Aligning Web Analytics and Digital Media Teams to Improve Marketing Results

As advanced analytics tools become more widely used and the need to create personalized, customer experiences increases, uniting the organizational gap between web analytics and digital media teams has become increasingly important. While it may not be widely apparent, web analytics and digital media teams are alike in many ways and often share closely related missions. Even so, effective web analytics and digital media alignment can be a challenge for any organization.

Analytics teams are traditionally the gatekeepers of granular web analytics data, tasked with reporting complex narratives on user behavior and campaign performance. Media teams are typically tasked with optimizing digital spend using similar performance measures. Despite these relatively similar tasks, both teams rely on their own, separate, reporting tools to attain critical data. Further compounding the organizational gap between these two teams is the frequent outsourcing of media buying to agencies.

These discrepancies frequently lead to organizations struggling to align Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), data collection, and reporting between their analytics and media teams. In closing the gap and uniting both teams, there are three common inconsistencies that will need to be resolved to ensure greater ROI from your marketing investments.

 

Implementation
Despite operating on similar requirements, the implementation of pixels and the overall building of a pixel strategy will often differ significantly between analytics and media teams. This results in pixels that don’t match and can’t provide relevant information across both teams, ultimately leading to a reduction in efficiency across the entire business.

Amongst other benefits, coordination between the analytics and media teams when building out a pixel strategy can greatly reduce confusion in the tagging process, decrease inefficient or redundant pixel implementation work, and result in better reporting. As an added bonus, this coordination will also guarantee that common KPIs are shared by both teams, ensuring the most efficient use of marketing spend.

 

Data
Discrepancies between analytics data and media data is another commonly seen inconsistency. While inconsistencies will never be completely removed across different data collection systems - don’t panic, this is to be expected due to factors such as: adblockers, browser differences, and differences in attribution logic between the systems that can contribute to discrepancies in data -  significant inconsistencies can be eliminated. Eliminating inconsistencies across analytics and media data can be done in a number of ways.

 

  1. Establish and enforce a campaign tracking code taxonomy to accurately collect campaign data in analytics. This simple step will go a long way toward achieving parity between systems.
  2. Take advantage of back-end integrations between both analytics and media tools. Adobe and Google both offer integrations with DoubleClick, along with many other media and publisher tools.
  3. Keep your tag versions up-to-date to ensure you are taking advantage of the latest and most accurate data collection methods. For instance, Google’s latest pixels for Analytics, Adwords, and DoubleClick Floodlights all utilize the same cookie, further improving alignment between these systems.
  4. Use a Data Management Platform (DMP) to help alleviate any remaining discrepancies, as audience segments can be constructed with logic that incorporates both analytics and media data.

 

Process
The relationship between analytics and media teams is ongoing and requires consistent coordination over time. Establishing clear processes for analytics tagging and pixel implementation is crucial for success, particularly when campaign timelines are tight, as they often tend to be. A lack of established processes can lead to missed deadlines, bad tagging strategy, and faulty data.

When building out a process flow for pixel implementation, it is important to include both teams, as well as creative and IT teams. Once site functionality is finalized in creative mockups, the analytics and media teams can work alongside each other to develop a cohesive strategy that meets business requirements and set expectations with IT for implementation and quality assurance.

 

The Possibilities of Alignment
Once analytics and media team alignment has been achieved, brands can focus on the adoption of more advanced analytics tools, such as DMPs, leading to a greater ROI on marketing spend. In addition to utilizing more advanced analytics tools, organizations that have achieved analytics and media alignment can also begin to utilize the more accurate and actionable data now being collected. These advancements lead to a more mature analytics program that results in greater marketing effectiveness for both teams. 

 

Learn more about organizational alignment and advanced analytics - read our Digital Transformation Guide and subscribe to our blog to receive all of our latest updates.

 

 

By Luke Johnson
About the Author:

Luke Johnson is a Senior Analyst, Team Lead at Stratigent.

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