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Visual depicting pain caused by insufficient data

What’s the difference between known and hidden pain in marketing and why is it important?

This article discusses the common advertising metrics used by agencies and the need to focus on customer-centric strategies. It also addresses the issue of data silos between the agency and customer, leading to persistent hidden pain. Zeenk offers a solution by integrating all data securely and providing a compliant environment for both parties to manage and report on the customer experience.

I had a great discussion recently with another very experienced marketing leader and we started hovering on the difference between known pain and hidden pain – or really between the issues you know about and the large hidden opportunities you are missing.

As a technology platform we interact with a lot of very smart, very capable advertising agencies and consultants. These folks know the advertising platforms and know how to get the most out of them. The language in the conversation is mostly focused on advertising metrics and terms. For example Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), and our favorites attribution and incrementality.

Traffic managers and advertising managers spend their day worrying about how to optimize and measure these various values because these items are relatively under their control, and they have been tasked with optimization of these values by their customers. Agencies work on content optimization, audience selection, top of funnel tactics reinforced with bottom of the funnel tactics.  Those actions are all very important, and at Zeenk we provide flexible reporting so advertising managers can adapt and measure their various tactics.

Which opportunities are hidden between agencies and their clients?

However, getting back to hidden pain, we have found that when we dig in jointly with the customer and the agency there are some big hidden opportunities that they both suspect are there but have not been able to measure.  These revolve around connecting the marketing strategy – creative, placement, mix, and audience to the customer offer. Finding the right customers for the customer offer can make a huge difference in value creation.  At many firms the usual 80/20 rule follows – 20% of your customers are making you 80% of your money.  The idea of customer centric strategy – marketing, business, and product – is to focus your business efforts on that 20%. This is where the big opportunity lies.

This disconnect is especially important for companies that don’t get immediate value from their marketing efforts. Lead generation for larger consumer sales, B2B, subscription services, and storefronts that sell multiple products and thus get multiple sales per customer. The companies understand this, but data silo issues consistently get in the way of connecting the advertising and user experience flow to the actual purchase history.  Thus, companies resort to some large segmentations and might ask for different CPAs on different segments. But because they can’t connect the pre-purchase user experience to the purchases they are under optimized.

Why do these silos exist and how can we break them down together to create value?

The silos exist because of the nature of the relationship between the agency and their customer. The agency is responsible for advertising – so they have all the advertising data. The customer is responsible for the offer and the product, so they have all the product information – descriptions, types etc. and cost-of-goods. For any direct sales, they also have the personal information of the buyer and the buyer’s order history.   So fundamentally the data is in two places.

The connective tissue between these two systems is in the first party tracking that the customer, or the controller of the web/mobile experience, needs to implement. They need to connect the advertising – the source and advertisement, to a visit identifier (a cookie) and then to an internal user identifier that the company provides and understands.  This set of connections requires trust and cooperation, but if implemented provides transparency on value creation to the agency and targeting to the customer.  

Once it’s connected, one of the two parties – the agency or the customer, has to integrate all the data and draw conclusions. That’s an engineering effort that is generally not justified on either side. The agency has churn concerns – thus why extend their data systems to support a specific customer’s data. The customer feels advertising data is the agency’s concern – so why implement a large system for tracking advertising.  Thus, a quandary exists, and the hidden pain persists.

How can Zeenk help?

At Zeenk, we offer a 3rd way – we are a neutral transparent platform that can integrate all the data flexibly.  As a 3rd party service provider to the agencies and their customers, we provide a GDPR compliant, secure, transparent environment that both parties can trust to securely manage, integrate, and report on the end-to-end customer experience so that everyone can capture these significant available gains.

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