You did it! A lot of work goes into media campaign strategy and development. Planning and buying have been executed, and all of your ads are set up and ready to traffic, but now what? Sit back and let it run? Of course not! Most agencies have a process for the management of media campaigns for clients, and Zion & Zion is no different. However, we know that reporting data for the campaign is not the same as evaluating that data and providing insights. These are so distinct in fact, that they are two separate ‘steps’ within our internal media process This article will go over the difference between reporting and analytics and how they fit into the larger process of advertising campaign management.
Reporting vs Analytics
While sometimes used interchangeably, reporting and analytics are NOT the same. This Adobe blog has a great definition of both:
- Reporting is “the process of organizing data into informational summaries in order to monitor how different areas of a business are performing.”
- Analytics is “the process of exploring data and reports in order to extract meaningful insights, which can be used to better understand and improve business performance.”
Another way to think about how reporting and analytics work together: Reports tell you what is happening and help you transform the raw data your business is collecting into a readable format. Analytics focuses on exploring and interpreting data or reports in order to glean valuable insight into why certain trends happened the way they did. Now let’s take a deeper dive into each of these and how they fit into the overall management of media campaigns.
Reporting & Measurement
Reporting is not intended to be simply ‘post campaign’. Ongoing measurement of campaign performance using real time data across media channels to consistently report on media is not just beneficial for the client – but also for the internal teams or agency managing the day to day campaign execution. From strategy to channel to platform, to targeting tactic and segment, to creative image and copy, clear and consistent reporting allows for quicker analysis and transparency of performance across all media channels. This is the data necessary to allow for optimizations and identification of gaps in opportunity for a campaign in real time!
We look to define and track specific conversion events and metrics beyond the standard media measurements of impressions and clicks, when possible, for a clear representation of the customer journey and success of media, including return on ad spend and cost per acquisition. Below are a few examples of ways we bring clear measurement and consistent reporting to our clients:
- Real Time Dashboard Reporting
- KPI benchmark pacing
- Budget Pacing
- Proof of Performance
- Media Partner Audit
- Media Channel Evaluation
- Brand Safety & Viewability
- CDP Management
- Customized report creation
Analytics & Insights
Analyzing data should be ongoing and look for both bigger picture trends or findings, as well as granular ad and tactics performance for media campaigns. We use data visualization tools like Tableau to visibly see trends, successes, and opportunities for all future planning and media opportunities. Learn more about how to turn your raw data into an organized and clear visualization in this Z&Z article.
We believe our job is not done when the campaign ends- but that we should use all data and learning to provide the best recommendations moving forward. Below are a few examples how we use the data from reporting to analyze campaign performance, and provide insights for future marketing and advertising opportunities for our clients:
- Analysis & Framework
- Data Overlay
- Data Visualization
- Evaluation of Media Maturity
- Investment Analysis
- Attribution Modeling
- Trend analysis
- Website Analytics
Why is it Important?
By just reporting on the data and providing no insights, the value of all that measurement is tremendously lost. To measure success, you must define success. This is where strategy and analytics work together to help form questions to answer from reporting and determining what to measure to answer those questions. Successful campaigns can only be successful if measurement is clear and accurate, which is why reporting consistency and ongoing verification are key for campaign management.
When looking to identify the key metrics to include in your reporting – it is crucial to look back and campaign goal, media objective, and business questions. We use historical knowledge, industry benchmarks, and client goals that become the guideposts for developing campaign KPIs. How do we bring this full circle? How do we establish if a campaign performed well, or not? Were there questions, or theories at the planning phase that can be answered?
For example, if the media campaign objective is to increase awareness of a new brand, in addition to the metrics directly brought in by paid media (impressions, clicks, engagements), we would also want to evaluate if we are seeing an increase in search volume, website engagement, and other relevant metrics to determine if there was additional brand awareness lift outside of the paid media. While the ongoing measurement and reporting is often very specific to the media metrics, the analytics provided during or post campaign can bring in other channels, sales, or data to help form a larger story of campaign performance and how this contributed a larger marketing or business goal.
Zion & Zion takes a proactive, not reactive, approach to managing campaigns. Measurement and reporting are so ingrained in the day to day management of our media that we start thinking about what will analyze during the strategy and planning phase. This process helps us to determine the key metrics for reporting that will provide us with the data needed to bring valuable insights for the performance of the campaign. Essentially, reporting provides you with information, analytics give you insights. Reporting raises questions, analytics attempts to answer them. Both are valuable but serve different purposes in campaign management and execution.