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How to Leverage Data to Drive Performance

May 19, 2021

Isaac and Patrick are joined by Julian Juenemann, Creator of MeasureSchool, a series of digital courses pioneering the best practices in data-driven approaches to digital marketing. They discuss the shift and changes in recent technology, what a cookie-less world means for advertisers and the importance and responsibility marketers have to work with developers.

Full Episode Transcript Below:

Isaac Rudansky: Hello, everybody and welcome to the How to Hide a Dead Body podcast. I appreciate you guys joining us for another episode. This one is sure to be exciting, informational, educational, and practical.

Before we begin, if you haven't gotten yourself a copy of Join or Die: Digital Advertising in the Age of Automation, it's a brand new book. I don't know. We've sold about a billion copies or something. We lost count at the 300 millionth mark. It's available in hardcover, softcover, digital, ebook, soon audiobook; written by Patrick Gilbert, our executive director, and it's fore-worded by myself and David Sable. 

Check it out; available on Amazon. It's a masterclass in digital advertising. And you'll come away with some practical advice and techniques for increasing the profitability of your digital advertising campaigns. 

Today, we have a special guest, Julian Juenemann, who we'll give it over to introduce shortly. But Julian is a special guest for us. Not only will he be teaching us a lot about tracking, Google Data Studio, Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and so on, he's a real expert. And you could tell when someone's an expert by their educational content. And Julian is all about educational content. It's what he does now full time; teaching people very complicated, difficult-to-understand concepts and platforms. And he breaks it down in a very easy, simple-to-understand way. 

And I'm not just saying that. I have first-hand experience, a lot of it, and so does my entire team, especially across the first few years when we started our agency. We didn't know what the hell we were doing with Google Analytics, Tag Manager, and Julian's resources on YouTube were an absolute lifesaver. Eventually, we came to call him King Julian because every time we needed help with something, we would go to King Julian on YouTube. It's great to come full circle here and to have Julian on the podcast. 

So, Julian, thank you for joining us and for taking the time. Spend a couple of minutes just talking about yourself, what you've done. You've run a couple of other businesses, one of which you've sold. You then bought a data-driven marketing approach. Walk us through that career path, and what led you to where you are today. 

Julian Juenemann: Yeah, thanks for having me, Isaac. And I'm happy to be here and talking about this journey that I have been going through. When I started out, I wanted to do startups after university. And that's when I got a couple of folks together and we started our first business, which didn't turn out that well. So I wouldn't say it's a magnificent buyout that we had there. 

But yeah, I exited that business and then we started another journey in e-commerce.

Isaac Rudansky: What was that first business? 

Julian Juenemann: The first business was a site where we sold cruise trips to people. So it was like a travel site where we had different offers to book cruise trips. And then the second business that we started was e-commerce. We sold high-quality home textiles, like bed linen, and so on here from Germany and also from China. 

I was not on the side of any of the sourcing. I was solely looking after the digital marketing efforts. So building up the digital marketing team, and doing anything from SEO, PPC, and so on. And I found out for myself that data is everything that moves everything in digital marketing. 

Isaac Rudansky: What gave you that realization? What changed? And how are you doing things or how did you see things being done that you noticed something and then you shifted? What happened there? 

Julian Juenemann: I think when we started working in the team, we needed to scale our efforts. Obviously, we also had VC money, and that needs to be wisely spent. So you start building these spreadsheets out. And in the end, it all comes down to the PPC side, for example, to make more money with the customer and buy him cheap in that sense. 

And so we need to get an ROI on our investment. And that's when this whole approach started where we were just looking at numbers in the end. Even so on the SEO side as well. So when you look at your SEO efforts, or on any other efforts when you were looking into display advertising as well. So all we had to clamor for was the data and that was, in the end, the powerful thing that let us scale our approach. 

I think that's when I fell in love with the data-driven approach, as I call it. When I left that business, I started out on my own. And I said, "I know how this data works, but I want to also be able to gather it." And that was always a big bottleneck when we were doing this data driven-approach. I started working with clients, but they didn't have that data because they didn't even know how to measure it in the first place. 

And lo and behold, Google came up with this product called Google Tag Manager, which makes it easier to build in this kind of tracking, and use the full capabilities of tools like Google Analytics, where you don't just install one little tracking code, but actually customize your installation. So you get the business data that a business needs to make decisions. 

