Good Things Come in Threes — Like Advertising, Audiences, and Analytics
O_mne trium perfectum_ — Latin for “everything that comes in threes is perfect.” The phrase still holds up. It’s why trilogies are so popular and stories of three musketeers, three little pigs, and three stooges resonate. And why “the rule of three” is a prevalent creative tool.
It’s a perfect combination. But the reality is, marketers struggle to successfully integrate these marketing and advertising tools. According to Winterberry Group and IAB, marketers are “grappling with as many as 30 or more distinct tools for analytics, ad-serving, attribution, retargeting, search, mobile and email marketing, CRM, social media, content management, and more.” That’s 30 different tools that simply aren’t talking to each other.
And in another IAB article by Mike Sands, one media agency executive summed it all up: “It’s a hot mess.”
52% of marketers say integrating technologies is the biggest obstacle to success. Source: Ascend2, Informatica, Dun & Bradstreet
Integration doesn’t have to be hard, though, and the roadblocks are often cultural as well as technological. We’ll look at the problem from the perspectives of both analytics professionals and media buyers to show that while they come at integration from different angles, they ultimately want the same thing. Integrating analytics, audience, and ad technology benefits everyone and understanding how those benefits play out across teams can only help analytics professionals, media buyers, and anyone in-between foster a culture of real change and innovation.
Analytics for the future
Analytics professionals work with tons of data every day. Site data. Mobile app data. And so much more. Much of this is first-party data from their analytics platforms, CRM systems, and so on. But often, it’s second- and third-party data from a data management platform (DMP).
Where things start to get difficult is when they start extrapolating insights from that data. It’s a complicated process that varies from case to case — and it’s definitely not a perfect science.
“Our challenge is to turn the unknown into the knowable. And furthermore, into the actionable. This means testing a hypothesis by analyzing data, constructing methods to measure outcomes, and iterating on that process until our findings are sufficiently refined that they’re useful.”
Data Scientist and Principal, Austin Innovation Tech
But the real challenge is trying to access, analyze, and use a company’s advertising data — everything that happens before a customer engages with an ad. There’s a virtual wall that separates analysts from all that important information, even if they’re using a powerful analytics solution. If that solution can’t talk to their advertising solution, they can’t get anywhere.
To fix this, they need a smooth integration that can tear down that virtual wall. One that lets them see into those crucial first steps of the customer journey before they engage with an ad. With an integration like this, data pros can maximize their analytics roles, giving the best insights possible across the customer journey and thus drive meaningful change.
Such integration starts by getting a brand’s data house in order.
Data pros need to bring audience segments from a DMP like Adobe Audience Manager into an analytics engine like Adobe Analytics. This pairing amplifies that data, creating a powerful pillar that can inform audience discovery, segmentation, and optimization, helping enrich customer profiles, which in turn helps marketers personalize even better. This is why we integrated our DMP, Audience Manager, with our analytics engine, Analytics, into a unified platform — the first in the industry.
Here’s how it works:
This way, collected data quickly and efficiently builds out audience profiles, matching visits to the right person every time. Analytics helps form a robust view of a company’s customers, and then data pros can enrich that view with second- and third-party data in Audience Manager. This prepares segments for action in other customer-facing applications in your marketing tech.
One such piece is an advertising solution like Adobe Advertising Cloud. Combining Advertising Cloud with Analytics and Audience Manager provides a more complete picture of the customer journey. This combination lets analytics pros deepen their analysis of search and demand-side platform (DSP) performance through our ad-hoc reporting feature, Analysis Workspace, in Analytics. This allows all the data in Advertising Cloud to be brought into Analytics, so analysts can analyze all the metrics they use for optimization.
This integration also lets analysts see all their Google, Bing, and Yahoo Gemini Paid Search data side by side within Analytics. This makes it easier for analytics pros to collect performance reports which they can then send quickly to media buyers and paid-search marketers.
Plus, analysts can free up time to focus on other tasks by letting search and display teams take advantage of the rich data in Analytics without in-depth Analytics training.
WestJet combines advertising and analytics to create engaging data-driven campaigns.
“There’s tremendous value in the integrated Adobe Experience Cloud solutions. Using a unified Adobe platform, we have the tools to capture data streams and devise strategies to share our message of service and savings across channels.”
Manager of Digital Analytics and Optimization, WestJet
Advertising Cloud and Analytics together allow greater insight into impressions, clicks, cost, average position, and quality score. That data can be used in Analysis Workspace to build custom analysis projects with tables, visualizations, components, and more. With all these ad insights, teams can nourish the customer journey and help each other throughout the business understand the whole customer journey. And then make better decisions.
