Ad-Tech Problems: Data Capture & Hygiene

Centralizing data and the ability to use it is of the utmost importance to today’s marketers

July 9, 2019

It is a buyers-market for advertisers. Every media option comes with a new data source, and it quickly becomes difficult to manage all the different logins, spreadsheets and data streams in play. That’s why centralizing data is of the utmost importance to today’s marketers. Having one place to organize data enables you to identify any inconsistencies or errors in a media buy, and gain confidence in your advertising strategy. From our experience, marketers who are engaged with their data build a stronger foundational knowledge to elevate their agency relationships and capacity to collaborate. 

Understand that centralized data does not equate to data hygiene, that process is only step one. In order to achieve robust data hygiene, you need to lead a separate initiative once the data is all in one place. However, sometimes this entire process takes years because marketers endeavor to build solutions on their own to solve for this. At which point, the technology may then be obsolete.

For organizations to thrive, resources should be focused on their core strengths. For example, instead of building teams to create your own technology (data lakes and data warehouses) where rapid changes can render the tech outdated, 3rd party technology providers offer a more effective and efficient solution. You can still own the data, but now have a more economical way to utilize the clean data (e.g. CPG companies are good at manufacturing, and selling goods not building the manufacturing plants or building trucks – why would you try to do the same by building marketing technology solutions?).

When you work with a technology partner that has the ability to capture and clean your media data, you can focus on delivering effective marketing. We have seen marketers spend 2+ years to stand up a data warehouse to bring in aggregated csv feeds or API data, then quickly realize what they built is outdated and need to spend another year, and additional money and resources to fix it. Instead of investing in building a data engineering team, and data infrastructures, utilize solutions on the market that have been purpose built for your unique marketing applications.

Spend the money you’ll save on buying more media.

After finding the most efficient way of collecting data, data hygiene must be addressed through proper SOPs and normalization practices (again your data warehouse provider should be able to help here). With different nomenclatures across different buying platforms Facebook (Campaigns à Ad Sets), DSP (IO à Line Item), etc., it is important to understand how to normalize the data in a way as not to lose important information. Naming conventions + Normalization can lead to great data hygiene. Why use 50-60% of your data to conduct media mix modeling (while spending countless hours to get to only a 50% clean data rate), when you can use 90%+ of your data in real-time? This can be done with technology solutions that can help get you there today. Allow your technology providers to do the heavy lifting on tactical data work, while you focus on marketing strategies and insights. Proper data ownership, data capture, and data hygiene allow for a framework to look deeper into your data.

By now, I hope you are ready to take the plunge to data ownership, planning how to measure, report and optimize at a scale and pace that is as real-time and expansive as your buying capabilities.

If you have any questions around data ownership, data warehousing, or reporting and analytics, feel free to reach out to us!

-Ravi Patel, COO AD/FIN

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