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Clients Want to Be Led by Data, Agencies Must Be Too

Demonstrating the impact of campaigns to clients has been a key part of marketing and PR agencies’ roles since time immemorial. The way they have reported results has evolved over time, and the rise of the digital age is prompting this to change further.

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The emergence of analytics solutions, as well as changing business and consumer habits, means that clients now expect more than just coverage metrics and advertising placements as a measurement of success. They want to be able to see tangible, data-led evidence that campaigns are producing results that map their objective.

Brands are correctly demanding outcome based metrics, not vanity ones like impressions. Just because you got a million impressions, does not mean a million people were impressed.

These changing needs  mean that agencies need to adapt. If customers want data-led evidence of success, simply relying on old reporting metrics isn’t going to be enough and, if they’re not satisfied, they will find somewhere else to provide them with the insights they crave.

Many are still not offering the information that their customers want, though that is not to say that they are sticking to traditional methods. More agencies are starting to embrace solutions such as social listening tools to demonstrate the impact of their work to clients through analyzing public sentiment to campaigns. This is valuable information which can help show their customers the impact of what they are doing. However, relying on social listening alone means they are often only able to tell half the story.

More Data Means More Insight

To provide effective, data-led evidence of success, agencies need to harness and combine different types of data to give a full picture of the impact their work has had on a company or brand. For example, through using a social listening tool agencies can provide insight on what people are saying about a campaign, which, as mentioned, is an undoubtedly useful metric.

But, if this information is combined with web action data which shows how many people have clicked through a customers website off of the back of an advert or article, or audience data which shows an increase in a brands target audience (age groups, genders etc.) engaging with its website, all of a sudden, agencies are providing their clients with a plethora of analytical, detailed, outcome based metrics and results that demonstrate true value.

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I have seen first hand how this approach can deliver results.

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We use a wide array of data tools to demonstrate to our customers the impact of our work and to advise on the best ways for them to communicate. Previously, demonstrating impact and value required an element of guess work but since we embraced a data-led approach by harnessing analytics tools, we are now able to gain access to multiple different insights which inform our customers’ strategies and optimize their decision making. They know that we are providing the best, most detailed information available and giving them a wealth of insights that show results.

Embracing New Solutions for Agencies

Being able to provide these insights was difficult in the past but tools now exist which make it easier than ever. One of the services we use, SimilarWeb, allows us to track highly detailed and specific web activity such as repeat visits to websites, while also letting us provide thorough competitor analyses and audience metrics such as loyalty behavior and interests, which is invaluable.

Our clients understand the value of data more than ever before. As such, agencies can’t rest on their laurels and stick to traditional reporting methods to demonstrate their value and impact.

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At the same time, they cannot simply rely on individual bits of data that don’t tell customers the full story. Embracing analytics solutions that both show what people are saying about a campaign, as well as what they are doing, will mean agencies are ahead of their clients and demonstrating their value on more levels than ever before.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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