Isaac Rudansky: Okay. Let's pause here for a moment, not for an advertisement, but just so I can clarify some questions. Walk our listeners through Google Analytics and what that is. What do you mean when you say just a regular tracking tag? What is a tag? Explain what a tag is? And then what is Google Tag Manager, specifically? And give an example or two of how using Google Tag Manager helps customize or make better Google Analytics? How do they work together? Give a few examples. 

Julian Juenemann: Sure. So everybody is familiar with Google Analytics; they have it running on their website. And, normally, when you first open up an account to Google Analytics, you need to install a little bit of JavaScript code. And these are these ominous JavaScript codes that need to be placed on all sides of your website. And these are also referred to as marketing tags. 

Now, normally, these marketing tags, you just install one tag for Google Analytics, for example, but once you start ramping up your digital advertising, there might be a tag that you need to install from Google Ads, from Facebook, the Facebook pixel, and from any other marketing platform that is running on your website because they also need that data to operate. 

And this is always an approach of taking that code and placing it on the website. Now, if you are not the one who is placing the code, you will go over to your developer or to the IT department to build that in. Obviously, the IT department is not always the most...

Isaac Rudansky: Fastest to respond. 

Julian Juenemann: Yeah. It's not the most exciting thing to place a marketing tag on the website. And, therefore, Google as they also rely on that data, came up with this little tool that makes it easier to implement these tags. And Google Tag Manager is basically a tool that you install once on your website. So you still need to install one central snippet, but then through this central user interface — it's not programming, really; it's a user interface that you log into — you can place these tags and have all kinds of templates so you don't have to mess with the code itself.

So it's easy to install these tags and manage them on a central interface. And this makes it easy for other companies to come in and also install their tracking if you hire a PPC agency, for example. Now, when I talked about...

Isaac Rudansky: Before tag manager came out, were there some other tag management platforms already that existed? 

Julian Juenemann: Yeah, there were some platforms that existed, like Insights, for example, TagCommander, but these were always in the enterprise. So Google Tag Manager, Google with their power made it actually for free, and you can install it on the page, and it's now standard on the site. 

But when it comes to Google Analytics, when I say you install one code, you just get one piece of information. That piece of information is when the user visits the website, and you get information about what the website is, what the URL is, maybe the page title, anything that the tracking code can read by itself. But Google Analytics is a platform that you can customize and make more powerful because Google Analytics doesn't always know what your business is all about. 

So, for example, if you're an e-commerce website, you need to install e-commerce tracking. That's where the first customization comes in. And with Google Tag Manager, you can go in and install these customizations with relative ease, rather than trying to go over to your developer and teach him Google Analytics so he can install it. You can do this all from Tag Manager itself. So that's where the power of Tag Manager really comes in. 

Isaac Rudansky: You mentioned Facebook and Google ads. You could talk maybe a little bit more in detail about those two because those seem to be very common tags or ways to customize Google Tag Manager. What are a few common use cases for Tag Manager? And if you want to talk about Facebook, what does that mean for Facebook? You said Facebook needs to operate, but what do you mean that they need to operate? What data does Facebook need? And how does that run through Tag Manager? 

Julian Juenemann: First of all, any PPC tool where you spend money on, they oftentimes need to have some conversion data. And if you don't have conversion data, so if the user took the action that you wanted him to take on your website — it might be a form submit, or a buy of your product — then you cannot optimize your ads because you don't know what works. So that would be the first step that any kind of tool requests to get access to on the thank you page of your online store to send that data over. 

So the Facebook pixel has a way to send over purchase information. Google Ads has conversion data to send over with ecommerce tracking for Google Analytics. But when it comes to optimizing even further into the funnel, so steps that lay before the ultimate conversion of the sales, you have maybe the add to cart or the view of the product itself, you have these different codes that you can then customize and install so you can track these actions as well. 

And with Google Tag Manager, you have these ways to not only place a code on all the pages of your website, but one specific page, for example, the thank you page or the product page. You can say to the Facebook pixel, "Okay, we have viewed the content piece here. And this is the actual content ID of this product." And then you will be able to show this in retargeting advertising later on Facebook or Google ads. So that would be the most common example where you would start customizing your code. 

Isaac Rudansky: Let's go back to your story, then. So you were learning all about this, Google Tag Manager comes out and you're still with the e-commerce company?

