Marketers have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to data. Every interaction, impression, and purchase from a campaign can be turned into a data point and then – in theory – harnessed to drive better decision making. A recent study found that over half of US marketers (54%) cited data analysis as the main driver of major decisions, with nine in every ten (88%) having already implemented simplification technologies to analyse data.
With ad budget growth slowing, marketers are now tasked with using their media data to further optimise campaigns. Yet, one-fifth of marketers believe their data is of poor quality – in turn generating worse performance, and resulting in over a fourth (28%) of marketing spending being thrown out the window.
With high volumes of questionable data quality clouding marketers’ judgement, it’s time to detox.
The cluttered data conundrum
Media Data is constantly on the move, passing through multiple teams in various locations, and translated into different currencies, languages, and taxonomies. The threat of human error and data manipulation, looms over this complex web of communication. This can mean insights are not always accurate, leading campaigns to head off course.
Siloed data can also muddy the water. When stored in various places, the chance of duplication only increases, while it can become even harder to compare data sets. By restricting marketers to smaller pools of data, they lose sight of the whole campaign narrative. Additionally, the lack of visibility over their media data can leave marketers in a catch 22 situation, needing to gain efficiencies to drive campaigns, but unsure where they should place their spend.
A media audit is a vital first step that can greatly enhance a brand’s ability to create a single source of truth. This must be done carefully, with a framework in place that is strategically tailored to a company's specific needs. By understanding what is held and where, and crucially what is needed, marketers can begin to slim down their media data into an effective tool for campaign success.
Synchronising success for local and global teams
Effective marketing relies on localised media data to inform better strategies. However, when local teams communicate with their global counterparts, data often becomes dirtied. This happens due to nuances in taxonomies and language not being properly considered when standardisation is implemented. The point of standardising data processes is to make global teams’ lives easier; local teams often suffer as an unwanted by-product, with their media data accuracy corrupted as a result.
A solution to this is prioritising local teams’ workflow, ensuring their data and insights are preserved as much as possible. It’s also beneficial to reduce the number of hands that data touches to ensure its accuracy is preserved. Global teams must prioritise agility and adaptability, mapping out their data strategies to retain local insights, reduce friction, and improve the cleanliness of data.
Maintaining data purity
Collecting clean media data is one thing, ensuring it stays that way is a different ballgame. Although prioritising local teams is a great step towards ensuring clean media data, this is only part of the solution. To keep it clean, there must be high standards for accuracy and rigour. With streams of media data being constantly generated by campaigns, tech solutions can be vital in ensuring that data is collected and ingested efficiently and error-free.
Brands must tread carefully when implementing new systems into their strategies to organise and store data, however. Marketing analytics is set to grow from $22 billion in 2022 to $32 billion in 2026, but throwing money at the problem without a strategically outlined plan of action may see companies onboard technologies and software that don’t answer the challenges at hand. Implemented tools and solutions must be customisable and agile to ensure workflows are preserved. The external support and fresh eyes of trusted partners can be indispensable when choosing a media data management solution.
By reducing the potential for human error to taint results and allowing for a more streamlined, and organised, approach to data collection and storage, brands can gain invaluable insights that originate from trusted, uncontaminated sources of information.
The volumes of media data that marketers deal with will only continue increasing. This means maintaining a unified source of clean media data has to be an ongoing task. Brands must create the habit of auditing data, streamlining communication channels, and ensuring media data remains coherent, accessible, and most of all, clean. As a vital decision making tool for driving marketing campaigns, brands cannot afford to lose sight of priorities and move their foot off the pedal. In a future dominated by even more data, a media data detox should be more than just a one-off diet.