Nancy Smith, president and CEO of consulting firm Analytic Partners, agreed.
“Each partner will show you their version of the truth,” she said. Although different data sources may perform well individually, Smith added, marketers want to know how these insights roll up into a total view of the business.
Despite recent efforts from digital platforms to move the needle on marketing effectiveness and attribution, advertisers like Citi say they still need help thinking through data integration projects and to ensure they have up-to-date information.
This is where agencies could help the most, but advertisers say they’re not doing enough.
“We’re not always seeing the data quality we want to be seeing [from agencies],” Wexler said. “As agencies, you guys are in a great position to become more technically adept and to do more with data. They should be showing us data quality that’s better than what we have ourselves, not just pushing us a stack.”
And for marketers, the stakes are high as media spend increasingly is consolidated among a handful of partners.
“When your CFO wonders why you spend so much with one or two partners, they want to see what’s driving impact,” Wexler said. “It’s holding us all to a higher level of rigor. Its harder and harder to defend your budget and your spend.”
But agencies fight an uphill battle as well, since their clients’ data is often siloed and simply gaining the approvals to begin data projects can take months.
It’s not uncommon for IT to be the keepers of the data warehouse while business intelligence teams mainly have marketing intel around campaign anomalies, said Tina Moffett, a senior analyst at Forrester.
“I’m seeing it as a gap within the brands,” she said. “When I worked at GE, we had a marketing data technologist who was responsible for the quality of data. We need to get grounded in the fundamentals before we can begin to manage cross-channel attribution. Data stitching is still the biggest hurdle to measuring marketing effectiveness.”