Julian Juenemann: No, I'm already out on my own, helping people to install Google Analytics or getting data for them from Google Analytics and getting insights from Google Analytics when I realized we basically need to install Google Analytics correctly first to get these insights. So that's when I dug into installing Google Analytics and using Tag Manager to do so. 

Isaac Rudansky: Let's walk back a moment. You went out on your own. That's a big decision. Well, it didn't sound like after university, you worked for traditional nine to five, right? You were sort of always entrepreneurial. 

Julian Juenemann: Yeah. 

Isaac Rudansky: And you had the first company, the cruise ship that you had an exit, and the bedsheet company. And then you went out on your own. How did that decision come about? And at the time, what types of outside-of-work responsibilities did you have? How did those weigh into your decision? And what was that period like for you? 

Julian Juenemann: That's an interesting question because I always remember that I loved to travel. I was in my 20s and wanted to go out in the world again. Now, at the same time, there was this emerging field of remote work. Now, everybody's talking about remote work nowadays, but seven years ago, it was not a big thing. At the same time, I realized, half of my time or probably full time, I'm sitting in front of a computer and doing digital advertising/ I could do this from anywhere in the world.

So when I went out on my own, it was not a conscious decision to say, "Hey, let's be a freelancer here and try to get some clients and build a business out of that." I bought a one-way ticket to Vietnam at that point and flew over to Vietnam. I sat there in a cafe and tried to figure out this freelancing stuff. But there was also a digital nomad scene where I met up with other entrepreneurs and Americans from many different countries that we're all trying to figure things out for them.

And yeah, I have some really cool friends from back then. I went into this direction of doing my freelance thing that I built into an educational business. And many others went into other directions like Amazon FBA and so on. So that's the mindset that I was in back then and I built this business basically from a cafe in Vietnam. 

Isaac Rudansky: Wow. Incredible. Any big bumps along the road? As you built yourself up, did you have a plan for where you wanted to be? Talked about Measure School. What were the services that you were providing? How were you pricing your content? Were you also doing client service? How did you decide what content should be free as lead gen? Walk us through your strategy for building a content platform that you can get paid for and pay your bills with? 

Julian Juenemann: Back in Vietnam, it was not that hard to start working on this stuff because you don't have that many costs. And, therefore, when I was starting as a freelancer, I underpriced myself quite a bit and just tried to get my feet wet. So I went actually on platforms like Upwork and tried to do the $50, $100 jobs to just get my feet wet with analytics implementation. 

And that turned out pretty well that I was, at some point, a highly rated GTM expert because, back then, there were no GTM experts out there on Upwork. And I could get many jobs. At the same time, there was a friend of mine who helped people out with this new emerging platform called Udemy getting courses online. And I thought, well, I don't have anything else to do, or I have a little bit of free time. I was not always fully booked. Let me try that out. 

And that's how I started an educational business. But then also said I want to do marketing for this, and I started doing a YouTube channel. Now, on the YouTube channel side, it is very important that you stay consistent. And, for me, my marketing plan was simply, people will buy my course after they watch the video. And video was like the course so it's a natural thing to swap over from YouTube to the course. 

So I started doing these videos every week. And I have been doing it, with a few exceptions, every week for the past six years. And that's how it started growing and growing. And I was the only one back then doing content consistently on Google Tag Manager and talking about this very specific digital marketing field, which is tracking and analytics. And that's how I gained a following, apparently, from all over the world. And that's how it slowly builds up.

I was also doing some freelancing work on the side, especially at the beginning. I think for the first two years, I was still doing some services. But I realized very early on that if I can dedicate more time to doing more videos, or educating people, bringing out courses, I can make this more scalable in the end. And my plan was never to build an agency. 

Kudos to you guys for building such a great agency. For me, it's really hard to think about, "Okay. I will have these employees," and then we are not really in one place at the same time because I was traveling back then, as well. So, for me, this whole educational business was a really great opportunity. 

Back then, it was not yet as prevalent to have a course. Nowadays, a lot of people have courses and you need to stand out as a course creator as well. Video was also my passion. That's why I started doing these videos. And it slowly grew until I came back to Germany three years ago. 

And here, I can dedicate more to live streaming, having a complete setup, and building courses more for a community that I have now grown, rather than trying to get in every little sale at the beginning, which was more of a hustle at the beginning than it is now. 

