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Media Buying Is a Data Integration Game
Media Buying Is a Data Integration Game

Media Buying Is a Data Integration Game

Let's talk media buying in the data age.

By Tim Shea, September 23, 2020

In 2020, media buying agencies are squaring up against a two-headed existential problem: a sprawling data integration puzzle on one hand, and a relentless pressure to differentiate and preserve margins on the other.

First, modern digital agencies have their mission-critical data stored in anywhere between 10 and 30 different data platforms. Chief Martech has been tracking this proliferation for the last decade, and it now inventories over 10,000 different marketing tech platforms. That is, there are over 10,000 systems handling advertising, pixels, payments, subscriptions, CRM, email and everything in between. 

The result? The complete story of a brand is no longer living in a single system of record; it’s been scattered across third-party vendor systems. Reconnecting those dots requires smart domain experts with specialized system integration chops to deliver a comprehensive, real-time view of their data.


Second, media buying agencies live in a time of excruciating margin pressure.  

The drumbeat of “better outcomes,” lower prices and repeatable scale has many agencies scrambling to differentiate themselves for fear of being labeled a “commodity.” What’s required are custom-built, custom-branded solutions that bring a distinct strategic voice to the table for their clients. They can’t use off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-none measurement and planning platforms because brands see this as a weakness, and require attention to their specific needs.

Next-generation media buying involves a mix of hard and soft skills - of data integration and data storytelling - that most legacy agencies are simply not staffed for.  They need to be able to quickly stitch dozens of sources of data together into a compelling story that they can make business decisions off of. In other words, they need to build a latticework of data to get to the insight.

At Latticework Insights, we are partnered with the best-in-class technology providers to get agencies, brands, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies of the future the analytical edge they need. Next generation companies like Snowflake, Tableau and Fivetran enable our clients to quickly assemble their own “tech stack.” Plus, our consultants with 20+ years of domain expertise in media & advertising stitch it all together to power conclusive, data-driven decision-making.

Let’s say your client is a sexy DTC company with a monthly recurring ecommerce offering. Right off the bat we know they’ll have data stored in …

  • Facebook Ads

  • Google Ad Words

  • Google Analytics

  • Shopify

  • Stripe

  • QuickBooks

  • Salesforce

  • Mailchimp

  • Intercom

... and 3-4 other data platforms that most people have never heard of before.

Or perhaps instead you are serving a more traditional Fortune 500 brand. Their mission-critical data is going to be stored in places like:

  • Adobe

  • TradeDesk

  • Nielsen

  • iSpotTV

  • YouGov

  • Simmons

Both of these brands are going to need extremely strong technology and service partners to get these cross-platform analytical endeavors off the ground. This is where Fivetran and Latticework Insights team up to help. With many joint clients such as MuteSix, Plush Digital, Flock Freight and Seed Health, our two organizations help agencies quickly centralize multiple, mission-critical data sources into a data warehouse, joined, cleaned and ready for prime time.

  • Customizing applications and reporting with a high-gloss, agency polish, and an analytical rigor to support unique strategic points of view.

  • Future-proofing your stacks as hundreds of new “martech” platforms continue to enter into and disrupt the media marketplace everyday.

If you are interested in exploring how Fivetran and Latticework Insights can help bring your clients onto a modern data architecture, register for our joint upcoming webinar, "The Game for Media Buying Agencies Is Increasingly About Data Integration," to learn more.


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