Agencies have more granular insight than ever before into how their campaigns are performing. The days of selecting media channels based on broad demographic data and relying on generalized ad impression numbers are over.
Marketers can now target specific audiences across multiple devices and measure engagement on each touch point, building comprehensive roadmaps to conversion. They can confirm the right users are seeing digital ads and even serve websites that are customized to each user with dynamically generated content.
The best part is, every engagement can be mapped to its respective touch point and measured. This empowers agencies to become better strategic advisors in letting clients know exactly what's working (and what isn't).
The driving force behind this seismic shift is data -- the collection of it, tools to analyze it, and automation algorithms that use it to capture and nurture the best leads.
But how should agencies approach this new flux of data? What should they specifically focus on, and what can they afford to ignore?
Crafting data-driven campaigns doesn't have to be overly complicated or take months to implement. The foundation of a solid campaign that harnesses the power of data to reach the right audience can be built upon four primary tactics:
The old methods of buying media have been upended. The days of reviewing spreadsheets, endlessly negotiating rates, and committing to inflexible long-term contracts that you are stuck with -- even after it becomes obvious that they aren't working -- are over.
Programmatic buying is an automated method of purchasing digital media in real-time that is easily adjustable. That means if budgets change, if you want to test new messaging, or if placements aren't producing good results, media buys can be changed or scaled instantly.
According to eMarketer, more than two thirds of all digital display advertising in 2016 will be purchased programmatically.
This process gives advertisers a direct avenue to be iterative with campaigns based on data received from first, second, and third party sources.
With access to enhanced data and the ability to implement changes based on what it reveals with no lead time, programmatic buying optimizes media placement quickly and gives advertisers the ability to make changes based on internal changes or external market forces immediately.
Digital publishers and platforms have their own metrics for who views ads on specific channels, but the market changes quickly and the data they offer is not always accurate. If real prospects aren’t seeing your ads, then the money you spent placing them is a waste. It's important to verify that the numbers and demographics you’ve been promised match the reality of what is delivered.
The best way to accomplish this is through third party ad verification -- but if you aren't ready to make this investment, you can confirm for yourself that the tools and tactics used by advertising partners are working as promised.
Ensuring users actually see the ads that have been served to them can get tricky.