Is your Media Agency Data Savvy? – A Checklist

Is your Media Agency Data Savvy? – A Checklist image

Use this checklist to recognise an agency that can deliver data insights for marketing and advertising success. Apply this to the agency you’re currently working with or any that are pitching for your business.

According to Oracle’s Decision Dilemma research, 96% of business leaders want help from data to make better decisions, reduce risk, increase profits, and plan for the unexpected.

However, 73% confessed that an overload of data they just don’t trust has prevented decision-making. An overwhelming 92% admitted they have too many data sources which has negatively impacted the success of their organisations.

“Not all advertising services agencies are data-driven. Fewer still are evidence-based.”

– Audience Group

Make better use of data by generating data insights for marketing and advertising decisions. Insist on actionable insights to guide the activity that contributes to brand recognition, growth in market share, and more.

You’re going to need a data-savvy media agency. Here’s how to tell if the one you’re working with can deliver the insights you need.

Data Savvy Media Agency Checklist

They speak in a language you understand

Ask the agency partner what being data-led or data-driven means to them. You shouldn’t have to be the world’s foremost data analytics expert to understand their response.

Why would you invest in a strategy you can’t understand, and they can’t explain?

Work with an agency that can relate its data-led strategy to your business and its objectives.

They talk about Business Data, not just Ad Data

Optimise an advertising campaign all you like, but if it doesn’t drive business objectives, all you are doing is wasting money more slowly.

Make sure your agency is leveraging your business data to inform advertising and media buying strategies. Insist that ad data is linked to business data.

Work with an agency that links advertising and media strategy to business results. They must discuss your marketing data strategy in terms that are relevant to your business, such as commercial outcomes.

They know the difference between data and insights.

You can derive a lot of information from a report. However, there is more to be gained through advanced analytics, drawing on relevant data sourcesto find correlations, outliers and answers.

The thing is, you need more than data, more than reports and more than information; you need insights. Insist on actionable insights. There’s a difference. 

Here’s an example: 

  • Information: Search is the most responsive channel for leads
  • Insight: Spending less on search and re-allocating budget to other media channels reduces leads but increases sales.
  • Actionable insight: The point of diminishing return for monthly search investment for maximising sales is $X.

Their ideas and recommendations are practical and doable 

Super creative, blue-sky ideas can be so impressive they can overshadow common sense. You must consider practicality before you get excited about a data strategy. Is it  based on data you don’t know how to access? Do you even have the necessary data management processes in order, to support the strategy? Does the strategy require leveraging untested, greenfield analytics tools?

The smartest data strategy in the world is worthless unless it’s doable. The most effective data strategy is a data strategy that works and can be implemented. 

They ask the right questions

If your media agency has never asked how your business makes money or measures business success, drop them right away.

Your agency partner should want to know things like what you believe impacts your sales or profitability. They should ask what kinds of sales or business development KPIs you have in place. They should wonder what business trends you are tracking, and more.

That’s a lot for the pitch stage. But an agency should give you some indication of this curiosity during the pitch and high-level strategy recommendation process. They should talk about how they’ve helped other clients achieve success through data insights for marketing and advertising.

Look for a data-savvy agency that uses data to link advertising, marketing and media strategy directly to business objectives.

They test and measure for the right things

‘Test and learn’ is a phrase that gets used a lot to imply advanced data capabilities. It can imply that the agency can tell you how well data strategy or digital campaigns are working.

But most times it simply refers to testing a digital-only point solution. Most often it refers to measuring how well campaign creative works in isolation.

They might be able to prove that Creative A works well in native. But can they tell you what did for other channels? Find out if they can answer questions like: What were the specific impacts on specific channels? Did it cannibalise efforts in another channel? What did the test do for lead quality? Did it help or hinder lead to conversion ratios? What did any conversions do for margins or profit? Are those relationships being measured? Is this activity driving shareholder value? Is that being measured?

Data-driven business outcomes can only be created when your agency partner demonstrates an understanding of controllable marketing levers, plus uncontrollable factors, and how they can impact your business.

Audience Group is an evidence-based advertising services agency that wholeheartedly embraces these principles.

Contact us to find out how we tick all the boxes to deliver data insights for marketing and advertising, ultimately driving measurable business outcomes for our clients.