Campaign Analyst at CMI/Compas.
What is your professional background?
Out of college, I worked as a social media coordinator for various corporations. I did that for about a year until I became a Business Analyst for a privately owned international merchandising business. After that, I worked in a healthcare setting at a local non-profit as a Marketing Coordinator. It wasn’t until my current position as a Campaign Analyst in pharmaceutical advertising that I was able to utilize my whole skillset.
What inspired you to choose advertising for your career?
Originally, I had chosen Advertising because it was such a big field with many different job types (e.g. media, creative, accounts, etc.), each with unique responsibilities. It was a perfect major for me to choose in college since I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do professionally. After enjoying working as a data analyst/student researcher, I discovered that data science was becoming a sudden "hot" field, especially in advertising. So I’d say it was partially research I did both in school and on my own on different types of work in advertising- combined with my experiences as a part-time data analyst for my community college- that inspired me to pursue a career in advertising.
In layman's terms, how does campaign analysis work?
If I had to break down good campaign analysis into parts, they would be: defining goal[s], measurement planning, data collection, and generating insights for optimization recommendations. I think the best way to explain how campaign analysis works would be to explain how these parts work:
Defining Goal[s] (Think: Why are you advertising?) - First and foremost, it is necessary to define what you are trying to accomplish with your advertising (e.g. selling more products, raising awareness, increasing market share, etc.). You can then usually break down your overall goal into objectives that need to be achieved in order to accomplish your goal[s].
Measurement Planning (Think: Is your advertising succeeding?) - After you’ve established what objectives need to be completed in order to accomplish your goal, you must work with all parties involved to come up with how you will measure the campaign’s success. The publisher partners, creative agencies/personnel, and the technology you have at your disposal all factor into what is measurable. For example, if you are trying to increase awareness, you may want to track and optimize your advertising’s reach frequency. If you are saturating a relatively small audience, optimizing to a smaller frequency will allow your advertising to reach a larger audience. It doesn’t end there, as you will want to optimize your impression pacing with your publisher partners (businesses you work with who publish your ads to their media such as websites, journals, emails, etc.) as well to make sure your campaign can evenly cover a month with little to no dark spots.
Data Collection (Think: What can you measure in the campaign?) - This plays a key role in being able to measure the success of your campaign. If the path to your goal involves specific actions you want to see in your audience, you will want to make sure you have the right tools at your disposal when you’re still on the planning phase of how to measure your campaign’s success. The data collection step also comes into play for delivering insights for how to best optimize your campaign, as you will likely have multiple sources of data reporting on various dimensions of the campaign (e.g. spend, reach, actions, visits, audience behavior, etc.). Which brings us to the final part…
Generating Insights and Optimization Recommendations (Think: How can you improve your advertising?) - This is the part of the job that differentiates the human workers from the computers. After successfully launching a campaign, you will be responsible for guiding your client’s business by presenting them with actionable insights of how to increase the effectiveness of the campaign. Say you have a few months’ worth of data, and you just aren’t seeing any progress toward reaching your campaign’s yearly goal. It may be time to communicate to your client that you may need to revisit goals, or redefine which metrics are invaluable to the success of the campaign. You may find that the campaign itself is not capable of reaching the original goals as predicted, or the strategy must be revised.
What’s your average day like?
My average day has somewhat evolved into more of a leadership role among my CA colleagues. Most of my client-facing work involves monthly reporting of campaigns, while my "behind-the-scenes" entails trafficking ads and working with publisher partners to optimize campaigns. Between reporting and trafficking (and I’m quite happy that my company heavily supports this), I’ll teach internal classes, usually on how to use specific technologies we have at our disposal and the best practices for said technologies. The technologies would usually support our reporting and trafficking efforts. Our department has bi-weekly meetings to discuss new business, praise colleagues’ accomplishments, and discuss upcoming events that are usually optional, but are typically relevant to our professional development in the industry.
What has been your greatest accomplishment at CMI/Compas?
I will always believe that the greatest accomplishments I’ve had at CMI/Compas have been when we make a client really happy. Something as simple-on-paper as successfully setting up a campaign on schedule and maintaining positive momentum for said campaign is actually a relative rarity in the industry, and ensures customer satisfaction and allows for the possibility of all other endeavors (e.g. white papers, networking, new studies in digital landscapes, etc.).
What are the most common mistakes that can occur with campaign analysis?
One mistake that I find is somewhat common specifically when conducting ad hoc analyses is coming up with only one hypothesis for a theory. Whether it be digging to find out why or what in a campaign is succeeding, failing, or anything in between, it is the best practice to have multiple hypotheses about what the answers could be. People in general who have a single hypothesis about any given situation will always seemingly be able to prove their hypothesis to be true. This is not because people generally always make correct guesses about any given situation, but because usually the situations they are analyzing have several variables, dimensions, and metrics. This will almost always result in any one being able to create the "correct" parameters to make their single hypothesis true. The moral of this story is to always have multiple hypotheses when developing insights, troubleshooting campaign problems, or really on any data driven endeavor.
What software programs have you found to be effective?
My company’s standard software for reporting is quickly becoming Tableau. It’s a relatively new database managing tool and is always updating with new features. While there is a free web-based version available to anyone online, the paid version keeps your data private, which is usually necessary when doing client work. We have yet to find a database Tableau has not been able to manage.
What opportunities are now becoming available for businesses to take advantage of?
Technologies are evolving seemingly daily to measure the once immeasurable. Experts and specialists who master one specific platform, audience, method of measurement or, really, any combination of these are in high demand. At CMI, we consider ourselves leaders of the digital buying landscape with cutting edge technology on the programmatic buying front, as well as the means to measure the once unmeasurable (Ad Verification, Viewability, Non-human traffic, user behavior, healthcare professional deep dives, and more). Over the past few years, CMI has grown exponentially, nearly tripling our staff. That said, we are always looking for the best talent to lead our media planning, analyzing, and operative efforts. We’re serious about maintaining the highly talented staff fostered over the years, which is why the majority of our new employees are referrals. Even supervisors, directors, and VPs have come from referrals. Speaking of which, if you are reading this and believe you may be interested at pursuing a career at our fine pharmaceutical advertising agency, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be sure to follow up with information about our industry leading positions.
What do you foresee in the near future?
I foresee further increases in accuracy for targeted advertising, as there always seem to be new, improved methods of tracking users’ actions in digital landscapes. And with increasingly accurate targeted advertising comes more ways to track and measure the success of said advertising. We do, after all, live in a digital age.
What about the long term?
Who knows? Perhaps we’ll discover a way to serve ads that are completely tailored to every single individual in your targeted audience.
What books/blogs/materials about campaign analysis would you recommend?
I’ve always been a fan of Advertising Age when it comes to general news in the industry. For updates in the pharma advertising industry, MM&M (Medical Marketing & Media) is my go-to site.
What advice would you give to someone looking to becoming involved with campaign analysis?