When implemented properly, advertising reporting software can play a pivotal role in transforming the way agencies prove value to clients, creating more strategic opportunities and chances to generate new business.
As advertising platforms proliferate, how do agencies keep up to measure advertising effectiveness?
Is advertising reporting software that important?
How can agencies leverage software to build better client reports, and how can they get the most out of their advertising reporting software while avoiding common pitfalls?
Let’s find out.
How to measure advertising effectiveness
If the medium is the message, then there are literally thousands of ways to get a message to audiences in the modern media landscape: TV, social media, digital ads, email, text, mass media, influencers, search engines, video games, streaming sponsorships; the list is growing every day.
And while all agencies daydream about seeing an ad they’ve crafted on every platform, the dream quickly shifts to reality when the client asks those three important words, “did it work?”
Along with this modern plethora of advertising platforms is an associated plethora of ways to measure and report on campaign performance and effectiveness.
Whether you are using measurement frameworks like linear attribution, marketing mix modeling, looking for higher-level metrics like brand lift, return on advertising spend (ROAS), or analyzing granular performance metrics like impressions and clicks; all of these metrics required in an agency’s reporting capabilities are critical to success...but throwing all of this into a single report is chaos.
Having reliable advertising reporting software that helps your agency align existing reporting processes with metrics that speak directly to your audience in a format they can understand is essential.
But is that exactly what advertising reporting software does?
Advertising Reporting Software Defined
The literal definition of ‘software’ is “an entire set of programs, procedures, and related documentation associated with a computer system.”
Oddly enough, the most useful definition for advertising reporting software isn’t necessarily related to a product-specific list of features, but more to the problem: what specific issues within your agency are you “hiring” the software to solve?
If an agency is shopping for advertising reporting software vendors to scale up, or solve an issue, before comparing products, ask these questions first:
- The Right Problem? Has the problem the proposed technology is meant to address been properly identified? Is it a data warehouse issue or a data visualization issue? Where is the bottleneck happening in the reporting process? What do clients say about your current presentation format?
- The Right Time Frame? How emergent is The Problem, and how long can the agency “make do” without addressing it via technology? Are the timeframes for seeing results from the new software reasonable and, is there time committed to mastering the platform?
- The Right Commitment? While the speed of digital advertising has certainly sped up thanks to technology, onboarding new advertising reporting software still requires time. In order for any technology to have a chance of fixing an issue, there has to be commitment to solving the problem.
Software alone can’t solve issues, but if the right problems and processes are identified, and there is a commitment to mastering technology to help solve the issues within a reasonable and measurable time frame, success is much more likely.
Advertising Reporting Software Do’s
- Weigh short/long value props - Those in charge of finding an advertising reporting software solution for their agency, have to remind themselves of the reasons they’re in the market in the first place, and weigh the costs and benefits of each vendor against the agency’s short term needs and long term languishing issues.
- Get buy-in - The odds of any successful transformation happening in any corporate setting is based on adoption and acceptance from the top-down. There will likely only be a few technicians of the reporting software, but there has to be a broad, functional understanding throughout the agency of the platform, and buy-in from the shareholders.
- On-boarding - On-boarding is an absolutely essential aspect to reporting software. The long term success and efficacy of any technology is dependent on a strong on-boarding experience and mastery of the platform.
- Designate internal ‘advocate’ of software - Designate an internal owner or ‘advocate’ for the software that will be 100% responsible and knowledgeable about the platform and implementation strategy.
- Establish Goals & Waypoints - It is entirely possible that an agency can see overnight results from new software, however it’s more likely to take place over longer time frames. Set up waypoints to measure software implementation progress, and establish firm definitions of what success looks like.
Advertising Reporting Software Don'ts
- Don’t Think Efficiency, Think Effectiveness - In a world where everything is automated and easy, it’s enticing to obsess over efficiency while forgetting the importance of effectiveness. Efficiency maintains output, effectiveness increases output. An agency deserves software that creates effective change in their reporting process, not just new efficiencies.
- Don’t “Set It And Forget It” - Like most apps and technology, advertising reporting software requires updates to stay current and regular maintenance in order to operate properly. Once implemented, software is an integral part of the agency and has to be monitored and maintained.
- Don’t forget, software is just a tool - Just as software can remove barriers and create new freedoms, it also can engineer new bottlenecks, bogging teams down as they tick off platform-specific boxes. The most important thing an agency can do to get the most out of their advertising reporting software, is to remind themselves that the strategy and process guides reporting, not the platform. When skilled tradecraft meets a well-designed tool, the results usually speak for themselves.
The Right Advertising Software Is The First Step, Not The Final
Agencies understand the powerful necessity of advertising reporting software, aiming to leverage technology however possible to deliver reports that prove value to clients.
However, advertising reporting software is just a tool, and only as effective as the craftspeople who wield it and the already established processes they intend to enhance with the technology.
Identifying and implementing the proper advertising reporting software for an agency is the first step, not the final one, in leveraging their client reporting process into a competitive advantage.