Corporate Interview – Members Co., Ltd.
“Web knowledge alone, is out of the question”
Members Co., Ltd.(hereafter referred to as “Members”) provides their clients with network marketing services. Their clients list includes several leading corporations in Japan, including mega banks, apparel vendors, and beverage companies, among many others.
In April 2013, Members introduced the Web Analytics Consultant course as their in-house training certification. One year later, we spoke with Akihiko Takano, Executive of the Management Planning and Human Resource Development, on their decision to introduce our certification program into their in-house training and the impact it has had on the employees.
Why did you decide to incorporate the Web Analytics Consultant Certification Course into your training program?
For several reasons. First, we thought about what marketing skills we should improve on and the answer arrived at was customer insights and the PDCA cycle. In web marketing, acquiring customer insights based on analysis of the data and running the PDCA cycle are two fundamental skills.
Secondly, every year we conduct a customer satisfaction survey with our clients and we always receive a common request for more proposals. Proposals have various aspects to them and we decided to focus on the data analysis aspect to create more compelling proposals for clients.
Have you felt a change in clients’ eyes “evaluating your proposals”?
Websites are becoming increasingly important with our customers. As web strategies become more synonymous with management strategies, these issues will play bigger roles on the management level. As a result, our ability to display our analytical ability and knowledge of data is an indispensable part of our proposals.
After looking for a certification course where we could comprehensively learn the skills needed to run the PDCA cycles and make proposals based on data, we finally arrived at the Web Analytics Consultant Certification course.
More than 100 employees have taken the course in a single year after introduction.
How did you feel with it as you incorporated it into your training?Let me know your evaluation.
The strongest aspect of the curriculum is that it approaches web analytics from a business perspective. This is especially true with the senior course. Often times, web professionals tend to be too focused on their area of expertise and are unable to translate their knowledge into business results.
Our three-year slogan is to “lead the age of social media and become a networking business partner who creates business with customers.”
We are responsible for several aspects in web and social media marketing as they become more and more important to companies. This is why we must be very conscious of the workings behind our clients’ business in order to bring them the results they seek.
However, there are very few courses created from this perspective. Of course, there are courses that teach people how to use the analytics tools but very rarely do I see one that is centered on driving business results.
Understanding the client’s business is really important, isn’t it?
What our producers do for our clients is to understand the clients’ marketing and business as their business partners, and contribute to them. We have to lead them.
So of course, it is out of the question if we only have knowledge of web analytics. When we talk with our clients, we must understand their management and marketing strategies and propose ways to improve their business based on analysis of the data.
Mr. Funayama joined Members two years ago and is now in charge of planning and direction. He originally specialized in linguistics during his time in the university and only started learning about the web industry after joining the company. We spoke with Mr.Funayama who completed the Web Analytics Consultant course to get his thoughts on the program.
Did you experience any changes after attending the Web Analytics Consultant course?
The biggest change was the readjusting how I thought and approached web analytics. Prior to the course, I thought that simply learning the analytics tools was enough. However, I realized that the goal of a web analytics consultant was not to analyze data, but to derive insight and propose improvements that will drive business results. Changing this mindset was the most important aspect for me.
Do you have an example of improvement proposal?
Just a couple weeks ago in a reporting job, I analyzed the community site of a client company. I got their Google Analytics account to get an idea of how many PVs or visitors there were. It’s quite a common process and the web analytics methodology and thinking was really helpful in my analysis.
Another analysis I had to conduct for this community site was to classify the users into segments and then count the number of users for each segment and calculate their rates. This analysis was aimed at finding the core user segment on this community site.
I split the users into different segments and developed a hypothesis for the analysis. I then analyzed the data and tested my hypothesis to come up with a fact-based and data-based conclusion for the business. Prior to attending the course, I had never done analyses this way.
What was the client’s impression?
The clients were impressed at the way I presented my proposal and the analysis that went into it. The client had never experienced data presented to them in such an easily digestible and business oriented manner. By framing the analysis with hypotheses such as “users of this type should view this page” and “users who convert should have landed on this page through this route”, the client was able to recognize the findings in ways they were never able to. The clients were happy and thanked me afterwards.
Thank you to Takano and Funayama for their time.
The Web Analytics Consultant Certification course provides a curriculum to learn skills that are practical and business oriented. We recommend corporations seeking changes like Members to consider incorporating our course into the in-house training programs.
Interviewer: Miyazaki, Web Analytics Consultant Association