(By Bob McCurdy) Several weeks ago I wrote a blog about a chance meeting I had with an agency CEO in an airport and our subsequent discussion regarding radio accountability and analytics. It can be found here.
I had a follow-up meeting with this individual and his team along with my attribution provider, Analytic Owl, late last week. It was spirited and productive on a number of different levels.
The agency had seven executives participate in the meeting and what came across very quickly was their level of professionalism, knowledge, and intense interest in their clients’ success. These “guys” were pros, had done their homework, and knew what they were talking about. They were clearly a reflection of their boss, who requested a one-on-one Analytic Owl webinar last Sunday in preparation for this meeting. This agency’s clients are in good hands.
After 90 minutes of discussion, with the Analytic Owl folks playing the role of Gladys Knight and me primarily the role of a Pip, there was a considerably greater understanding and appreciation regarding the directional insights that these analytics could provide their clients and how they might contribute to the optimization of any radio campaign.
There were a few key takeaways for me from this meeting:
– There was no debate about the ability of radio to set the table for online search.
– As with any analytics, data, or statistics, there are dangers in parsing too finitely. Directional insights in terms of station, creative, and daypart performance can be sufficiently precise to optimize any media campaign — digital, traditional, or both. Quantifying to the decimal point the exact role each medium played in the purchase of any product/service remains the impossible dream due to the incredible complexity and zig-zag nature of the purchase journey in today’s fragmented media environment.
– Have the right people on hand for these kinds of high-value, one-chance-for-a-first-impression opportunities in the form of compelling “support” expertise. Watching and listening to the Analytic Owl team in action made me smarter and more capable of explaining and positioning the benefits of Analytic Owl, Google Analytics, and analytics in general to an experienced, sophisticated audience. Utilize them.
– Do not hesitate to reach out to your analytics provider, milking them for every ounce of expertise in positioning their product. Our goal should be to become their “mini me” when it comes to positioning our data capabilities.
– These types of meetings often result in some side benefits. Analytics aside, this dialogue actually may have contributed to an unrelated solution as to how this client might improve on their current media channel quantification protocol.
I followed up with the agency CEO later that day to get his “take” on the session. In addition to agreeing that this type of data can enable them to elevate the radio conversation (the plan is to put Owl to work for this client), he said something that caused some uneasiness when he once again stated, “You know if I had access to this data several years ago, I would have likely been able to keep ‘X’ client advertising in radio.”
I’m not sure if Analytic Owl and other similar companies were even around two years ago but they are now. And while we can’t go back in time, each of us, who have access to analytic data, has the responsibility to make sure to review these analytic capabilities with every client, thus decreasing the likelihood of any agency or key advertiser ever saying, “If only we were aware of or had access to this data….”
As the industry’s analytic capabilities proliferate there needs to be uniform industry analytic standards so that all within the radio industry are speaking the same language. The good news is that this process also began last week.
Bob McCurdy is The Vice President of Sales for The Beasley Media Group.