Media analytics has become cool and it’s a good thing because data is the only way to prove marketing’s value to executives who control budgets. You can’t talk “impressions” to a CFO; you need to talk dollars—X dollars in gets you Y dollars out.
So media analytics are critical for convincing the C-suite that marketing is an investment, not just an expense. But analytics are hard. Everyone wishes for a single, simple platform that answers every question. But this is impractical, and pining after it deters marketers from tackling the complexity to be able to optimize their media investments more often with more confidence.
What makes media analytics so complex?
- – The tension between the need for macro and micro data
- * The data sets needed to answer essential macro questions about timelines, annual budgets and scope are different than the ones relating to micro questions about the performance of specific tactics and how to make media perform better
- – The inherent messiness of media tests
- * There’s always a difference between what you want to test vs. what you can test
- *Furthermore, many variables are out of the control of the marketer
- – Consulting firms that want to sell their special “hammer” even if the problem isn’t a nail
- – Hiring, promoting and keeping qualified data analysts in a hot new field
- – The variability of language
- *Words like attribution mean different things to different people in this young field