Advertising performance metrics are critical to any business, but the ownership of the data that informs business intelligence is just as crucial to marketing success. Consumer data pours in from ever-increasing sources of analysis, and many businesses outsource the management and analysis of that data to outside agencies. That can be fine as long as a few principles are observed.
Ownership Means Access:
Usually companies allow digital agencies to manage technology licensing, including the selection and contracting of online marketing platforms. Some of these platforms require users to sign a clause that stipulates that the company that manages the platform for the client, and not the client, has exclusive rights to access advertising spending and performance metrics. The platform grants its clients access, but that isn’t the same as ownership. Advertisers that cede control of the licensing of data analytics technologies to agencies place an unnecessary barrier between the metrics necessary to form effective marketing strategy and decision-makers in their companies. Companies can purchase licenses for platforms, such as DoubleClick or Atlas, while continuing to work with agencies on the implementation of data-driven strategy. A company doesn’t have to throw out the agency relationship, at minimum, it just has to be aware of the status of data ownership and cognizant of the ramifications.
Manage Data Integrity:
The origins of consumer data and the process of data collection are as important as the data itself. If an agency can’t explain the process in detail, a client company should have the right and the technical capability to examine it first-hand, on demand. DSPs and CRM suites, which permit data transparency and access to ad spending metrics in real-time, are essential to creating and maintaining effective marketing strategy.
Verify Ad Performance Analytics Independently:
Performance data and ad spending ROI are the life-blood of successful long-range marketing planning. Having access to all of the data that an agency uses to develop marketing programs as well as to select ad buying plans allows a company to verify an ad and overall strategy performance independently, as opposed to relying on agencies or third-party platforms to filter and interpret results.
The integrity of a company’s critical data and unrestricted access to that data are necessary considerations in the development of any company’s marketing plans. A political climate that may eventually attach significant penalties to certain types of data collection means that data collection literacy and transparency in the ad buying process are even more important than in the past.
The bottom line is ROI and owning the data that indicates whether strategy is working or not are now basic requisites to managing and maintaing growth in a competitive environment.
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