Patrick Gilbert: So what is your core product now? With your courses, what's the content of those courses? And who is your real target audience? 

Julian Juenemann: We mainly have one product, which is called Measure Masters. It's a membership website. So it's paid on a monthly basis, recurring revenue. And we have as the perfect member, somebody who is a professional marketer that might be in a PPC field, SEO field, working in an agency, or somebody who is working in-house in a business, but is doing this professionally. 

So they really want to understand their data better and want to take ownership of how to build it. And nowadays, this is a crucial skill for anybody who's working in digital marketing, to understand when a client comes in and says, "Okay, I will do PPC for you, but we need to get the tracking setup." And the client, especially smaller clients, might not have the technical expertise to build that in. You can say, "Install Google Tag Manager for me, and we will get it done."

And that's where my technical tutorials also focus on. We help people to go all the way through the funnel of analytics, which is, in the beginning, you measure the data, then you analyze it. So in Google Analytics, you have the tool of Google Analytics. Then you need to create a change with it. 

So data is not just laying around, and you get great insights from it. But you gather it to change something in your marketing campaign, on your website, or within an organization. And that's where the presentation also comes in. So Google brought out this tool of Google Data Studio, where we also can now take that data from Google Analytics and many other sources and present it to people in an easily consumable dashboard or report. 

Patrick Gilbert: What I find so valuable about the content that you put out, and for anyone else that works in PPC that might be listening to this, I think this is really important. Because the end client, the small business owner, or the stakeholder that's hiring the agency, often doesn't understand the value of proper tracking, and probably won't. They don't care enough to really understand that. And I think that's okay so long as we do in the middle. We understand that as your target audience, essentially. 

And when these things are a problem to set up, it really puts a strain on the relationship. So we have a new client that comes on board, and they say, "Okay. Listen, we're so excited to get started. We've gone through a sales process." They've seen our content, they've seen our case studies, and they want that. They want us to start generating revenue for their business. 

And we say, "Well, hang on. We have to set up tracking. We have to make sure there's a CRM integration, and we want to get profit calculated in your data layer." That's all foreign to them and they're like, "Okay, what exactly do I need to do here?" Sometimes that takes several weeks, even months to set up. And we're saying, look, we can't do the things that we need to be able to do. We can't do all that fun, sexy stuff until we deal with the really technical development side of the tracking. 

And if we can't push that through as quickly as possible, there's a serious strain. There's friction in the relationship early on. So that's why I think where you come in to offer this solution is so incredibly valuable because what Isaac was saying at the beginning is not at all an exaggeration. We don't have an in-house developer here. We're a lot of marketers that either work with developers that are on the client-side, or we've hired a lot of developers and UpWork's been a great place for us for that.

But there have been a lot of times where we're watching one of your videos to figure out how to set up a tag implementation or how to integrate Zapier or to pull this information into that platform. And it's so simple. And it's really got us out of a jam multiple times where it's like I have to get on a client call in an hour, and I don't know what I'm going to do. Let me see if Julian has something on the Measure School feed and I'll figure it out. 

So I really think that's an interesting little niche that you found yourself. But what I wanted to also ask you about is the niche specifically. So you found that there was a need originally on Upwork. No one knew how to install Google Tag Manager. So you were the first one to really go out and do that. Then it's like, "Well, now there are people that need to learn about this. I'm going to create content." 

So it's not necessarily that your niche is YouTube or that your niche is Udemy. I think your niche is that you found something that is really valuable to folks like us, but there's not a ton of people like us. So as you've continued to develop your business over the years, really, you are like one step ahead of the next guy that's doing it, so how have you continued to think about where you need to go to make sure that you stay relevant and sharp, as the entire industry has changed?

Julian Juenemann: I think there is an archetype here of a technical marketer. And there's a myth that marketers don't have to be technical. We are working with a technical product in the end. So you can do Google Ads without installing the tracking. And I think when we look at data that we analyze and make decisions upon, we also need to know how that data came about and how it's been tracked so we also see the faulty thing inside of the data. 

That's, by the way, also, one of the big things when it comes to automation and algorithms. Oftentimes when we talk about the future of Facebook with the tracking protections that are going on and so on, they will, at some point, not really tell us, 'Okay, you need to install this data here and there." We will pull that data together and we will be able to then come up with a solution for you in terms of the conversion.

