On Monday, we opened the 5th cohort of Digital Marketing at General Assembly with 15 great new students. On the first night of every new course, I take extra time to walk through introductions by asking everyone’s name, what they do, what they expect from this 10-week class, and then something unique or unusual about them. The last question gets some fantastic answers, but last night’s most intriguing answers for me came from the third question: “what do you expect from this class?

Overwhelmingly, the most popular answer was “analytics” in one form or another. Some wanted to learn more about using Google Analytics as a tool while others wanted to understand the analytics of marketing better. Out of 15 students, 11 mentioned a deeper knowledge of analytics as at least part of their expectation for this class. That’s great, and it makes it very clear that the new generation of marketers is looking in the right direction for how to succeed as a marketer.

Marketing used to be (falsely) associated mostly with “advertising” and lots of fun pictures, graphic design, and imagery. Those are important, but are only a subset of marketing. Those things are what might (or might not) grab the audience’s attention. It’s what happens after you have someone’s attention that matters. That’s when the marketing funnel begins. That’s when you realize that marketing is all about the numbers.

To that end, there are several upcoming events at which anyone can get a solid grip on Google Analytics. First, there is a workshop led by a student from the DGM2 class earlier this year, Lawrence O’Connor. Lawrence was an outstanding student, and shortly after he completed DGM2, he traveled to the far east for a month, and then set up shop as a digital marketing agency. Lawrence is teaching “Introduction to Google Analytics at General Assembly on Tuesday, Dec 8 from 7-9PM.

Then on Friday, December 11, I’ll be leading an all day Google Analytics Bootcamp from 10am – 4pm. During this class, students will learn and prepare for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ), and then end the class by taking the Google Analytics IQ exam.

If you work in marketing, I would highly recommend that you learn Google Analytics and engage with the software on a daily basis. Google Analytics is a beast, but that’s where all your data lives, and where you will learn the most about the results of your marketing campaigns. That’s where you learn WHY everything happened.

What do you think about that?