Tell me something I don’t know!
That’s what I find myself shouting at the TV when I watch baseball games these days.
I don’t need to be told the pitch was outside. I can see that—even without that pervasive electronic pitch tracker. I don’t need to hear the same stale hyperboles repeated over and over again – that the player up to bat has grit and heart and that undeniable ‘it factor’ that propels his success despite his meager skill. I certainly don’t need to be fed the exaggeration that whatever fans happen to be in the ballpark that night are the greatest in the game.
As a fan of the sport, I’m tuned in because I already have a fairly sophisticated understanding of the game. Announcers are often stating the obvious and not telling me anything I haven’t heard before or don’t already know, leaving me bored.
So, after time, my attention begins to shift elsewhere — to several different places, which becomes overwhelming and fragmented. It goes to different broadcasters on another channel, who possess a deeper knowledge of the game and provide more articulate sound bites. To the radio, where the detail in the play-by-play is more nuanced and rich, the POVs more objective. To the beat writers, who offer a deeper look into a player’s background and state of mind. To the nerdy baseball blogs, that incorporate progressive baseball stats and metrics into their analysis.
This isn’t unlike what happens in the digital media space. Standing out and creating competitive difference in an oversaturated, disconnected digital media market requires actionable and valuable insights in one place — those are the goods that enable agencies to retain clients, grow accounts and drive client happiness. Without them, a client goes elsewhere – to a different agency, or perhaps to multiple agencies to handle smaller and more specialized portions of their ad business.
Agencies are there to be change makers in the digital landscape, to provide thoughtful and comprehensive insights for clients – to tell them what’s performing, what’s not and how things are trending. Providing that value keeps an agency in business, and keeps a marketer informed on what campaigns are working and where their money is going. In baseball terms, they’re there to tell you something you don’t already know about your game.
But these days agencies come and go, as evidenced by the estimated $26 billion in ad spending that was up for review last summer. The good news? The agencies kept on as digital partners are the ones giving marketers their money’s worth.
The problem is, as we’ve explained in great detail, there are a number of roadblocks preventing agencies from providing meaningful intelligence. It’s a tools and time issue. Teams are using outdated, disconnected systems, resulting in too much effort spent doing manual tasks and not strategic work. There’s no time left in the day to report and analyze on what’s happening with campaigns in any efficient manner. And, even if there were, many agencies are dealing with a sub-par roster of metrics and analytics tools to track, report, and review campaigns.
And you better believe marketers and clients take notice.
We hear a lot of grievances of that nature – things like, “the agency keeps providing the same media plan quarter after quarter, year after year, and we aren’t trying new things or learning anything new.” Sound familiar? While that approach may build in safety and predictability, the learnings at that point are scant.
Another complaint we hear a lot comes from CEOs and CFOs who feel they are operating blindly as to what’s happening at the ground level of their businesses. Leadership lacks a transparent view across the entire organization and, with data spread across various systems and servers, taking a strategic approach to business can feel impossible.
Regardless of the type of business, executives at the top need to be able to make the right decisions at the right time. Is the company profitable? Are revenue goals being met? Are new clients being retained and is there a conversation around a new customer pipeline? Is the current client mix the right one? How are teams performing? What teams should be growing and what teams won’t be able to grow? Are productivity metrics being met? Can leadership access the right data across all teams and campaigns and make sense of it?
What ends up happening without an ability to obtain answers to these questions: a relentless focus on correcting the symptom and not the problem.
Minimizing the guesswork and gaining these insights are the key to building a successful digital agency.
Centro Platform is what instant, actionable intelligence about your client’s business – and your own – looks like.
Centro Platform provides unparalleled access to data across the entire digital media process. Information that is both accurate and up-to-date is available on demand – all in one system of record.
Insights is a customizable report builder in Centro Platform, with drag & drop functionally and visualizations, that provides an agency-wide view across campaigns. Pull reports and analytics in an instant, with charts, graphs and visualizations for easy export.
Centro Insights is invaluable when making business-level decisions. As an end-to-end solution, Centro Platform collects the immense amount of data running through your business daily and aggregates and visualizes the data for users. Over 150 unique data fields across the Centro Platform funnel data to the Insights module. Metrics range from qualitative (account team, brand name, campaign name, vendor and property names, etc.) to quantitative (measures of time, rates, spend, and more), allowing you to surface the data and narratives that drive your business.
Centro Platform Insights unites cross-functional teams and applies checks and balances from research through billing facilitation, resulting in accurate and updated data. Account teams gain data that allows them to analyze profitability of campaigns; team leads access YTD spending and rates for vendors; strategists are better equipped to negotiate with vendors; analysts have instant access to performance metrics for all campaigns one place; and finance teams can access billable and vendor payable information.
This means everyone – from buyers and planners all the way up to leadership – is operating informed and in concert with the entire team.