In-House Analytics Platforms Help Data-Obsessed Agencies

Buyers continually adapt to data-driven environments

  • Marketers want better insight into how their ad dollars are being spent, but are challenged when it comes to improving their analytics models.
  • To get a more complete view of a customer’s path to purchase, marketers must utilize advanced analytics practices. But few think their company’s attribution knowledge is excellent, which is frustrating for those intent on proving the value of their campaigns.
  • A data warehouse—a repository that centralizes data across various marketing channels—can help marketers get a clearer view of their customers’ journeys.

Marketers have become obsessed with analytics.

In a January poll of 105 US digital marketers by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Winterberry Group, analytics and measurement tasks were the use cases that marketers expected would occupy most of their time and attention this year. IAB’s 2018 study on the same topic produced similar results.

With ad dollars increasingly flowing to digital, and inventory increasingly being bought programmatically, marketers are finding that they must enhance their data-driven capabilities to stay competitive. But the proliferation of cross-device and cross-channel marketing presents many challenges.

In a December 2018 survey by Adobe and Econsultancy, 44% of client-side marketers worldwide said that a challenge most likely to worry them was the difficulty in "getting a holistic view of customers across all interactions." Four in 10 respondents worried about the challenges of tracking marketing effectiveness.

Marketers should consider building their own analytics platforms to get a more complete view of the customer, as was the case for Cramer-Krasselt, according to Chris Wexler, senior vice president of media and analytics for the ad agency.

Did you consider hiring a vendor to handle your analytics?

The first thing we always do is look at whether we can pull it off the shelf and use a vendor—because we're not a development shop; that's not what we do.

Building your own tech can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. Why didn’t you just hire a vendor then?

Frankly, when we looked at all of [the vendors], they were half measures. All of them pulled Facebook and Google and kind of the easy ones to do. But the hard stuff is going, "OK, how do we get TV and over-the-top [OTT] and print custom content into a single platform and understand how it works?" Too many of [the vendors] were so digitally-centric that we couldn't see the whole picture.

We have identified 13 or 14 key business outcomes and each one ... requires the data to be looked at a different way. So we needed to have it in such a way that it was flexible enough to go across all of those, and there was just nothing off the shelf that could do that.

Vanity metrics can make CFOs question their marketing investments, so I’m curious what outcomes you care about aside from sales.

Our client base is diverse, so sometimes we're looking at an ecommerce element, while other times we're looking at foot traffic. Sometimes we're looking at familiarity, building institutional credibility, or we're looking at awareness.

If an advertiser decides to build its own analytics platform, are there other benefits aside from getting a more complete view of the customer?

With your own platform, you are able to feed quickly into multitouch attribution. It allows much more granular measurements than the traditional marketing mix model.

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