Jill Quick and Aiden Carroll founded the Coloring in Department and we are really pleased they will both be speaking at Digital Elite Day on June 6th in London. I wanted to ask Jill more about their business and how they developed their courses.
What made you and Aiden decide to set up the Coloring in Department? You had your own company before.
“Yes we both had our own companies and did training and consultation for years before we set up The Coloring in Department in 2017.
Aiden and myself ran in the same circles for years through the digital marketing trainer and speaker circuit, we both knew of each other for a long time, but, didn’t meet in person until 2015. We started to deliver training programs together for companies and we found that we worked really well together, enjoyed drinking small batch gin, and had complementary skill sets.
Between us we had toyed with the idea of doing online courses as a way to scale our businesses, but to make it work, you need, in my humble opinion, more than just a camera and a doing an online version of what you do in real life. You need something a bit more…this is where there was a lightbulb moment.
Working on your own can suck, big time, and having a co-founder makes it easier, especially when you can work with someone who has a set of skill sets that compliment your own. We both bonded over a strong belief that learning should not be for people with deep pockets, it should me more affordable, it should be more accessible, and we think you can have some fun doing it.
Add this to all the insights we have gained from students over the years, we know people watched the YouTube Videos, bought the massive book (but it’s still sat on the shelf), been to workshops, attended webinars or maybe even completed a digital course, but they were looking for the next step, the practical help in doing what you know you need to do.
So, when we both treated ourselves to our version of a Christmas party (as we both worked on our own) during Champagne Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester Hotel in the midst of the third Christmas themed cocktail, Jill asked Aiden if he would join her on an idea, that idea being The Coloring in Department. It was all very romantic really.
I love your website and your graphics. Where did you get your inspiration from?
As a self funding startup, we wanted to stand out and look different to other education providers, because, we are a little bit different. One of the most common feedback points we would get from our training was down to our personality and delivery style, so we needed to get that across in a digital format. The goal was to create a brand and style that people would notice and if they knew us would say “that sounds just like Jill and Aiden” .
We have a dry, sometimes dark humour (Aiden fits into this for sure!), a love of pop art, puns, growing up watching programmes like ITV’s Spitting Image, laughing at Jim’ll Paint it, a fan of Japanese Anime and Asian pop art culture.
We have had people laugh in our faces when we tell them the name of our company, which came from people referring to marketing as the department with the pens and crayons, just doing random menial stuff. For us, there is the creative side for sure, and the courses we build are built around step-by-step, paint-by-number-style, but instead of being pissed off at people thinking marketing is ‘the coloring in department’ we thought f**k it, why don’t we own the phrase, it is after all an art and a science.
What is your most favorite course to teach?
For me, I have loved doing digital immersives, courses that ran part time over a few months, or an accelerated, locked in a room for 5 full days kind of thing. The favourite part in doing this is down to being able to show the full spectrum of channels in marketing and how you can use this to build a strategy. As standalone topics, I have a great love for analytics and measurement, and really enjoying doing stuff on UX and marketing.
Aiden is a brand marketer at heart, he trained as a lawyer before he got into marketing and I catch him reading up on the latest patents filed by the big marketing platforms or whatever law the EU cooks up for us. So one of his favorite courses to teach is campaign planning. It blends brand, storytelling, platforms, measurement, even the law. After that a close second has been training on programmatic. Everyone has a different perception of paid media, and even more so of it’s bigger, scarier, better sibling, programmatic marketing. He likes to work with teams on how the factors of programmable advertising (automation, data, integration & scale) come together, and hopefully don’t blow your brand and budget to pieces.
You are speaking about how to nurture and measure through the customer journey. Can you expand on this, for example how can customer journey’s be tracked from two different sites. eg when a customer comes from YouTube channel to the company’s site or when they go from a website to a ticket page such as eventbrite?
Lovely question, we are going to start this talk by working through a model we created called “The Consumer Cross Stitch” it blends the stages of a customer journey and their intent, keywords modifiers and a sprinkling of user experience and empathy maps.
How to measure across the customer journey is going to take a mix of what is available in Google Analytics. If you were to look JUST at the reports most skew in favour of the last channel, campaign or page that scored the goal – thereby, getting all the credit.
There is a LOT to work with in GA, but let’s go through your example.
Provided you have a decent GA setup (correct views and filters, event tracking, goals) then if you could do the following:
Customer comes from Youtube:
1st Step: Tagging the traffic correctly
Make sure any traffic that came to your site from Youtube was tagged correctly. Eg Source (where the link lives) = Youtube and Medium (big buckets for your channels) would be Referral. If the traffic was paid media (maybe a banner ad it may look different eg medium could be ‘cpc’.
2nd Step: Build a segment
You could then build a segment to see over your chosen time period (and if you have historical data do a month v month, year v year for more context) and dig into the reports to find things out like…..
- How old is the audience and where they are located ?
- Are they on a mobile device ?
- What content they looked at ?
- Did they convert ?
- Does this traffic assist in Conversions?
- Is there a difference in conversions and assisted conversions from customers who arrived from Youtube vs those who did not ?
Customer visits website to a ticket page such as eventbrite?
Step 1: Event Tracking
Most websites will have some form of Analytics to track how many people are going to the website and are reporting on what campaigns are getting them there, what they doing when they’re on the site. however there is a black hole when you want to answer the question “what did they do?” This is where your event tracking is going to be your new BFF.
Google Analytics will not tell you, by default, if someone starts to fill out a form, or clicks on a CTA, or scrolls down a page, if they submit a form, and in this case, if you are sending traffic to a different domain, like eventbrite, then it wouldn’t record it.
So here, I would set up event tracking with
- Category called something like ‘Booking Intent”
- Action would cover things like clicked price options, clicked cta
- Label would cover the name of the thing they did eg buy now, day conference options etc
What this would give me is a report in Behaviour to see how many people I ‘sent’ to Eventbrite. You can then build a segment using the event data to see which campaigns worked at getting people to eventbrite.
Step 2: Integrate GA with Eventbrite
You can integrate your Eventbrite pages with your GA account, so it counts your eventbrite pages as if they were a part of your website. Now you will still need event tracking to understand what people are doing with the forms etc etc. but linking the two up means you can then dig in and see what traffic converts, what content people are looking at, how long it takes them to buy, that kind of thing.
We have heaps of ungated resources if you want to have a look, head over to https://thecoloringindepartment.com/resources/
Can you expand more about your online courses and the one you will be launching with Google Analytics and SEO and Brand.
In addition to The Coloring in Department delivering corporate enterprise training, we are working on our online courses. This is a massive project. We have decided to animate the whole lot, which has added time to the production side of things.
Our process has been to work on the templates and resources that we will use in the course, then build out the lesson plans, write the scripts, sketch out the visual elements, then work with animators to bring it to life, as well as recording over the shoulder tutorials for the nitty gritty how you do it stuff.
We started with Analytics as there is no formal training in GA , yet most marketing folk/ agencies/ business owners use it, and let’s face it, it is a bit of a ball ache to work out. I have taught about 6000 people analytics in face to face classes, and completed 165 GA audits and I have not seen an all singing all dancing correct account, you really do not know what you don’t know.
So if we are going to shed the slur of being the department that plays with the crayons, learn how to measure and manage your marketing. I really do believe that Google Analytics has a huge amount of potential, and used to that full potential, this free tool can supercharge your decision making and make your website work harder for you.
Once GA is out the door, we will be in the process of working on SEO, then Brand, we are going to be busy!”
Thank you Jill, you gave us so much information and insights. Cannot wait to see you at Digital Elite Day on June 6th.