And you need to provide that data somehow to the Facebook pixel, to the systems, and you need to know what that data is all about. So, in terms of the future, how I try to understand the field that I am in is I see myself more as a technical marketer to understand this is the technology. What are they really offering? How is this different from maybe what Google Analytics has to offer and what these other tracking tools have to offer? And how does data play a role in that? And how can we optimize this with data?

I think that when we look at these big players, Google and Facebook, and so on, they are clearly going into the future of automation. Machine learning is a big thing and you need to feed the right data to these machine learning algorithms to get proper output. And, therefore, I try to always stay ahead of the curve and think about these principal basics: what is going in? What is coming out? 

Isaac Rudansky: Very cool. I want to talk about iOS 14 and Google's changes to a cookieless world and FLoCs and your take. Before we do that, what are some of the coolest things you've done with Google Tag Manager outside of e-commerce tracking? I've seen you do some really neat stuff. Any fun stories or creative workarounds that you want to share? 

Julian Juenemann: Sure. When we think about Google Tag Manager, Google Tag Manager itself is a tool that runs on the user's browser. So it's installed on your website and it's executed on the user's browser. Now, oftentimes, we can get data that the browser provides. For example, the URL, the screen size, and so on. But what I'm more excited about is pulling data out of silos. 

So if you are able to pull data from your CRM to Google Tag Manager, and then make that usable inside of Google Analytics, that might mean that you can then segment your users based on what data you have in the CRM itself. So let's say you have data in the CRM about certain attributes of your users, what products they use on your website, or what kind of preferences they have, especially when you assess the business.

The user actually logs in, and in that moment, you can identify the user and also pull in data from the CRM. And then you have that available inside of Google Tag Manager. Now, from Google Tag Manager, that identified data can be sent out to many different tools. For example, you could send out data to Facebook and build a targeted audience of people who have used or viewed a certain website, or have a certain attribute in your CRM. And that makes it much more powerful than the normal data that you have inside your Facebook pixel. 

That's how you can really build a data advantage because you have a sophisticated system that is custom to your business. And nobody else has that data available unless they've built the same system, obviously, and they have that same data. 

So oftentimes, pulling data together can make it so much more powerful. But, unfortunately, they're still in silos in different entities. So you need to think creatively. And this is where the creative part comes in tag management and data management, to pull this data together and make it useful for marketing. 

Patrick Gilbert: I say this all the time that our clients' first-party data is their most valuable asset. And when you're using these platforms, if it's Facebook, if it's Google, if it's really anyone else, all of your competitors have access to the same third-party data. If you're bidding on the same keyword in Google and your competitor is bidding on the same keyword, there's no competitive advantage there, other than maybe if your site has a better usability function. 

So being able to leverage your first-party data to help optimize more efficiently is the main advantage. It's really the only advantage that's left in a world where all these other signals are ubiquitous and able to be tapped into if you just create a Facebook account. But I do think that the real creative solutions, the things that you're describing here, are only able to be unlocked when marketers and developers can speak the same language. 

So I think what you just described is something that a traditional marketer wouldn't really ever be able to think of on their own because they don't know enough about the data. But a developer or a tagging expert would never really bring that idea to a marketer because they're not thinking like a marketer. That's not really what their job is. 

So do you have any recommendations or resources for how marketers could learn more about the development space and vice versa so that more of these conversations inside organizations can take place? 

Julian Juenemann: There are many resources out there to learn more about the development space, especially on the programming side. But we as marketers don't actually need to know how to build a very sophisticated website or app. But what we should all be aware of, especially if you're working on technologies like a website, we should acknowledge that there are technologies running on the website that are easily understood. 

We don't need to be experts and build them out, but we should understand how a web request actually works, what gets downloaded, how HTML, CSS, and JavaScript actually works. And then, if we want, we can dive deeper into some of these concepts. And this is what I've learned over the years. I'm not a developer, but I've learned JavaScript through my tagging work. 

In Google Tag Manager, Google Tag Manager is basically just a JavaScript injection library. So through Google Tag Manager, I've learned how to how this works in terms of "if statements" and what the output would be, and so on. And that all helps me, in the end, to talk more clearly to a developer because the developer understands these concepts of, we don't want to fire something here, but we want to fire something here. We want to have this output. 

