Kate leads the UK Analytics proposition. After working brand-side for four years, Kate joined the business in 2016 bringing with her a wealth of knowledge across the world of measurement. She works with our clients across media, travel and retail, with a specialism in consulting on digital measurement strategy and attribution.
Why did you originally start working in the advertising industry?
In the realms of marketing, the world of data and analytics is still quite new. When you look at industries such as Finance or Supermarkets, they’ve been collecting customer data and studying user behaviour for decades. In the past five years, the explosion of the martech stack has seen this become so much easier for marketers and advertisers, resulting in a world where data has well and truly become the heart of everything.
This was a huge motivator for why I started working in advertising – with its enthusiastic appetite, the industry is the perfect playground for me. On a daily basis, I’m given the opportunity to practice what I preach – a data-first approach. And this doesn’t come without its challenges! I used to call myself a perfectionist, but now I spend my time encouraging others to focus on what they can achieve with measurement – rather than being too wrapped up in the ‘perfect’ solution. Which – newsflash – doesn’t exist!
Why did you start working in the analytics sector, specifically?
I didn’t actually get into this space because I love numbers and stats. I’m actually more driven by the desire to understand consumer behaviour and psychology. Data is just hard facts on what people do, how they shop, what they’re engaged with. Using that in conjunction with market trends, academic research and my own insight built up over the years, I can achieve a tangible picture of who a client’s customer is. And without that, what’s the point in targeted marketing.
Tagging, tracking, data completeness – that’s how we get to an accurate view of the customer, and that’s why keeps me so focused on the detail and data accuracy.
What do you most enjoy about working in digital marketing?
There is no end to the developments we face, and rather than finding it overwhelming, it offers me motivation! In digital marketing we have to stay on top of every new update, not just within our industry but also across many adjacent industries such as technology. We even have to keep up with academic research on human behaviour, which of course impacts how advertisers market today.
The enjoyment I get from this is sifting through all the information, and deciding where to take action. Believe it or not, data doesn’t do all the work! It does do the heavy lifting, but what you really need is expertise and curiosity to know which stone to unturn. Even then, you don’t always get the answer you’re looking for, but hey, that’s half the fun!
What is your favourite Google Analytics feature?
In free GA, it has to be the Checkout Behaviour Analysis report. I find it astounding when brands haven’t enabled their Enhanced Ecommerce functionality. They’re sitting on a free goldmine of consumer information and they don’t even know it!
The Checkout Behaviour report allows a deeper understanding of the customer journey within the checkout process. Using this feature to uncover areas of the struggle for the customer is hugely powerful, and when it’s combined with the ability to A/B test, for instance using Optimize, the results that can be achieved quickly is way beyond anything we’ve had access to before from out-of-the-box tools.
What does the future hold for advertising?
What I’d like to see is more a focus on real-time analysis leading to real-time optimisation. Data visualisation and dashboarding is an area of martech that I felt plateaued for a while, but in recent years we’ve had an increasing amount of accessible tools from this space. Using these tools plus the wealth of data we all have, we can focus on closing the gap in the time it takes us to make data-informed decisions.
We might not have the big answers on what the industry will look like in a year, never mind five, but instead of constantly trying to find the golden unicorn, why not just start where we are and use what we have. This can only ever lead to more personalisation, improved efficiency, and a better relationship between brand and customer.