Effective marketing starts with the right business KPIs and transparency


At a recent breakfast roundtable in London, DataXu was joined by advertisers and independent agency executives to discuss the way marketing KPIs are set and measured. The lively session saw a lot of agreement around several key themes:

1) Advertisers Should Have The Final Say Around Business KPIs

A study conducted in the first quarter of 2017 on behalf of DataXu found that 10% of UK executives across advertisers and agencies felt that agencies should be responsible for delineating KPIs. But when discussed at the roundtable event, the advertisers present were adamant that control should live with the brand. This left participants with the key takeaway that while agencies have valuable experience that should be brought into the discussion, the advertiser should be the final decision maker around the metrics that matter to their business.

2) Trust Comes From Transparency

Advertisers will always feel more confident in their programmatic partnerships when they have a clear line of sight into all facets of campaign strategy and performance. While there have been some difficult industry conversations around this topic in the past, the agencies around the table highlighted recent business wins that were based upon a transparent approach to media buying and outcome measurement. This fact revealed that we, as an industry, are shifting away from incumbent non-transparent business practices that had caused occasional tension between programmatic partners.

RELATED: Strengthen your business relationships with our Programmatic Partnership Models White Paper.

In addition, the advertisers in the room mentioned that they are now either experimenting with programmatic through non-agency platforms or building out their own tech stack to take the whole process in-house. With these changes and shifts in operation, it became clear at the event that in order to create effective marketing, transparency and trust are key elements in programmatic partnerships.

3) Aligning Data Sets Is Vital

There needs to be an increased focus on connecting the various data sets that show how consumers are reached by advertiser messages, and any subsequent reaction to said messaging. Without this alignment, participants at the event reluctantly accepted that advertisers’ budgets can’t be truly optimized. In the development of this initiative, advertiser participants were heartened both by technology advances in the area and, more importantly, by the fact that the ecosystem does include reputable vendors and partners who are willing to work together with the advertiser’s best interests at heart. This allows for closer, more collaborative triadic advertiser, agency and ad tech vendor relationships that create truly effective marketing.

It was the renowned US engineer William Edwards Deming who said, “In God we trust; all others bring data”. Perhaps that may be a good mantra for helping advertisers, agencies and ad tech partners to bear in mind for their next combined strategic review and planning meeting.

Interested in learning more about our transparent and collaborative approach with brands and agencies? Book a meeting with us at DMEXCO on September 13-14 in Cologne, Germany.


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