everyone wants to feel like they matter. Personalization grants you the ability to do that for someone, even from behind a screen.
    • Personalization improves the customer experience: To receive recommendations for offers you’ve already communicated or shown interest in will be more valuable – for both you and the buyer – when they’re personalized to the individual’s wants, needs and/or desires.
    • Personalization fosters higher engagement: It’s only logical that when someone feels like you’re speaking to them – like you’re addressing them personally – they will respond, and in turn, the use of personalized language and recommendations fosters higher levels of interaction and engagement.
    • Personalization leads to higher conversion rates: When you make your messages more relevant and tailored to the person who is receiving them, they will be more receptive to the content being generated and you can expect this to result in higher action-taking activities.
    • Personalization breeds loyalty: If your people feel like you know who they are, congratulations! You’re created a relationship with your audience, and this type of stronger connection tends to breed more loyalty towards you and your brand.

    Some great examples – and opportunities! – you have as an online business owner to personalize your marketing campaigns and provide more relevant and engaging content to your audience include:

    • Personalized Email Campaigns: Email campaigns can be personalized based on the recipient’s past interactions, like previous purchases or website activity. You can also use segmentation within your email list to send different messages to different audience segments based on the interests or behaviors they have.
    • Chatbots: Chatbots can be used to provide personalized support and recommendations based on their needs and preferences. By analyzing past interactions and specific queries being made, chatbots are able to provide more relevant and helpful responses.
    • Retargeting Ads: Retargeting ads use customer data to show ads to people who have interacted with the brand before, such as visiting the website or adding items to their cart. These ads can be personalized based on a visitor’s browsing history and interests.
    • Dynamic Content: Dynamic content allows marketers to personalize website content based on the person’s location, device type, or other factors. For example, you may visits a site that will show you different products or promotions based on the weather or local events near you.


    But because there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”, you CAN take the ooey-gooey-goodness of personalization too far. This is why you have to take people’s privacy into consideration when it comes to how you’re personalizing your marketing campaigns.

    In the context of marketing campaigns, “privacy” refers to the protection of personal information and data that is collected, stored and used about people. Privacy is important to account for with the way you’re marketing because – weird concept but! – your audience expects you to respect them and, of course, you also have a legal obligation to handle the information you collect, store and/or use about your people in a responsible and secure way.

    The goal isn’t to horde as much information and as many data points about your audience as you can; the goal for collecting information from your audience is to provide them with the best experience possible, to understand the trends and patterns that motivate them, and to use what you know about your audience to better connect with where they are. So how do you balance respect for your audience’s privacy while still collecting enough information to deliver a personalized experience?


    There are all kinds of things you can do to let your audience know that “hey! I see you and not just in the creepy stalker way but also as a human being”. Which is all balancing personalization and privacy is: marketing in a way that prioritizes connection over exploitation. This isn’t always easy – sometimes being exploitative IS the easiest and simplest route to take because, for instance, it’s easier to embed a retargeting ad tracking code on your whole site than it is to be intentional about the single page you want to deliver retargeting ads for – but being intentional about how you build connections and relationships takes work and isn’t meant be to easy.

    So let’s look at some ways you can build personalized marketing campaigns that respects your audience’s privacy:

    • Prioritize first-party data collection: There is no better information for you to have than the data someone shared with you directly. It’s nice to have access to what ad platforms know to get in front of new audiences, it’s nice to see the Google data about how people are navigating your site or how long they’re watching your videos, but it’s AMAZING and ACTIONABLE to collect information straight from the source: your audience. I’ve pointed to this example before and it’s worth re-sharing but Denise Duffield-Thomas’s launch debrief is a masterclass in using first-party data and personalization in the most respectful and targeted way imaginable; she gets her audience self-identify themselves into what she calls Archetypes – hello engagement! – and then tracks sales and Archetype breakdowns daily, monitoring which Archetypes converted in which ways. She’s using information she acquired from connections she made with her audience to personalize the content she was sending them as well as inform her marketing and sales decisions. Is it a lot more work to market in this way? Absolutely, it’s more work. But is this personalized, first-party data collection a more effective way of marketing? Always! Google doesn’t own that data, Facebook doesn’t own that data, YOU own that data. Plus, not only does your audience give you explicit consent to use that data about them, but they actually WANT you to use this type of data because it personalizes their connection with your brand. (Should we just end the podcast here? Because that’s the mic drop moment if ever there was one… but we’re not done yet!)
    • Make yourself available for engagement and connection: Somewhere along the line, it feels like we forgot the “social” part of “social media” and we started scheduling all our content in a way that made engagement and connection secondary. We’re at a point where we talk more about social media reach than we do about using it for outreach. Meanwhile, the reason why personalization is an effective marketing strategy is because it gives your audience the opportunity to feel and be seen by you; when you make yourself available for connection, this reinforces those things we started the episode talking about with engagement, connection, loyalty and higher follow-through. In a sense, these interactions that take place on social media can also be considered first-party data because when someone shares something with your in your DMs or messages you through a Story you posted, for example, you’re typically learning something about them directly from the source. Maybe they’re interested in the offer you’re talking about and this makes it a great opportunity for you to engage and that qualitative data about a potential client is THE most valuable source of information you can access… and it’s right there if you make yourself available for and to it.
    • Limit your actual data collection and storage to what YOU need: The more places you’re collecting and storing personal information and the more people who have access to that information, the more at risk you are of a data breach. I’ll record another episode on data breaches later on because it’s definitely its own topic worth covering – especially for small online businesses because we do associate it with big companies – but you have to know that you are responsible for the safe-keeping of the personal information you collect. The more data you collect, the more information you have and the more people on your team who have access to this, the more at-risk you are of compromising that information. It’s worth asking yourself what information you need to know about your audience to help make them feel seen – we’re not talking about “growth hacking” or trendy sales strategies here – I’m talking about what would better help you connect and see your audience for what they need and where they are. Chances are that you don’t need a fancy funnel or some overly complex tracking to do this, either; you can, you know, just TALK to people. Just a thought!

    As I see it, you’re at a serious advantage when it comes to digital marketing in 2023.

    I’d confidently put money on it that you already have personalization built into your business. In fact, you’re probably doing so much of it that it’s second nature for you to personalize your marketing campaigns and you don’t even think of it as a “strategy” as much as it is just speaking to your people.

    You ask for feedback. You use your email marketing service to build segments out of your list or you have automations that say “if someone does this, then show them this” because it aligns with where their interests or motivations are. You respond to comments and DMs and emails, and you recognize and remember the people who engage most with you. You listen to what your clients say they need, you hear what they’re struggling with and you apply what they share with you when you’re creating new offers or new content.

    Marketers who have relied on the pay-and-spray approach where they’re distributing mass marketing pieces in the hopes that their message and offers will reach anyone who will buy have a whole lot more to worry about but you? You’re well-positioned to adapt to privacy regulation and changes because you already see your audience as human beings – because they are! – and that makes it so much easier for you to build those connections and a business that can not only sustain but easily thrive amid all these changes.

    Talk soon – baiiiieeee!!!