The Advertiser’s Dilemma: Which Report(s) to Choose?

Volume 2, Issue 11 - November, 2012

Vincent Antony, Vice President, Engineering & Operations, Visual IQ

Today’s advertiser receives and attempts to utilize many different reports from many different sources: agency reports, ad server reports, marketing platform reports, publisher reports, and if engaged in attribution, attribution reports. But which ones are really needed? Which should be relied upon?

The fragmentation of audiences, channels and platforms makes meeting effective ROI goals more challenging. It requires more resources from your staff as they attempt to evaluate the growing size and complexity of your marketing ecosystem. As your marketing ecosystem becomes fragmented, so does the reporting it produces.

Pulling from Different Ends of the Rope

This fragmented ecosystem can result in multiple factions working simultaneously and independently to report on the same, or related marketing performance metrics – producing duplicate work and redundant or conflicting data. Organizational siloes can also contribute to inefficiencies if different channels, departments or business units are all attempting to lay claim to the same conversions and resulting ROI.

These factors can delay, and even inaccurately guide, your marketing optimization decisions. To effectively operate in today’s fast-moving digital world, you must literally be able to see the bigger picture. This can only be accomplished by seamlessly integrating the performance data streams from all the disparate components of your marketing ecosystems together into one holistic view.

Attribution Reporting = Big Picture

By its very definition, marketing attribution examines and analyzes the marketing performance data from all of your disparate channels and the interaction/impact of all those channels on one another – and then produces reports that quantify that interaction. The attribution process also weeds out the components of your ecosystem that have no impact, allowing you to focus on optimizing the elements that are the greatest contributors to your success. Ideally, the results of these byproducts of the attribution process are consolidated and centralized within a single interactive interface and report generation hub that enables you compare different channels, campaigns and tactics using a common set of KPIs. This attribution reporting truly delivers the “big picture” view that’s needed to optimize your marketing performance.

Aggregating data into a single location/view also allows you to observe the influence that one channel has on another, providing opportunities to make changes to either individual campaigns or across the entire ecosystem. Reports produced by applying the attribution process to this consolidated data should provide the ability to change or remove placements, creative, keywords, frequency cap, etc. And the infrastructure that produces these reports may include collecting/pushing data to/from different media deployment sources, including ad servers, publishers, DSPs and campaign management platforms.

Organizational Factors

Your organization structure should also enable integrated reporting to take place. If all marketing channel operations fall under the same umbrella and within the same budget, conflict is avoided and everyone functions as a team, encouraging collaboration rather than competition. To facilitate this level of collaboration, companies should adopt an integrated suite of tools that enables its entire team to simultaneously work on the same platform with the same “big picture” view of their marketing optimization and success.

In today’s increasingly fragmented media environment, it’s easy to get bogged down in data. With attribution reporting, marketers can focus on optimizing their marketing performance, instead of wasting time managing and manipulating data.

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