Analytics' role in today's creative agency

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Analytics' role in today's creative agency
Analytics' role in today's creative agency

According to global intelligence firm IDC, “In 2010, 1.2 zettabytes of digital information will be created.” A zettabyte is one trillion gigabytes! More than ever, we are surrounded by data.

Data and analytics have always played an important role in direct marketing. We are accustomed to getting analytics services from data companies – whether they are list providers, data management companies or applications providers – and from media agencies in the form of impressions, clicks or “cost per” figures. 

Where does that leave the creative agency in regards to data and analytics? Not surprisingly, these disciplines have expanded greatly among agencies, but awareness in the industry has not kept pace.

Creative agencies have made the investment to develop analytics services, allowing them to have a deeper understanding of their clients' business needs and enabling them to deliver more scientific and improved targeting. They can also more accurately measure campaign impact and ultimately serve as a better partner for clients.

What is the best way for an advertiser to work with its agency's analytics staff? Here are five steps that can build and solidify a relationship with the analytics team that will produce the results you want:

Nurture the team. 

If you're going to use your agency's analytics team, get to know them. Analytics is still a new discipline. Make sure that the team your agency has put together meets your standards and that you give them enough guidance and support to help them succeed.

Let them get to know your business. 

Invite one or two of the analytics team members to your meetings. Let them ask questions. Analytics people will often have questions about your business that are different from those of the account, sales or creative teams. You might find it refreshing, and they will definitely benefit from knowing more about you.

Involve them early in the project. 

It's very difficult for the analytics team to perform at their best if they're brought in at the last minute and are asked to “measure something.” More than likely, the data they require will not have been gathered, and it will be a frustrating experience for everyone. If the analytics team is involved early and can prepare a gathering plan, you will likely produce a more satisfying result.

Connect them with your internal analytics teams. 

Most of the time, creative agency analytics teams work as an extension of the resources the client already possesses. These two teams work best if they can feel free to collaborate. There is no competition here. There's more than enough work to go around. Encourage camaraderie between teams.

Focus on implementing results. 

Analytics is not the end result. Unless the findings are applied to improve a business result, the effort has not achieved its goal. Encourage the larger team to spend time thinking about what the analytical results suggest and how this information can impact the bottom line. Getting to this end result is often a lot harder than doing the analysis, but it is the ultimate goal. 


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