How to think like a Media Analyst
By Josh Schwaner, Analytics Director
For many people in a communications agency, analytics is something that’s quite daunting. But here we are going to look at the basic questions and answers to get into the mindset of thinking about data.
The whole goal of a communications agency is to make the client have the best possible business they can be through the use of branded messaging. The goal of data in that overarching plan is to augment the creatives’ or analyst's ability to track and understand if their campaigns, social media posts, or other endeavors are doing as well as they thought they were. This leads us into our first question:
1. What metric matters to you? What metric matters to the Client?
One might see that as one question, although many times clicks, likes, and views can be perceived as a metric worth following, many times those are a metric to see if a post or campaign is doing well. To truly understand if a metric is doing well for the business the question that needs to be asked are the clicks, likes, and views driving the business’s profits that both the agency is striving for and the business owner wants.
The metrics that matter are those that produce the results for the business that the communications agency was brought on to help bolster. Clicks, likes, and views mean nothing when the business is not feeling the desired effect. That is the difference on why a metric needs context and to be understood before a visualization is made to show growth. Growth needs to happen on both sides of a business.
This leads us directly into question two:
2. Are you tracking everything you want to track?
Data is beautiful when tracked from beginning, middle, and end. Being able to track data for the lifecycle of a campaign is the ultimate goal for an analytics team. This would allow weekly updates on how posts, branded hashtags, and certain types of images are doing. That all sounds like how you set yourself up for success, but without tracking that information there is no way to understand if the audience is receiving the message the agency intended for them.
If a client is looking for a better understanding of why the users of their website are not going to the desired location, it is time to use Google Analytics and track where the users are clicking. Google Analytics would allow the communication agency to track the user’s pathway through the website to create a better designed website and put branded content along the desired path to boost profits.
The final question to think about is:
3. When should analytics be applied?
Analytics should be applied all the time and should never stop. The nature of tracking, measuring, and creating insights is cyclical in nature. There will always be another campaign or some form of content that analytics can help lead the agency to better understand what the client’s audience wants.