Repeat After Us: Manual Agency Reporting Tools Will Not Hold Me Back

With multiple clients running ads across multiple platforms, you’ve likely got oodles of data. Do you really have time to sift through all of it and still hit your deadlines? Or are you a part of the 78 percent of marketers who believe the current way of working can be improved? 

Don’t get us wrong — you need this data. But you definitely don’t need to get bogged down in it. With data comes better understanding, smarter decision-making, and greater capacity for growth — IF you can manage it, analyze it, and learn from it. After all, you can’t take on more clients, if you can’t efficiently manage the accounts you already have.

So here’s the good and bad news: You’re not alone! The majority of marketers are spending so much time gathering and organizing data, they’re falling behind on the analysis required to optimize campaigns. In fact, 6 out of 10 respondents to a 2020 survey agreed that their biggest marketing department problems came from ineffective insight and overview.

In a new e-book, “5 Days of Affirmations for Highly Discouraged Digital Advertising Professionals,” we explore the challenges marketers face when trying to manage disconnected paid ad campaign data that’s spread out across siloed ad platforms. Let’s take a look at some of the top stats we uncover in the e-book below. 

Affirmation: Spreadsheets Do Not Define Me

Raise your hand if you’ve got at least one spreadsheet open on your computer right now.

We see you, spreadsheet warrior. You spend hours downloading and cleaning up data, and you have the eye strain to prove it. According to one study, a whopping 78 percent of marketers only use Excel, Word, and Powerpoint to manage their marketing organization.

*Record scratch*

What?! Is it 2021, or did we just go backwards 20 years?

Consider this:

  • 88 percent of all spreadsheets contain at least one error.
  • AND sometimes those errors cause really big problems, like this: nearly 16,000 Coronavirus cases went unreported in England due to poor Excel usage.

And if that’s not enough, according to Cisco, Microsoft Office formats are some of the most prevalent malicious file extensions in emails.

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Spreadsheets are starting to look a little old-fashioned and, well, just plain scary, now, aren’t they? And get this: industry analyst firm Gartner reported that digital marketers spend more time preparing data for analysis than actually analyzing the data. A separate study discovered that data professionals spend 40 percent of their time collecting and cleaning data but only 11 percent of their time translating data into valuable insights and sharing them with their teams.

Data collection and analysis is messy, chaotic, and sometimes has terrible consequences when spreadsheets are involved. So how do you clean it up? You have to start by removing the need to download reports from the many siloed ad platforms running in your multi-channel campaign.  

Affirmation: I Will Reduce Distraction and Errors in My Reporting Process

According to a study by a pair of Harvard psychologists, 46.9 percent of a person’s waking hours are spent thinking about something other than what they’re currently doing. Wow.

So, for nearly half of our day, we’re distracted by things that have happened or will happen (or that we want to happen, like meeting up with friends for Taco Tuesday), and not concentrating on the tasks at hand. This can have big implications for your agency reporting, especially when using outdated tools.

Human error and distraction are the natural enemies of good data. Yet both are incredibly common at work. Did you know that being distracted can cause workers to make twice as many mistakes? As long as humans work, humans will keep getting distracted at work. We’re not machines, and that’s a good thing. But it means even the best digital marketers are bound to make mistakes every now and then. That’s why improving your processes and supporting them with great technology is so important.

Now here’s some really good news: New technologies are emerging to meet the needs of marketers. Advertising Intelligence centralizes and standardizes ad data and empowers marketers to organize and customize metrics, visualize results, and optimize performance and ad spend.

Here’s what you should look for when considering using an Advertising Intelligence platform to connect your data sources:

  • Seamless, automated connections to the most-used ad channels.
  • Simple DIY data connections for all other platforms via email or direct upload.
  • Secure data storage that prioritizes your data privacy.
  • Accessible historical data that makes year-over-year comparisons and trend analysis simple.
  • Hassle-free ad agency dashboard features that turn your data into impactful reports.

With connected data that’s automatically standardized, you never have to open a spreadsheet or create a pivot table to see and understand campaign results. You also never have to feel guilty about losing your focus for a few minutes to envision the very large platter of assorted tacos you plan to consume that evening. 

With growing volumes of data to manage and an ever-shifting paid advertising landscape, manual campaign data management in questionable tools can keep even the most savvy agency from growing and competing. But that’s not going to be you. 

By staying on top of advertising industry trends and implementing leading edge reporting tools, your agency can thrive. After just 90 days, one agency using Lumenad reduced their reporting time by 40 percent. 40 PERCENT!

So say it with us, “I am a b(ad)ass marketer!” 

Okayyyyyy…good start. But that was a little soft. Next time, we want to hear you ALL THE WAY IN MONTANA!