MEDIA BUYING BLOG

The CMO’s Guide: 5 Ways to Assess Your Media Buyer’s Data Strategy

The CMO's Guide to Data Strategy

Why Does Data Strategy Matter to Marketers?

Research shows that CMOs are feeling post-pandemic recovery pressure; a recent CMO Council report found 63% of marketers are under significant pressure to drive revenue growth and prove it using media attribution. 

Of course, growth depends on a few other factors, which incidentally, CMOs are also responsible for. Examples include increased consumer-centricity and engagement, as well as boosted brand loyalty.  

The CMO's Guide to Data Strategy

None of these tasks are easy, but they do have one important thing in common: data strategy. This is the dynamic process of collecting, interpreting, analyzing, and leveraging data. Its purpose is to optimize media strategies and overall campaign performance, and ultimately achieve desired business results.

When it comes to data literacy, the learning curve is pretty steep. According to the CMO Council report above, just 20% of CMOs successfully leverage data to identify and target customers. That being said, the benefits of using data strategically cannot be overstated: businesses that use data-driven media strategies achieve 5-8 times the ROI compared to businesses that don’t. 

So, what are the specific ways data strategy optimizes campaign performance? Let’s get into it!

Why Does Data Strategy Matter to Marketers?

Research shows that CMOs are feeling post-pandemic recovery pressure; a recent CMO Council report found 63% of marketers are under significant pressure to drive revenue growth and prove it using media attribution. 

Of course, growth depends on a few other factors, which incidentally, CMOs are also responsible for. Examples include increased consumer-centricity and engagement, as well as boosted brand loyalty.  

None of these tasks are easy, but they do have one important thing in common: data strategy. This is the dynamic process of collecting, interpreting, analyzing, and leveraging data. Its purpose is to optimize media strategies and overall campaign performance, and ultimately achieve desired business results. 

When it comes to data literacy, the learning curve is pretty steep. According to the CMO Council report above, just 20% of CMOs successfully leverage data to identify and target customers. That being said, the benefits of using data strategically cannot be overstated: businesses that use data-driven media strategies achieve 5-8 times the ROI compared to businesses that don’t. 

So, what are the specific ways data strategy optimizes campaign performance? Let’s get into it!

How Data Strategy Optimizes Paid Media Campaign Performance

To start, there are several types of data to incorporate into data strategy: Zero-, First-, Second-, and Third-Party data. For a refresher on each of these, check out Marketing Doctor’s blog on 3 Ways You Can Use Data in Paid Media

Using Zero-Party data is an excellent way to personalize your media strategies and connect with your consumer base intentionally. For example, while streaming your favorite TV shows or movies on Hulu, you may encounter a message from a brand asking you to choose which “ad experience”, or version of a commercial, you prefer. This is a method of Zero-Party data collection via Connected TV advertising. When consumers select the ad experience that resonates with them, they give a brand the ability to customize individual consumers’ experiences and gain insight into the types of ads that increase engagement.  

A similar example involves First-Party data. Say you’re running a digital media campaign on several platforms with a goal to increase e-commerce sales on your company’s website. First-Party data can help you better understand the consumer journey by showing the various touch points consumers interact with as they move towards making a purchase. This supports dynamic campaign management and conversion optimization–and increased ROI and ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) without wasted media spend. 

Of course, all of this is easier said than done. It is crucial that CMOs have adept data strategy partners to collaborate with. Below, you’ll find some ways to assess if your media agency is as data-driven as they claim to be.

5 Ways to Assess Your Media Buyer’s Data Strategy

1. Do their reports provide proactive, actionable insights backed-up by data science?

Many companies cut ties with agencies because their reporting seems lazy and impersonal. There’s minimal dedication and collaboration, and no evidence that they are working strategically with the client, let alone digital platform representatives or traditional media vendors. 

Nothing exists in a vacuum – especially marketing results. If your media buying agency is simply sharing an automated sheet of metrics, it may be time to reconsider your partnership. Reports should contextualize campaign results and provide actionable insights to leverage for competitive campaign performance going forward.  

 

2. How granular does your media agency get in terms of custom KPIs?

Vanity metrics (e.g. impressions and clicks) have a place in campaign measurement, just not in meaningful reporting. Your agency should be able to report on category-specific KPIs that marketing executives are accountable for. 

For example, one of our medical client’s goals is to increase the number of qualified patient leads and the number of actual procedures taking place. By leveraging our client’s Zero- and First-Party data, Marketing Doctor tracked and reported on results all the way down to actual procedures–far beyond clicks, impressions, and even initial consultations.

 

3. How often is your media agency optimizing campaign performance?

In order to stay ahead of the competition and the curve, daily optimization is a must. Your agency should be using media attribution and data strategy to make informed campaign decisions from media planning to post-buy analysis. 

Daily optimizations apply to traditional and digital campaigns both. Modern traditional media attribution allows marketers to look at live campaign data and adjust ad placements, messaging, and programming as needed. Your agency should be well aware of where and how to look for online and offline optimization opportunities. 

 

4. Can your agency facilitate Third-Party data partnerships?

As important as it is to collect and leverage Zero- and First-Party data in preparation for the cookie-less future, Third-Party data is often still an important piece of the marketing puzzle. 

Your agency should be able to facilitate Third-Party data partnerships with ethical, clean Third-Party data aggregators. When sourced correctly and ethically, Third-Party data can help flesh out existing consumer profiles and audience segments for efficient, effective targeting.

 

5. Does your agency use your existing data to inform media strategies and placements?

As important as collecting data is, it is just as important to leverage existing, historical  data for streamlined media planning and buying

For example, when our national private equity portfolio client wanted to increase conversions and decrease cost per conversion for B2C campaigns, one of the Marketing Doctor team’s first steps was conducting an in-depth analysis of previous B2C paid search campaign tactics and collected data. 

In doing so, Marketing Doctor refined our client’s digital infrastructure and incorporated various attribution models and integrations. From there, we identified the most successful digital strategies to achieve campaign goals–doubling the number of leads while reducing cost per lead by more than 50%. 

Odds are, you’re sitting on a wealth of data that could take your paid media campaigns to the next level. You’d be surprised at the opportunities you could be missing out on to drive more ROI. 

In Need of Data Strategy Support?

In a world of endless data, knowing how to leverage it and develop high-performing media strategies is paramount. If you have a business goal, we have the data strategy to achieve it AND track it. Let’s talk.

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