By: Austin Dicharry
Programmatic advertising, also commonly referred to as automated advertising, is a technique that programs ads of all types based on certain triggers that may occur. If a user adds a number of items to the virtual shopping cart on a particular website only to navigate away from the page and never return, for example, programmatic advertising may initiate in the form of an automatically generated email. That email could gently remind the user that the items are in their cart and may even offer a discount, thus increasing the chances that they would return to complete the sale. In the world of these types of programmatic advertising, one of the most important concepts to understand has to do with data fluency.
Data fluency is a concept that requires those in the digital marketing profession to understand that data of all types contains valid and necessary information that can be used for the benefit of campaigns everywhere. Data fluency is commonly used as something of a catch-all term to describe analytics and certain other measurements that will let you know how a campaign is performing.
More specifically, data fluency describes the practice of managing data not only efficiently, but at the scale at which your organization is operating. You aren’t just sitting behind a computer terminal watching numbers stream by regarding how certain channels are performing, for example, or how many “Likes” you’ve seen on Facebook since the beginning of the latest term. You truly have an understanding of what those numbers mean and how they affect the performance of a campaign both now and moving forward.
Data fluency is understanding the true value of the data that is being collected. Not only that, but it’s a term that describes the dedicated set of tools and first-hand knowledge required to collect that data, organize it in an efficient way and extract the appropriate amount of insight from it.
In that regard, data fluency is a combination of human knowledge and software resources that give you detailed measurements on a variety of different topics. These tools can tell you about the total number of conversions a website has had in the last month, for example. They can also tell you the percentage of your website visitors that have been converted into sales or leads, or which online marketing tactic that your firm is engaging in has provided the highest rate of return over a specific period of time.
Without data fluency, you’re essentially just guessing on a grand scale. You’re guessing with regards to what you can do to attract visitors. You’re guessing with regards to the channels that need additional funding or support and which ones are performing fine on their own. You’re even guessing about the most successful pieces of content that you’ve created over the course of the campaign. Data fluency is important because, when interpreted properly, it provides you with an actionable road map regarding your past successes and failures and how to maximize that return on investment moving forward.