Why reporting and insights are the differentiating factors for ad tech providers

Laura Goldstone, director of communications and brand strategy, AdDaptive Intelligence 

The process of B2B analytics has become the most significant differentiator when it comes to the ad tech vetting process.

This might seem backward at first, but that’s why the script needs to be flipped. Most often, the conversation when vetting ad tech begins by exploring B2B targeting capabilities. Vendors and agencies tend to discuss how to reach critical accounts and scale campaigns. Agencies will match their brands’ needs with vendors’ offerings, and they’ll sign the agreement and run a campaign. Then, after the ads have already run, they’ll ask for analytics — and rightfully so, because they’ll want to know how the campaigns are doing and if they can do anything to optimize their KPIs better.

That’s when they’ll realize a few things — the vendor may not have the capabilities to provide transparent analytics, or the reporting may not match the targeting promised in the vetting process. At this point, money has already been spent, ads have been delivered and prospects have been engaged in some way or another.

But proof that all of that occurred — and crucial information about the audience’s preferences that will help improve future efforts — may get lost in the ether.

Reporting and insights are the differentiating factors among vendors today 

It isn’t enough to know that ads are reaching the proper accounts — especially if it can’t be proven after the money is spent. Companies need to explore more comprehensive insights about their key accounts to engage them more meaningfully in the future. To reduce wasted spend and thus increase ROI (or, more specifically, ROAS), the ad tech industry needs to bring analytics to the forefront and start conversations with the insights captured down the line. 

This will help all parties know what to expect down the road. That is, agencies will be able to build the best media plan to serve their brands, vendors will learn how to satisfy their clients’ needs and the audience’s interests will be captured and listened to, yielding a better brand experience.

B2B targeting and ad delivery are still fundamental concepts and comprise the foundation of a strong campaign, but targeting alone is more widely available today than ever before. What differentiates vendors industry-wide is how comprehensive their insights after targeting turn out to be. 

Targeting capabilities, accuracy and scale can all be viewed as the work behind the scenes that enables the reporting to be robust. The insights themselves are the elements that will move the needle more dramatically than any other factor in today’s landscape. The most efficient marketing strategies start with selecting the best providers based on their unique analytics offerings and work backward to ensure the vendors’ methods of achieving those means are trustworthy, safe and reliable. 

Agencies must evaluate vendors for strong analytics offerings 

In evaluating media plans, agencies can ensure as many boxes as possible are being ticked collectively. Across all vendors, they need to consider whether a combination of media types is being utilized, ads are being effectively deployed and optimized, strategy and communication are present throughout and robust, actionable analytics are provided. 

Starting with the basics, agencies should ask themselves what types of reports their prospective partner provides and if they show data at the company level. For maximum transparency, identifying if reports show which companies received ads and what happened next as well as what dots are being connected throughout the journey, are essential steps.

Agencies should also check if reports show how well ads performed among target accounts and if the data supports the primary KPI toward which the campaign was optimized. When evaluating efficiency, does the information span multiple channels or approaches, and can it be viewed in one report or tool? Checking how reporting builds on past efforts and helps inspire more efficient budget usage in the future will help optimize ROAS.

Because accountability is so crucial with vendors, agencies should ask if analytics reports can be turned into account-based marketing lists for subsequent outreach and if these reports provide a comprehensive view of the audience as those outreach efforts build. Exploring whether the audience insights can equip marketing and sales teams with strategies to push accounts through the funnel while scoring leads, personalizing outreach and providing more tailored messaging is also vital.

Agencies must feel confident that post-campaign conversations will center around audience learnings and how they will be leveraged for strategic marketing decisions moving forward. Doing so early on in the vetting process ensures the best use of insights to fuel better business outcomes in the long term.

Choosing the right vendor and partner

Depending on which insights are most beneficial when learning how to engage an audience, one or two vendors may have reporting features that span across channels and deployment techniques, enabling omnichannel reporting regardless of which other companies or approaches are on an agency’s media plan. 

For example, a partner that can report back at the company level across all efforts and show the performance of an agency’s campaigns against KPIs among target accounts and the webpages those companies engaged with after viewing certain ads is ideal. And the ability to provide recommendations for how to use these insights to score leads, inform sales outreach, fuel subsequent marketing campaigns and spend budget wisely moving forward is crucial to yielding positive business outcomes. 

By choosing vendors that can provide industry-leading analytics insights about target accounts across channels and campaigns, agencies increase ROAS and push accounts through the funnel more effectively and efficiently, achieving business goals beyond a single ad. 

Sponsored By: AdDaptive

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