How to follow through, stay motivated and finish the minidegree [CXL Review Week 5]

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Winners don’t just learn the fundamentals, they master them. You have to monitor your fundamentals constantly because the only thing that changes will be your attention to them.

Michael Jordan

Some time ago I read a post saying that the majority of people that sign up for an online course don’t finish it. There are many reasons, but this week I want to share with you two ideas that are relevant in my circumstances:

  • parts of the material I am watching is not relevant at the point I’m studying for the certification.
  • some tracks of the minidegree are beginner level (I still watched them) but take time to go over the videos.

The review for this week is a bit different. I feel that the state of mind needs to be recognized in this journey to get the certification. First of all, the plan I started out with is not suitable. Just saying 2 hours/day to finish the material is easier said than done. I like to watch the chapters entirely and not break them into smaller groups. So if I want to follow a track that takes a couple of hours I need to make sure I have that block of time. This usually happens on weekends.

Why it is easy to get stuck

To address the two points at the start of the article, let me just say that studying with a deadline changes the whole learning experience. I have 12 weeks to finish the minidegree, therefore all subjects are important, even if at this point I am not interested in Google Tag Manager for example.

On the other side, the GA track was just a reminder for concepts I am familiar with. Sure, it helped me develop new opinions like always find a specialized agency that is doing GA setups. It’s so easy to miss some steps or forget to activate an option… It is better to let people do it all the time.

Now more than ever, I feel that the value of a growth hacker or data analyst is not in implementing GA, but in understanding how that data flows and addressing business questions.

How to follow through, stay motivated and finish the minidegree [CXL Review Week 5] 1

Another point is taking tests. At the end of each chapter, there is a quiz that reminds me of why I didn’t enjoy school. And no, it’s not about being tested. It is about paying attention and not focusing on the act of taking a test.

And yes, the ego plays a part. I consider to be better than looking for the right answer and I go for the fast response even if there is no time limit. Most of the wrong answers are a direct result of a lack of concentration.

It is like I am playing a game of how fast can I finish the quiz, so when I fail a couple of tests, it starts to feel like I am not advancing.

How I overcome the moment when I get stuck.

I changed the learning experience since this week I will attend a meeting where we’ll talk about use cases for Google Analytics 360. Instead of continuing where I left off, I decided to jump to another track.

I think the full value of the minidegree is to “study” particular modules when I can tie them with a situation from the real life.

So, to overcome the moment, I decided to skip a chapter and dive into the Data and analytics track. I started with the beginner Google Analytics chapter knowing that fundamentals are essential for any professional. A great opportunity to go over them again, but some videos were 40-minute long.

Data and analytics key takeaways

Compared with last week when I learned about how to run growth experiments and I felt the need to take notes every step of the track, this time it was an easy-going lecture were I relaxed and listen to the teacher.

Not much I would add about Google Analytics (beginner and intermediate) and Google Tag Manager chapters because I am a firm believer that practice makes perfect (and this is what the presenter mentioned every time). Here are some key takeaways

  • always open Google Analytics with a question in mind, find the information you need in order to deliver the answer. This is how you make the data valuable. 
  • most of the analytics setups are probably broken and this is OK. Always test and adapt. Listening to Chris Mercer from MeasurementMarketing.io made me realize that it’s apparently impossible to have a perfect setup from the start.
  • always test your setup and yourself (meaning that you check if the hits are recorded correctly)
  • when in doubt use the documentation: https://support.google.com/analytics#topic=3544906, when curios use any of the following Google Analytics resources:

For the Google Tag Manager resources, I will put forward only one YouTube channel because it is responsible for preparing into the world of GTM and collecting data: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClgihdkPzNDtuoQy4xDw5mA

It’s nice to get some confirmation regarding the go-to resources for data and analytics. Maybe just some links for some people, but I was following them already.

The last chapter in the track is Attribution. And let me say that no track goes without finding some gold. There are some great points regarding the importance of (you guessed it) understanding consumer behavior.

I was under the impression that attribution is a numbers game. Reality and CXL minidegree proves me wrong. Attribution is aligining the business golas to the customer journey. Especially when this journey is not 100% happing online. I guess, as digital workers, we tend to forget about the interactions our clients take offline.

I’ve learned the meaning of ROPO – Research Online, Purchase Offline (or vice-versa) – and revisited the attribution models. A great chapter indeed.

How to follow through, stay motivated and finish the minidegree [CXL Review Week 5] 2

In conclusion, I feel that the online courses industry is missing on something. I consider myself an avid learner, still, there is more to online learning – or maybe it’s just normal to have highs and lows when studying.

This article is the fifth in a series of 12 reviews of studying Growth marketing Minidegree at CXL Institute. Follow the minidegree tag for the entire series.

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