A year in review from a rookie working with data-driven advertising.
As an account services employee spending the majority of my time analyzing data for a dot-com client, my days are spent drawing conclusions on campaigns using available data from multiple sources. From my time pulling unorganized raw data, writing query strings, and interpreting piles of information, I’ve learned the following lessons over the last year related to data and how it impacts advertising.
Making Raw Data Pretty
There are many times when you’re in a situation where you need to make sense of a pile of numbers and you don’t know where to begin. From my experience thus far I’ve found that YouTube is your best friend; if you have a question, odds are someone else has had it too (and they’ve made a helpful video about it).
Here are some of my favorite lessons so far:
- Weighted average calculations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvxW4QEVsTs
- Pivot-table uses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZvJniF6IPY
- Data validation dropdown lists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yychXPx2gUY
When it Comes to UTMs, You CAN Have Too Many Questions
When writing Urchin Tracking Modules (UTMs) for the sake of correctly tracking any digital campaign, you want to always have just one question mark symbol within your query string. Many landing pages, specifically deep-linked pages, already have some sort of a query string. Note the example below:
A question mark (?) is already within the string, if I need to add, say, this UTM rule to the URL: ‘?utm_source=src_30&utm_medium=med_5’ I’ll need to change the ? to an ampersand symbol (&) for it to work correctly.
The final product will look like this:
Interpreting Data – So What Does That Mean Exactly...
Interpreting data for a business varies by the client. Depending upon the type of business, how that business is positioned, and what that business is doing to promote, all impact what metrics matter at a certain time. Top-line metrics shouldn’t ever be ignored, but how they are interpreted is both a science and an art depending upon any client’s goals. Red flags will stand out, trend lines will spike and dip, but each client should be given the individual attention they need based on their needs and goals.
Jack McGinn is an Account Coordinator at Cuneo Advertising