Business April 13, 2020 Last updated April 13th, 2020 1,220 Reads share

Stop Fixing Your Paid Media Analytics: How to Automate Tracking

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Being able to measure the successes of digital marketing strategies with data-driven insights often drives paid media analytics. However, research by the Proxima Group has found that 40-60% of companies are spending their digital budgets ineffectively. In this post, we will outline some of the common mistakes companies make with their media analytics. We will then look at steps you can take to automate your media analytics tracking. 

Common Mistakes in Media Analytics

Before moving on to address some of the ways automation can improve digital marketing results, it is useful to explore some of the main mistakes to avoid in media analytics. Here, we outline 5 of the common mistakes that you should seek to avoid:


  • Lack of Oversight


Digital marketing campaigns tend to involve a variety of stakeholders. However, given they will likely involve external agencies as well as internal teams and creative people alongside analysts, ensuring someone has effective oversight is key. Indeed, these different groups may not be able to communicate well with each other. To prevent this mistake it is vital to ensure someone maintains responsibility over how the digital media campaign is defined, executed, and tracked. 


  • Mushrooming Technological Solutions


Platforms and channels offering technical solutions in marketing have exploded from 150 in 2011 to over 7,000 in 2019 according to MarTech. This means that single enterprises can be engaging with 100s of channels and platforms at a time. However, working with multiple platforms adds complexity to the monitoring process making it harder to have proper oversight. It is vital to understand marketing technology and how it should work if you are going to be able to use it effectively for media analytics.  


  • Not Enough Tracking


Whether it is emails, social media posts or adverts, unless you are reviewing the analytics you won’t know what works and what doesn’t. Collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data ensures you can learn how effective your marketing strategy is. From improving website traffic from social media platforms to knowing your top-performing content, tracking your marketing efforts is vital to ensure you make data-driven decisions that reduce risk.  Good use of analytics also allows you to better predict strategies that will work in the future.   


  • Decentralized Metadata


Frequently, using multiple technological solutions also causes issues with metadata use. Indeed, using multiple platforms can lead to your data being used in silos. It also requires manual work adding in the possibility for human error. For example, metadata, such as tracking codes, customer details, and campaign information, may be stored in separate locations and uploaded to analytic platforms. Each sheet has space for human error, as does each individual upload. 


  • Lack of Automation


Manually completing tasks that can be automated guarantees inefficiency. When you consider that large-scale marketing campaigns can be hugely demanding on the resources of your organization, this point becomes even more important. However, automation can do more than improve efficiency and can actually free up budgets, help you to improve customer interactions, and ensure you gather meaningful analytics. 

How to Automate Tracking for Better Media Analytics

Manual data entry tasks across multiple platforms and teams increase the likelihood of error in media campaigns. However, not every task can be automated and it important to consider workflow, appropriate software, and the need for training when automating your marketing processes. It is also vital to evaluate the effectiveness of your automation processes with periodic reviews to ensure you remain able to dynamically respond to market changes.

Here, we outline how to automate your marketing processes in 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Identify Tasks for Automation

Typically tasks that are repetitive are ripe for automation. However, plotting out marketing tasks and thinking through which ones are both suitable for automation and either time-consuming or risky in terms of human error, can be very useful. For example, a typical media campaign will start with the creation of an insertion order outlining the budget and parameters for an ad campaign. It will then be created in an online buying platform and tagged. 

The tagged information then needs to be manually added to a demand-side platform (DSP), an analytics platform, and be manually checked. Clearly, these three manual stages appear labor intensive and have plenty of space for human error. They are also repetitive and time-consuming, making them potentially suitable for automation.

Step 2: Choose Appropriate Software for Automation

As noted, there are now thousands of marketing technology solutions. However, it is important to choose the right software for specific tasks. Try to find software packages designed for a specific industry rather than generic ones. Lots of platforms offer free trials so you should always try things first before making any longer-term commitments.  

Continuing on from the step 1 example, the appropriate software to deal with tag checking, validation, and metadata standardization, would be a governance platform. As well as offering campaign management, automation of emails, budgeting tools, site visitor tracking, and personalization of messages, governance platforms are able to bulk export metadata to DSPs and automate the necessary structural transformations.   

Step 3: Team Training

Training is essential when seeking to add automation into marketing campaigns that used to be manually dependent. Automation can seem daunting to people but actually offers them more time to focus on complex tasks, freeing up your resources. It also ensures consistency of data and makes it easier to deliver useful marketing analytics on ad and social media campaigns. Skills in marketing automation are likely to become increasingly important in the 2020s, so this should be something that improves employee satisfaction too.

Step 4: Periodic Review

When working in analytics you recognize the value of data-driven change. That’s why the process of automation itself should always be evaluated. If you have implemented automation but have not improved your key metrics, then you need to be able to spot this. You also need to be able to respond to market changes and adapt your system accordingly. Regular evaluation of your automation processes will allow you to consider its effectiveness and spot areas for further improvement.


Relying on too many manual processes will never deliver the quality campaign insights now available with more automated processes. It is also vital to recognize the importance of oversight in digital marketing, if budgets are not to be wasted. That is where automation comes in, freeing up staff and resources whilst providing clearer, more consistent analytics. Automated governance platforms make it easy to build-in high-quality tracking processes to your media campaigns.