Author: Sharath George, Lead Analyst, Social & Digital Insights
It’s a problem as old as the Tower of Babel: how to interpret data consistently across a heterogeneous array of digital properties, including branded and unbranded websites, social channels and other assets with overlapping, often contradictory metrics?
If you are involved in tracking the success across digital and social campaigns and channels, some of these examples might seem familiar:
- You asked the vendors handling your multiple social channels to post similar content related to your recent product launch. The vendor managing your Facebook account reported high engagement on their posts, but those engagement numbers include the new ‘reactions’- many of which include comments related to product side effects. Is this better or worse than the Twitter engagement numbers?
- The vendor that handles your Facebook account claims to have gotten more views for your videos than on YouTube, but you’ve heard that YouTube and Facebook differ in how they count a video ‘auto-play’ as a view. Is Facebook too generous in their view count or did they really do better?
- Some of your marketing team believes you should divert spend from the branded website to social channels, which have high engagement levels. However, you are unable to compare website engagement metrics such as ‘average time on site’ with metrics from the social channels, so how do you decide?
Who can you approach for the data to resolve these challenges? Your vendor for one channel hardly has an incentive to make their numbers comparable with that of another, especially if one of them will come out worse. There are no industry standards for social media metrics which you can rely on, either. In the ever evolving social space, every social network wants to become THE social network. Until social media companies settle into their niches and acknowledge that other networks have their own, this situation is unlikely to change.
Given this scenario, companies require a 'single source of truth' apart from their regional or channel specific agencies. This source should be able to:
- Identifying the right KPIs to measure the success of a digital channel of campaign
- Provide a consolidated view of performance across channels and geographies, using algorithms that factor in and even out the differing metrics and their definitions.
- Give recommendations on how to optimize budget spends
- Identify top performing content and recommend when, where and how to replicate them
- Benchmark company performance against competitors
- Set goals and track their fulfillment at various levels in the digital marketing organization
As the mosaic of digital channels continues to grow and change, marketers who look at different channels in isolated silos will find it difficult to succeed at a global scale. To make informed decisions, you need a measurement system that is as dynamic and fluid as the channels you work with.
Today’s pharmaceutical brand managers' face many similar challenges when deciding how to improve their digital campaigns. At DRG, we help brands resolve many of their analytics challenges, such as:
- Data silos – brands often have data housed in disconnected databases which prohibits a holistic, cross-channel view of performance
- Metric overload – brands often are given too many different reports and metrics, with no clear connection to their campaign goals, impairing their ability to take action
- Partner paralysis – Brands use many different vendors and agency partners who may have different timelines and conflicting interests