CROSSMEDIA agency consultants measure digital advertising effectiveness, saving client dollars


Cut reporting time by 80% with automated data prep
Gained new insights with data blending
Improved customer loyalty with custom dashboards

CROSSMEDIA, a communications consulting agency in Germany with three locations and 200 employees, develops concepts for customers from a wide variety of industries with the goal to maximize return on advertising budgets.

For Alexander Volk, the Director of Business Intelligence and Technology at CROSSMEDIA, time savings, negotiations, and customer loyalty are of top priority for the business. After deploying Tableau at CROSSMEDIA, teams saved 80% of time in reporting alone. And with the ability to blend and explore data, the CROSSMEDIA team surfaced many critical insights and considerably improved the agency's negotiating position. The agency also creates custom Tableau workbooks for clients and shares them over Tableau Server, which improved customer loyalty and fueled the organization to embrace a more data-driven marketing culture.

With Tableau, we have been able to save the consultants 80% of their time. This is time that they no longer have to waste on data preparation and report generation. They can now use their time to analyze the campaigns more intensively, to better recognize the advertising effect, and to get even more out of the advertising money for the customer.

Tableau analyzes website and social data, cutting reporting time by 80% and saving clients' money

CROSSMEDIA places online and offline advertising for its customers, and the goal is always to maximize the given budget for each client.

Alexander Volk, Director of Business Intelligence and Technology at CROSSMEDIA, explains: "We are very much concerned with demonstrating the impact of advertising in concrete terms. We ask questions like, has the budget that the customer invested in a certain advertising channel had an effect? Does a TV spot that was broadcast at a certain time of day have an impact on the customer's website traffic? It is always about the advertising impact and reaching the right target groups in the most efficient output of advertising budgets."

It's mission critical for the agency to be able to optimize campaigns and determine a website visitors' contact chain. In the past, each client advisor was responsible for his or her own report generation and they had to fetch the data from the service providers themselves and then manually process it, mostly within Excel and spreadsheet tools. This time-consuming, manual reporting was significantly slowing the agency's speed to insight, and even worse, was riddled with human error. With some much time being spent on manual reporting, there was no time left for exploratory analysis.

Client dashboard showing YouTube advertising views and conversions over time.

After consulting with its partner Woodmark, CROSSMEDIA introduced Tableau to their teams in 2016. Today with Tableau, the team analyzes vast volumes of disparate data from Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Facebook, and delivery systems for display advertising, overlaid with data from YouGov and Nielsen. The agency then shares these dashboards with customers.

Thanks to Tableau, CROSSMEDIA realized considerable time savings, allowing more time for data exploration. "By introducing a central analysis platform with Tableau and by managing all these visualizations on Tableau Server, we have been able to save the consultants 80% of their time. This is time that they no longer have to waste on data preparation and report generation. They can now use their time to analyze the campaigns more intensively, to better recognize the advertising effect, and to get even more out of the advertising money for the customer," Volk said.

[Tableau] allows us to engage in completely different conversations with advertising marketers.

Measuring advertisement effectiveness to optimize campaigns

With more time for exploratory analysis, CROSSMEDIA used data blending to visualize a more complete picture from many different sources and channels.

By blending data on a common field, CROSSMEDIA was able to assign conversations to the respective triggering publishers, even with multiple ad contacts, which made it possible to further optimize campaigns. The benefit of mixing data from different sources is great in the marketing area," Volk said. "Due to the fact that many different systems, especially in digital marketing, capture the user and the end user at different points in the purchasing decision process, holistic user tracking is very difficult from A to Z," Volk said.

Data blending paired with visualization allows CROSSMEDIA to find the root causes of advertising campaign inefficiencies. For example, by filtering a dashboard, teams might discover that a digital advertisement performed poorly because it was placed at the bottom of respective website. Finding insights like this strengthens CROSSMEDIA's position with its own customers and according to Volk, allows CROSSMEDIA to "engage in completely different conversations with advertising marketers."

Kunden, die Dashboards und die Visualisierung von uns beziehen, lassen sich diese immer weiter individualisieren – sie leben sich immer mehr in dieses System ein. Das führt zu einem intensiveren Austausch. Kundengespräche finden damit auf einer ganz anderen Basis statt.

Client dashboard showing marketing spend for each segment of the media mix.

Stronger customer loyalty due to client dashboard offering

Adding a layer of real-time transparency, CROSSMEDIA enables its larger customers to directly access dashboards on Tableau Server, so the company greatly benefits from the added collaboration with its clients. "[Services for] customers who purchase dashboards and visualization from us can be further personalized. [They] fall in love with it in a certain way. You talk on a completely different level and conduct customer conversations on a completely different basis," Volk said.

In addition to clients embracing data, CROSSMEDIA also found a significant change in employee attitudes toward analytics and a true adoption of data culture.

"The perception of the data has changed, so that it is no longer a hardship or a hurdle that has to be overcome mentally, but rather something that one can perhaps even look forward to. Because one can quickly and concretely draw conclusions from the visualization, and at the same time take a deep dive into the data, people can go so much deeper into the analysis than was previously possible. Data-driven marketing is becoming much more important to us in the agency, and ultimately also extends through all departments," Volk said.

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