A new way to advertise
Media buyers face a very similar problem as data professionals — but the specific challenges they must handle are fundamentally different.
Instead of trying to glean insights from data, a media buyer’s goal is to reach the right audience in the right place at the right time and for the right price. Plus, they want to generate rich advertising data that data teams can then analyze, so they can in turn help media buyers make even better ad decisions.
“Embrace analytics. After all, if you don’t know how a campaign is performing, how can you ever expect to improve?”
Founding Partner, ExactDrive
Earlier, we mentioned a virtual wall that separates analysts from advertising data. But that wall is a problem both ways. Ad pros have deep insight into all the advertising distribution, creative, and more. But once a customer engages with an ad, they disappear. It becomes difficult and even impossible to see what they’re doing on the site or in an app. And even if an ad team is tied in well with the data team, they’ll have to dig deep and work hard to uncover even the simplest insights from post-engagement data.
These kinds of challenges can be daunting, wasting precious resources that could be used elsewhere. Which leads again to integration.
Just like Analytics, truly effective advertising requires a powerful DMP like Adobe Audience Manager. When Audience Manager and Advertising Cloud come together, they provide a single source of truth that helps deliver the right ads to the right audience, right when they want them.
This integration also unlocks these key benefits:
Ingest data from all sources and tie them into a single user profile. Then push that into Advertising Cloud to act on it.
Deliver consistent real-time experiences
Create robust audiences simply with real-time activation for smarter, more targeted media campaigns.
Improve engagement through better audiences
Ensure consistent experiences everywhere by extending audiences to owned channels and bringing in offline data.
Drive more business results, faster and easier
Make teams more efficient by focusing their time and efforts with consolidated tech and streamlined workflows.
And again, the picture isn’t complete until ad tech and DMP are combined with Analytics.
Last Event Analytics Tracking in Advertising Cloud lets advertisers use Analytics to track the last known events a customer performed, including last clickthrough and last view-through conversions. Use both Advertising Cloud and Analytics to see how advertising spend leads to site behavior and critical business objectives like revenue. Plus, pass Analytics data into Advertising Cloud for use in reporting and optimization.
This integration also facilitates the following:
- Tie together paid media and on-site actions to fully capture every Analytics touchpoint advertising drives.
- Pass Analytics data into the DSP to improve optimization algorithms and reporting to drive campaign performance by understanding mid-funnel actions.
- Use Analytics tags already on-site without impacting page loads.
- Improve on the Doubleclick Campaign Manager (DCM) connector by accurately passing costs, which doesn’t hold up the Analytics call at the start of each visit. This reduces the need to “tune” how long Analytics waits for DCM to return the impression data.
- Layer psychographic, behavioral, viewership, and first-party data on age range and gender, creating true targeting for more relevant and personalized TV experiences. This kind of data-driven targeting also allows creation of a linear TV plan built specifically for unique audiences.
Success in integration
These benefits lead to improved insight into how advertising drives site behavior, campaign improvement, and better customer experience for brands.
Integrating Advertising Cloud with Analytics is a breeze. All it takes is an Analytics report suite name and the conversion variables being used. We can also tap into variables specifically designed for Advertising Cloud. Then, all that’s left is to is set which metrics to pull in as well as the tracking parameters. And that’s it — it’s ready to go.
See how the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is making data-driven advertising a reality and gaining better insight into their media buys.
“The Adobe team has been extremely instrumental in helping me really think about not just how we’re buying media but why we’re buying the things that we’re buying — how can we get better? How can we get smarter? What kind of analytics can we overlay on top of that to really help us raise the bar for what we’re doing?”
Manager, In-House Programmatic Media, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Advertising Cloud and Analytics empower simple segmentation based on first-party data. But adding Audience Manager into the mix amplifies the entire process, supercharging segmentation and profiling to deliver powerful, personal, and optimized ads to the exact audience a media buyer is targeting. Right when they want them.
Advertising, audiences, and analytics to the power of three
Integration is better for business. It makes daily tasks easier and more efficient. It helps data pros get the best insights from their data, and it helps media buyers get the clearest vision of their audience. With our market-leading integration of Analytics, Audience Manager, and Advertising Cloud, all teams gain access to an unmatched integration that can help them communicate more effectively with each other. And it can guide them along the path toward incredible personalized experiences.