Agency

Written by Ohad Flinker September 20, 2021

Why Spreadsheets Are the Leading Cause of Digital Agency Death

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The competitive edge of any independent digital agency hinges on the leadership team’s ability to run a lean shop without compromising on long-term growth. Those teams managing a digital agency like it’s still 2019 are in for a rude awakening. In particular, a digital agency’s approach to paid media strategy is a good indicator for success. Ask any paid media team leader how much time and effort is sucked up by spreadsheets.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the daily grind of manual data analysis and reporting. No matter how well oiled your paid media machine is, spreadsheets will not enable digital agencies to scale the business as more clients become increasingly demanding.

Manual Data Analysis Chokes at Scale 

Paradoxically, a digital agency is more likely to hit a scalability cap as paid media budgets grow. As paid media budgets grow, experiments inevitably span multiple networks. That means the media team must optimize, monitor, and report on KPIs (namely CPC, CPL, and ROAS) collating data from multiple networks competing for the same budgets. The challenge is so complex that some media teams are no longer busy maximizing ROAS. They are simply doing their best to provide visibility into spend and performance – with varying degrees of success.

Win New Business by Spinning Big Data into Big Ideas 

Arguably the most prolific agency founder and copywriter of the golden age of advertising, David Ogilvy seeded the notion that advertising is all about big ideas. While a powerful idea in and of itself, that romantic notion is often lost in a mountain of data. It’s tempting to let any one big idea take a back seat to the rule of big data. Ideally, the best advertisers will find a way to blend data and ideas to deliver results. Striking the right balance between the two is what digital advertising is all about. The reality is that success is driven by an agency’s ability to onboard new accounts without skipping a beat – all while optimizing increasing spend across multiple networks. An agency’s ability to scale means processing that mountain of big data consistently, generating insights consistently, and communicating with the client team. Together, agencies and clients can stay on top of the big data heap so that the big idea can shine through. That is the challenge every independent agency faces.

This Looks Like a Job for A Data Scientist

Imagine you are the account executive in heading paid media at a booming digital agency. Your paid media team is split on the performance results of your top account. Is the campaign a winner or a dud? Native attribution tools (optimized to maximize spend) suggest you’re delivering decent ROAS. Google Analytics attribution integrated only just a few months ago presents a less optimistic prognosis. Nobody on your team is a data scientist, but they’ve taken a few data science classes. It really depends on the attribution model, how you calculate ROAS, and whether everyone on the team has been working with the right set of pivot tables. The first quarterly results meeting with the client team is tomorrow morning. What should you tell them?

Become Your Client’s Secret Digital Growth Weapon  

Even if your paid media team is on top of every account, the data crunch will just keep getting tougher. As budgets increase across multiple networks, onboarding new clients and team members becomes exponentially more complex. To stay ahead of the game, the top paid media teams are looking for dedicated solutions that can automate the mundane and error prone task of performance reporting. 

 

 

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About Ohad Flinker

Ohad leads content strategy focusing on growth marketing insights in the age of digital transformation. A passionate adopter of disruptive technologies in nascent markets, he shares the narratives that sound like speculative fiction at first pitch, but inevitably define the New Normal. Ohad celebrated his honeymoon at Burning Man’s largest community generated gathering of Kryptonians on the planet – aptly themed Metropolis.