"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.”
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?