And as long as you understand how he's thinking, that will help you later in terms of understanding or getting rid of this friction between the developer and the marketing team. And I think there are many resources out there. You don't have to learn to program, but at least learn what you're working with, about web development, and learn a little bit about how these processes within a development company work. So how tasks are written, and then how normally you would debug something. 

With tagging, this comes up a lot. If somebody says, "My tracking doesn't work." This doesn't help me as somebody who knows tracking quite well. I would need to know, why doesn't it work? And how do you see that it doesn't work? What are the tools to see where your tracking goes wrong?

And if you can describe the output and say, "I clicked on this button, but the data doesn't arrive in Google Analytics," I as the tagging expert can go in and tell you, "Okay, we need to check these three points to find and debug this problem." And this is what a developer would do if you have a problem in your app or on your website. You need to have a way to replicate the problem. Otherwise, it's not there. For the developer, it's not there because they have no way of replicating and showing this kind of error again.

So that's the way to go in and get more used to speaking to developers. And don't shy away from speaking to developers. That's also a very important point. Oftentimes, people come up with these weird workarounds and hacks. And that's very dangerous when it comes to marketing, deployment, and also data. 

Isaac Rudansky: I love the Google Tag Manager preview and debug tool. It's so much fun. You're fixing it and then it gives you this immediate feedback if you've discovered a solution because you could see the data layer. It's fun.

Julian Juenemann: Also, the Chrome Developer tool was, for me, a big revelation. It's like looking under the hood of a car. You need to know how to open it up and then you can see all this data. You can see the HTML. You can see the request coming through. And this is all valuable information later on if there's a bug, seeing, "I actually see a JavaScript error there." That's a huge thing for the developer; another piece of information in the puzzle of solving an issue. 

Isaac Rudansky: Talk to us a little bit about iOS 14. I think performance advertisers are still scrambling to figure out what it means exactly for their campaigns if people are running campaigns on Facebook, most significantly. What updates is Facebook making in response to iOS 14? And how does Google's recent announcement that they're going to be moving away from cookies play into this? Is it a part of it? Is it separate? Try to maybe unravel some of the mystery a little bit for us. 

Julian Juenemann: I will not talk too much about the technical details. You had an episode about this and I think it's so comprehensive. And in the end, there's always something changing. So I will say something and in two weeks, it'll probably be outdated. But the big picture stuff is that the iOS update is rolling out on App devices. The impact is definitely there for advertisers, but first and foremost, for those who are building apps because these people will not be able to take data that is measured in their apps and give it to other advertisers. So the advertising pool will probably be diminished, at least on iOS apps because of this little pop-up that comes up if you want to be tracked or not. 

Isaac Rudansky: If I could just break that down to even a simpler level. As an example, let's say I have Zillow. So when I open up Zillow and I start typing in my zip code, and I look at certain houses with four-plus bathrooms and Zillow eventually learns that I like copper trim above my stove. This is information that allows them to place highly targeted ads for which advertisers will bid more because like, "I sell gold doorknobs and I can now target, on Zillow, a customer who likes gold trim in their house."

And that's how things have worked because Zillow is collecting information about my sessions in the app, and they're selling it in a way or they're at least making it accessible to other ad networks that then allow advertisers to monetize that nuanced data. And correct me if I'm wrong. This is how I think about it.

Now, if Zillow is no longer able to access the details of my session, they don't necessarily see, or they could sell, or make accessible which homes I'm looking at, what zip codes I'm typing in, the values of the homes that I'm browsing, whether I'm in the rental market, or the buying market. They could still show ads in their app but those ads won't be as effective because they're not as targeted. And advertisers won't bid as much on a CPM basis for those placements; the conversion rates are going to go down. Is that a good way of describing it or am I missing something?

Julian Juenemann: Yeah, I think that is one side of the equation. Obviously, if you can log into Zillow and search for houses, Zillow will still have that data. The end product is, especially for smaller apps that are, for example, on an advertising basis like games that are completely monetized through advertising, they won't be able to show any personalized data or any personalized ads anymore because they cannot give out that data and say, "Okay, this user who is visiting this game right now, I recognize him from somewhere else. He was on Zillow before."

