I was tasked with designing a new analytics department and strategy for a marketing agency.
Diving in, I found that many clients do not read many of the analytics reports.
There was a disconnect between reporting and how it was being used. Clients were paying for reports they didn’t use, because they didn’t understand how to use it. Thus, they didn’t understand the value of analytics.They didn’t know how to read the graphs or understand the data. Even more so, they didn’t know how to make actionable strategies from it.
The reports were not catered to their needs, but rather “standardized.” This created for dull, useless reports with similar month-over-month information. Reports were missing KPIs and information that clients looked at daily – the ones their bosses cared about and judged their performance by.
I interviewed internal teams to try to really understand what was happening with this analytics deficiency. I performed separate department interviews and surveys, so I could hear the team point of view.
I found that many internal team members did not grasp how data can help their clients make better, more informed decisions. They didn’t understand the value or the meaning. The agency was used to cranking out dense template-based reporting, so they didn’t understand the massive benefit analytics can bring to a client. If they didn’t understand how data-driven decisions can help a business, how can we expect their clients to understand?
I also dug into the client-side of things. I learned that many of their clients were not using the reports regularly. Rather, they were using very simple reports that were automatically emailed to them from their own internal system. The marketing agency’s reports were much more sophisticated, so why wouldn’t they use these instead?
Because, on a day-to-day basis, clients were busy. They used reports to point out anomalies, red flags, or something they needed to direct their attention to. They didn’t have time to look in-depth or at the big picture. They wanted to know if they were meeting the goals their boss set for them for the month. Reports were not designed with the user in mind. This is a primary reason it wasn’t being used.
There was a lack of communication between the agency and the clients regarding data. Clients were looking to the agency to generate useful reports, but no one knew what they cared about. Additionally, they weren’t teaching them how to use the reports or what KPIs are actually important to their campaigns.
While discovering this, I also discovered many inefficiencies in the reporting itself. They were paying a third-party vendor to transport data from the customer side to a unified data warehouse. This was pricey, and they lacked full control over their data and structure. I knew there was a cheaper, more efficient way.
I used quantitate and qualitative research to find out how to solve these issues. I helped refine their analytics offering and create pricing tiers to better fit the needs of the business.
I also implemented a new data protocol using Google BigQuery and a custom data solution that feeds their data into Tableau, giving them more agency over their data, allowing for cleaner data. This solution alone ultimately saved their company over $62k per year.
I created customized Tableau reporting that is more customized to the needs of the clients’ businesses.
Calah Hanson has been helping business executives make smarter marketing decisions by identifying marketing gaps, creating custom strategies to fill in those gaps, and making the most of their resources. She guides companies to change their approach to marketing decisions by implementing a design-thinking, data-driven strategy based on current psychology research and technology behaviors. Her consulting, backed with actionable data and empirical evidence, has resulted in saving companies hundreds of thousands of dollars and being confident they are spending their marketing dollars in the best way.