So who is going to provide this solution? Companies like Telmar and IMS are regular providers of information to the media community. Yet they have not touched the performance arena, preferring to concentrate on the predictive aspects of media. Companies like Atlas, Doubleclick and Dynamic Logic concentrate on results but don't necessarily have the goal data to compare these results to. Companies ranging from Oracle to Hyperion to NetSuite provide general dashboards but most of these are either too high ticket or not customized enough for our industry to be applicable. Both Microsoft and Google are trying to take over the media world. And they certainly have the programming horsepower to serve the agencies in this regard. Maybe the move of MSN into the Windows operating group within Microsoft will yield the results we need. But we need to tie into more than just data from MSN properties. We need our whole campaign for all data sources. Many innovations come from startups. Maybe some new companies in the analytics arena will provide what we need. Whatever the solution, it is clear that there is a need among the media planners and buyers of the world for this type of a solution.
What the media dashboard should offer
What do I want on my dashboard? The ability to monitor what is going on in my company and with my clients' information.
I want to be able to monitor Mediasmith billing and revenues. Projections vs. client commitments. I want to be able to monitor profitability too.
From a new business standpoint, I want to be able to monitor activity relative to prospects, how far along they are in the pipeline, and what the scope of work that is being discussed. From a client standpoint, I want to monitor their health too, as it impacts Mediasmith efforts. Brand awareness vs. goals. Sales vs. goals. CPW (cost-per-whatever they are trying to measure) on all current efforts vs. goals and a roll-up of these efforts. And I need this for all media, not just for web and search. I also need to be able to tie into data points from my clients' below-the-line partners and look at their business from a holistic standpoint. Oh, and give me a feed from Google news and appropriate RSS feeds that update me on any news articles or other written or audio content that helps me understand what is going on with them.
Quite a task, I understand. But other industries have these solutions. We in the advertising and media industry are supposed to be the keepers of the data points relative to client success. Yet we are still living in the past relative to our ability to access the appropriate information in real time.
As I mentioned above, there appear to be solutions out there for thousands of dollars per desktop. But for this concept to become fully accepted, pricing must come down. There is probably some good volume for a specialty market at $300 to $500 per desktop. Like many applications, truly broad marketplace acceptance will only happen with pricing under $200 per desktop.
My door is open if you have a solution. Please keep it affordable as we are a mid-sized agency. But I can assure you that if you come up with a solution (or we develop one together), there are bigger customers out there.
David L. Smith is CEO of Mediasmith, a Media Agency in San Francisco which performs media strategy, media planning, media buying and media consulting across all media. He is a regular speaker at iMedia, Ad:Tech and other industry forums.