So these advertisers or these apps will probably say, "Okay, if I can't make money with this anymore, I will probably just set on $5 and put it in the App Store." And that, obviously, then is good for the App Store because that offers Apple to take a 30% cut. But this is just one coin of the equation here. In the end, the data is kind of diminished. The data pool probably is less.

Therefore, also Facebook and Google have reacted. And they're changing how attribution and how this advertising works. That said, if your clients mainly are on websites, then they don't have to worry about needing to change tracking in their website because that is mainly concerning the app universe.

Now, as a big picture, as a marketer, how I see this whole thing is Facebook has reacted pretty strongly and they have changed around some of the ways to track users, but then also some configurations. In the end, when I look at their advertising system, it's more black box now. So they want to disaggregate event measurement where they pull in data, and they will tell you if somebody converted or not. But you don't really know what's going on in the background and what the algorithm does.

As a big picture, again, I don't tend to freak out as much. A lot of people right now are asking me, "How do I need to react? What do I need to do? Should I install server-side tracking? Should I install this?' In the end, we don't know. The only thing that we know is that the data probably will not be as perfect anymore — it was never perfect. The quality is probably going down a bit. 

In the end, what we can only do is look at our data and look at our marketing and see if it's still working, if you're still getting the same conversions, or if any of these parameters are changing so that we need to adjust our marketing. And this is what we do anyways all the time.

I cannot predict a huge shift and that retargeting won't work anymore because iOS was introduced. No, probably the data will be a little bit diminished, but it will still work fine and your retargeting audiences will still be filled, and Facebook will still find your audiences. In Facebook, for example, you need to be logged in to Facebook. So they will still be able to show their personalized ads on the Facebook feed, just like they did before. But the whole ecosystem will probably have less data available to target users more completely.

So that's how I think about it. I tend to not freak out about it and tell everybody, 'Let's just chill and see how it works out." Obviously, it's not a preferable move for us marketers because we get less data. But it's something we have to deal with. It's like the changing weather or when you get older. You just have to deal with it.

It's not something that is unpredictable here. It's something that is coming with the industry and we need to get used to it. It's the same thing with privacy changes here in Europe and the US. There will also be privacy changes over the years. And with a cookieless future, it's just something we need to deal with. That's the big thing. 

Patrick Gilbert: As a content creator, does something like this excite you because there's so much that you can make out of this? Or to a level, does it stress you out and you're like, "Oh my god, I have no idea what any of this stuff even means. Now I have to learn about it."?  And then your audience is expecting you to, one, have an opinion on it all, but also to teach them. And they want it yesterday and you're still trying to figure it out. What is it like for you sitting in the middle of all of this? 

Julian Juenemann: Yeah, it's more of the latter. It stresses me out sometimes because when you create content, you want to have evergreen content; something that lasts forever. And with technology, when you're teaching people technology, it changes all the time. The problem is that education sometimes lags behind what is actually happening. 

We all know that our digital marketing field, especially when it comes to tracking, especially when it comes to Facebook ads, is not always the cleanest industry. So there are 16-year-old guys on Facebook teaching others how to make a million bucks online through Facebook ads. And now they are saying, "iOS will change everything And this will be the big thing."

And now they're coming to me and saying, "What should I do? You're the tracking expert." So for me, it's always a challenge to tell people, "Okay, let's go back to the basics. You are getting probably less data here and now we need to work with that data, but nothing will dramatically change. You will still have that data available. Maybe there will be a few more sessions that are unidentified, maybe you won't get all the sources.  But anyways, analytics is about the trends. It's not about the absolute numbers that you see in there."

For me, the struggle is to pull people back and tell them, "Okay, let's look at the fundamentals here." And yes, the tracking techniques will change. And what excites me about this is that there are new technologies coming up. When I do technology training, I love Google Tag Manager and Google Tag Manager didn't exist 20 years ago. The internet didn't exist in the form that we have now with mobile devices and so on. 

So there's constant change there. And there will be change again when it comes to new tracking when it comes to a cookieless future. What will this look like? FLoC and so on? All these concepts that are now coming out, people want to know exactly what it means. But there's nothing to really explain to them because we don't quite know yet how it will turn out.

Google is kind of testing this. They want to come out with this. They're having some resistance there, but it will be a process. So we need to look at this as a news fact and say, "Okay, the landscape is changing, but in terms of what we do as marketers, we just need to press on and try to make the best out of what we have available as data points." So that's the thing as an educator. 

