"Marketer's Note" is a weekly column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.
Last week, I had a wonderful conversation with an interactive lead at an independent agency as part of my ongoing “When and How to Take Programmatic In-House” research (for which I’ll be presenting the findings at our September Programmatic I/O conference), which reminded me of the hugely important, but wildly undervalued, importance of well organized operational efforts in effective media programs.
What do I mean by that? Well in this instance, I’m talking specifically about naming conventions in campaign and placement set-up. What this agency executive told me was:
“Analytics and operations are inevitably tied together. The operations side of it is super important: what you traffic in is what you get out. You must be really methodical in how you traffic things – you’ve got to be able to codify it in some way shape or form – which publisher, what placement, which audiences. We have an ability to meta-organize the data because of the way we have folks setting things up.”
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In other words, if you don’t put garbage in, you won’t get garbage out. You’ll get intelligent, actionable cross-placement/media/client/agency data.
Back in my days with Razorfish's early trading desk ATOM Systems, my team felt this pain all the time – we would see major inconsistencies in how individual teams named placements from one campaign to the next. Forget about across teams. It made our jobs tough – from a reporting standpoint, certainly, and from a higher-level campaign optimization standpoint as well.
This comment really made me wonder how far we’ve come in the agency world – and I am talking both within a given agency and across an agency holding company – in creating the standardization in naming and campaign set-up that is a pre-requisite for the kind of meta-analysis this agency executive was talking about.
So, community, let me know – whether you’re an agency person, a marketer working with an agency or a technology provider serving either – what are you seeing on the ground these days? Is there the kind of discipline in naming and campaign set-up that facilitates the rich analysis we all crave?