Why Agencies Need Marketing Intelligence to Survive and Thrive

February 20, 2018 Ginna Hall

These are challenging times for agencies. The digital transformation has changed the way consumers interact with brands and many are struggling to keep up. C-level executives in all industries need help driving business. But many firms have not been able to realign in the digital era to deliver value to their clients.

Until recently, agencies managed only three channels: print, radio and television. Now they are expected to be experts in traditional marketing and all things digital: programmatic, search engine marketing, video, social media, and email marketing, with more new channels every day.

Brands need agency partners that can help their businesses achieve revenue and efficiency goals. Agencies need to move out of their comfort zone and embrace analytics as well as creativity.

Financial pressure mounts for both brands and agencies. Brands have stakeholders who demand growth. Agencies are doing more with less, fees have been cut, and workloads have increased as profit margins shrink. There is more competition than ever as publishers, technology firms and development shops slice off pieces of the pie that agencies traditionally owned.

One of the biggest obstacles facing agencies today is their client’s slow adoption and embrace of modern marketing tactics, technology and tools.

In a recent study, agencies report that the greatest challenges for addressing clients’ marketing needs include:

  • Clients are not fully utilizing the tools they have to improve and monitor ROI (38 percent)
  • Clients are unaware of which technique can best meet their needs (24 percent)
  • Clients haven’t allocated enough resources for modernizing their marketing campaigns (22 percent)
  • Clients are not willing to invest in new technologies (13 percent)

Moving Out of Your Comfort Zone

Brands need agency partners that can help their businesses achieve revenue and efficiency goals. Agencies need to move out of their comfort zone and embrace analytics as well as creativity.

When you can bolster your ideas with measurable data and results, you have a foundation that will help you differentiate your agency and thrive. To do that, you have to be able to measure everything you do and be transparent with the results. But because consumers travel a tangled digital path to brands, measurement has never been more complex.

New Solutions for a New Era

Traditional marketing mix modeling is a common approach to marketing measurement used by many brands and agencies. The strength of this approach is that it can be used across all channels and incorporates the influence of exogenous factors. It’s effective for providing high-level insights on how to best allocate spend between channels.

But in today’s digital/addressable world, agencies need a new strategy and better tools to measure results in real time, accurately understand effectiveness, and prove their value. When agencies use marketing mix modeling in tandem with multi-touch attribution, they gain a granular understanding of how channels, tactics and budgets are performing on a daily basis. This is actionable marketing intelligence.

How Marketing Intelligence Helps Agencies Thrive

Marketing intelligence provides a holistic view of marketing and media performance in the context of key audiences.

By combining people-based insight with multi-touch attribution, it helps agencies understand audience attributes and how different audiences interact with a brand across channels and devices.

When you combine consumer profile data with tactical marketing performance data, agencies see a consolidated view of every marketing interaction that leads to a successful outcome for your clients.

Instead of drowning in a sea of siloed data, you gain real-time insight into the marketing tactics and messages that influence specific audiences, so you can maximize your client’s budget and create relevant and personalized experiences that drive results.

Many agencies help clients manage media investments across multiple channels. As stewards of these investments, you need to know which tactics are driving value at a granular level—by creative, keyword, placement, and more—and how to amplify those.

You also need to know which things aren’t working so you can move spend into more effective campaigns. With better marketing intelligence, you have the ability to react quickly and shift budgets and strategy when the market or competition shifts to serve clients more efficiently and drive results.

Three Benefits of Marketing Intelligence for Agencies

1. Transparency

CMOs need your help proving that every dollar spent on marketing is generating more revenue than the original dollar invested. Without a holistic overview, it’s hard to show a client what’s in market and what’s working so that you can prove ROI. Nielsen Attribution lets you know what’s going on at all times so that you can answer client questions easily and be more transparent.

2. Efficiency

Teams typically spend hours pulling data, building spreadsheets, analyzing the information, creating charts and graphs, and formatting reports to share with clients. Nielsen Attribution streamlines these steps in a custom dashboard built to show brand KPIs and results.

3. Results

With the ability to more accurately understand performance within and across channels at any level of granularity, measure results, and optimize in near real-time, you gain the power and speed to reallocate budget to high-performing efforts to boost revenue even higher and deliver the results your clients need.

Empowering Agencies

Nielsen is the most agency-friendly marketing intelligence provider in the market. We understand your challenges, and have empowered thousands of agency users with the tools they need to improve productivity, differentiate themselves, deliver value for their clients, and become invaluable partners in their future success.

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