Patrick Gilbert: Incredible. One of my colleagues here wanted me to ask you, how do you decide which content you're going to make? How do you choose a topic? Also, are you thinking about any way to take open suggestions because we have a long list of things that we'd love for you to dive into? 

Julian Juenemann: Well, on the content side, it's pretty much not yet standardized. It's always like what I'm currently working on, what I'm interested in, and I put it out as content. Obviously, I know what content works well. When we have content suggestions, I definitely do take content suggestions in the paid membership because I need to give the members what they want.

On the YouTube side, oftentimes people say, "I want to have an iOS tracking tutorial." And oftentimes, I find that people are not yet as educated enough. They just want to know the quick tips of how to install app tracking, although it's a vast topic that you can do in so many different ways and you have so many different possibilities and mechanisms to do it. So I always say, "Thank you for your suggestion." Then I don't do a video out of it just because I know that it wouldn't do well as I don't give people what they want, which is a really quick tutorial on how to implement iOS tracking, for example.

Patrick Gilbert: That's brilliant marketing because it would be easy to just be like, "All right, I'm just going to put out what people have been asking for." But it seems like you know your core audience, you know where you're going to extract the greatest amount of lifetime value out of a customer. And those folks don't want that content because they're educated enough to know that a quick 10-minute video about iOS tracking is not going to answer the needs that they have. That's fascinating. That's good by you for figuring that out. 

Julian Juenemann: Well, if you do content marketing, I would also look at your competition, what they are doing, and what is already successful. I'm going to shoot myself in the foot with this one, but on YouTube, for example, you can see the views of any video. There is nothing preventing you from going to your competitor's YouTube channel and seeing, "They have 100,000 views on this particular video, let's do our take on that." 

And especially when somebody is subscribed to you, YouTube results are very highly individualized and personalized. In the end, they will click on your video because you will rank on top. It's not on the search engine itself where somebody types something in and you need to fight for that position.

So me having a lot of subscribers already, I am able to actually look at a channel and say, "Oh, this guy did really well although he has only 5,000 subscribers. I take that video, and I do my take on that." That's also a technique to do a successful video. And the most successful videos are not always the ones that people ask for. When people have suggestions in the comments, it's oftentimes what interests them, but not what will do well on YouTube. 

Patrick Gilbert: Yeah, I think probably half of the views in your tutorial on how to fire A Google Analytics event on a button click, half of those views are probably myself. I've watched that video probably 10,000 times. But it's a random, obscure video that just happened to be very useful for me at several points over the last five years. 

Julian Juenemann: That's interesting because this is my best performing video and I redo it every year. There's actually nothing new there for the button click. So I'm like, "I'm now explaining for the 10th time how to do this." But it tends to do as well because now it's a new year, and people click on new videos there. So that's how I come up with ideas as well.

Patrick Gilbert: Isaac, do you have anything else?

Isaac Rudansky: No, that's great. Honestly, this was helpful. I liked the format where you gave some practical advice. And it's really interesting to hear about your career trajectory because we've also been involved in content. I'm always encouraging people to go out and create high-quality content. It's great for other people, it's great for business, it's great to keep you sharp

If you didn't have to make a video every week, there's no way you would know as much as you do now about all the different topics that you know. So, well done, and I appreciate the quality of your content. Even though you were one of the first people talking about GTM there's only an infinitesimal sliver of content available online that's good, that you could actually watch and it's like, "Now I could do something I couldn't do before."

So your stuff is good. You explain it well. I really respect and admire the way you teach. And it was really nice meeting you and having you on the podcast, Julian. Thank you.

Julian Juenemann: Thank you for having me.

 Isaac Rudansky: All right, everybody. Until next time, don't forget to get your copy of Join or Die: Digital Advertising in the Age of Automation on Amazon. Julian, where could our listeners find you online? 

Julian Juenemann: Just on the or if they want to check out the YouTube 

Isaac Rudansky: Got it. That's, for all of Julian's free and unpaid content and education. I couldn't recommend it more. Thanks, everybody, for listening. And our last question, as usual, Patrick, where's the best place to hide a dead body? 

Patrick Gilbert: Second page of Google. 

Isaac Rudansky: There it is. We'll speak to everybody next week. Thank you.

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