There is no disputing the marketing and advertising technology landscapes have become overwhelming for many brand marketers over the past decade. It can be difficult to identify exactly which metrics are the most important and which tools you should be putting in your technology stack. As a result, brands are turning to their hired agencies to take the lead on where their data collection comes from.
Now, to be clear, we don’t feel there is anything wrong with an agency making recommendations and helping a brand understand which sources of data to trust and how to get started. However, somewhere along the line, many brands stopped owning their own data completely and handed over full control to their agencies. This trend is concerning because it leaves brands in a tricky position should the relationship with their agency ever change.
Owning Your Tech Stack
In order to promote transparency and have complete control over their historical data, brands need to own their own technology stack. This means the purchase of the technology itself needs to be completed by the end client and not by the agency. Once the transaction is complete, the brand can hand the keys over to the agency and let them manage the software on their behalf.
We understand the setup and management of various platforms may not be within the bandwidth of the brand marketing team. We know this from experience with the end clients of some of our own agency clients, who have told us their end clients never log into gShift directly, but would rather leave data management, analysis and reporting to the agency.
However, as with the cases of most advertising and marketing technology platforms, we offer our agencies the ability to resell the software directly to their clients. So even if they are managing the entire system on behalf of their clients, at the end of the day, it is the end-client who has signed the contract.
Validating Data Sets
When a brand builds a technology stack, which they own and can access, both they and their agency can use various pieces of the stack to validate data from any of the other sources. Many marketing technologies overlap or are complementary and can be used to validate one another. For instance, maybe the brand marketer has noticed certain organic traffic trends in their Google Analytics data and would like to see if the same trends are revealed in their SEO platform.
Having the ability for either themselves or their agency partner to login to both solutions and access the data makes this validation process more seamless, efficient and effective.
Transparency in Agency & Client Relationships
Moving towards this type of a configuration with ownership and management of the data, between brand marketers and their agencies, can also lead to a greater level of transparency in the relationship. Although, as the end client,the brand may never log into the software directly, being the owner of the data provides the option to do so if it’s ever need. This not only give brands a better sense of control over their data, but also helps to build trust between the agency and their clients who can have a better view of exactly how their campaigns are performing.
When all is said and done, building a client/agency relationship based on transparency can also strengthen the long-term relationship, as it helps to remove concerns and questions over performance, which can linger and lead to dissatisfied parties on both sides.