A Conversation with Quill Engage User Emilie Totten

April 22, 2015 Mickey Rausch

One of the best parts of my job as the Quill Engage Product Manager is the opportunity to interview our users. I really enjoy hearing what they like about the product, what they are looking for next and what we could be doing better.

This blog post will highlight one of our users, Emilie Totten, Head of Marketing for Synthesis Technology, a financial services technology firm located in Chicago.

Emilie has worked in Advertising and Marketing since 2004; first in the radio business and then in the fitness industry. She then joined Chicago startup, TrainSignal, in 2011 to lead their marketing, sales and customer service teams. After a brief break to be home with her son, she joined Synthesis Technology, a leading provider of marketing and data automation solutions for asset and wealth managers, TAMPs, hedge funds, investment banks, and other financial services firms. She has been using Google Analytics for about 5 years.

Below is an excerpt from my conversation with Emilie.

How important is Google Analytics (GA) to your everyday work?

Our website is essentially a giant lead-capturing tool for our sales team, so it is important that we know what’s going on once a visitor hits our site. What pages did they visit and how long did they stay there? What content did they download? How many times have they visited? GA gives us important insight into our visitors’ journey which helps us to qualify them and properly nurture them through the buying process.

What is your biggest pain point using Google Analytics?

My biggest pain point, hands down, is data quality. We are currently in the process of cleaning up our analytics to remove bogus referral sources and ensure that all campaigns and trigger events are tracking properly. Our site doesn’t get a ton of traffic, so any amount of irrelevant traffic can really throw off our insights.

Can you describe a scenario where you struggled to communicate insight from your or someone else’s Google Analytics data?

Of course, who can’t?! Communicating insight from GA is a common struggle for marketers. Like most applications, GA is underutilized by many marketers. That’s because unless you or someone on staff is an expert that really understands how to use it, it’s hard to wade through it all and pull out the insights that drive decisions. It can be overwhelming. How many times have I said to myself, “Gosh, I wish someone could just tell me what all of this data means.” And that’s what Quill Engage does.


How would you quantify the value of Quill Engage?

At this point, Quill Engage probably saves me an hour a week or more. The biggest value, for me, if that is writes the story (the narrative) so I don’t have to spend the time deciphering what all the data means. It also “connects the dots” between data points to communicate the bigger picture/story. Quill Engage has changed the way I work in that I can rely on the weekly email summary to remind me to log into GA to do a deeper dive at least once a week.

What does Quill Engage provide that the Google Analytics dashboard does not?

GA doesn’t write the story for you. It’s up to you to analyze the data and then communicate what that data means. Quill Engage does that job for you. The trick is to make sure you have your analytics account set up correctly so that Quill is using quality data to tell a truly meaningful story. That’s the only way to drive good decision making.

Looking out 3-5 years, what do you think will be the next big change in marketing?

It’s already happening now, but I think predictive analytics is going to play an increasingly larger role in marketing over the next few years. I can also see that content marketing will continue to play a larger role in the marketing strategy at companies everywhere. Marketers will need to have good analytics in place to understand what content is driving customer acquisition.

For more information and to sign up for Quill Engage, visit: QuillEngage.com.

Mickey Rausch is the Product Manager for Quill Engage at Narrative Science. Connect with Mickey on Google+ and Twitter.

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