Would you set a fox to guard the henhouse?
If you’ve been using Facebook and solely relying on their data to optimise, then this is what you’ve actually allowed.
Facebook came under fire yet with their recent admission that they have again been overstating their metrics – the second admission in as many weeks.
Keep Them Honest
The way to keep these ad platforms honest isn’t by using their data, but by doing so using yours.
If you’ve been burned, its time to make the change to measuring, optimising and reporting Facebook not from Facebook itself, but from your own Data Management Platform (DMP).
Whether that be Analytics platforms such as Google Analytics,Adobe Analytics, Snowplow or any of the 3rd party DMPs on the market.
This means you'll need to go to the extra work of tagging campaigns correctly – but this is the cost to pay to keep the ad platforms honest.
Benefit 1: Single Source of Truth
If you are prepared to pay that cost however, you will be rewarded not just with more honest data, but now with more comparable data.
How does your video in Facebook Newsfeed on mobile compare to the same video on YouTube
Facebook data says one thing. YouTube data says another.
Who is right?
If you are measuring both inside your own DMP, only *now* you can know and compare both on an even playing field.
Now you can ignore each platform’s own subjective metrics since you now have your own objective yardstick of what matters most to you.
Not what happens on the platforms themselves, but what action results from these platforms on somewhere you care about – your own website.
Your DMP now becomes your ‘true north’ to objectively compare ad platforms (or even segments inside those platforms) with each other on an apples and apples basis.
We call this, having a Single Source of Truth (SSoT).
Benefit 2: Keep your agency honest
Just as you shouldn’t measure an ad platform using their data, you also shouldn’t measure an ad agency solely using their data.
So your ad agency is showing glowing metrics inside fancy PowerPoint templates.
Are they right?
An ad agency’s performance should be measured with your own DMP, your own Single Source of Truth.
How did this agency perform compared to your prior agency?
If you are measuring prior performance and the incoming agency performance inside your own DMP, you can compare the new agency to prior results again on an even playing field.
Your DMP now acts as your SSoT to objectively measure your ad agency.
If you’re only using each Ad Platform’s data to measure its performance, its time to take back the keys to the henhouse.
Establish your own SSoT.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Sugihto is founder of specialist, Melbourne based digital advertising agency and Premiere Google Partner, Intentional. Since 2009, the Intentional team have driven online advertising for companies in global markets such as Paris, Tokyo, London, New York and LA; as well as being digital advisor and partner in the Australian domestic market for numerous household brands and NFPs.