Home AdExchanger Talks Analytic Partners’ Nancy Smith On Why It’s Time To Give Up On Data Perfection

Analytic Partners’ Nancy Smith On Why It’s Time To Give Up On Data Perfection


Digital advertising shouldn’t be too upset to see its precision via user-level data go away.

Even though multi-touch attribution held so much promise, tracking a consumer all the way through their journey was tough, Analytic Partners President and CEO Nancy Smith says on AdExchanger Talks.

“To reconcile that satellite view with the hand-to-hand combat view was incredibly challenging,” she adds.

Instead of being “hyper-focused on data perfection, data acquisition and data wrangling,” companies should think about what outcomes they want to drive, then figure out what data they need in order to improve that outcome, she advises.

But in-house data expertise is hard.

Smith founded Analytic Partners 20 years ago, after working in-house at personal care brand Clairol and seeing how hard it was to forecast consumer demand. Hair dye has a short shelf life, and marketing needs to communicate across multiple levels in the business to make and sell enough product.

Analytic Partners bridges that gap by combining tech with services to help brands use the data they gather.

Apple’s ATT rollout last year and the pressure of US privacy laws have made signal loss a top-of-mind topic over the past year, but Analytic Partners already reoriented its business a few years ago, after European law GDPR went into effect. The company moved away from an attribution add-on offering to forwarding the idea of “commercial analytics.”

Brands can understand the impact of Amazon, both on and off its platform, but insights don’t go much deeper than a channel level. And by using granular location data to gauge marketing impact, brands can tolerate fuzziness in user data.

“The industry looks at ROAS or ROI,” Smith says. “We need to move toward a more forward-looking decisioning where we understand the risks, opportunities and uncertainties and can make better decisions as a result.”

For more articles featuring Nancy Smith, click here.

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