Room 214 is a marketing agency located in Boulder, Colorado that offers services such as customer insights, branding, marketing strategy, and campaign development for clients across the United States.
Agencies like Room 214 work with in-house marketing teams for companies big and small to grow brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and hook customers with edgy and fun experiments. Digital marketing is also very data-intensive, requiring results of how campaigns drove numbers upwards to drive new campaigns. As another challenge, data sources for marketing are often disparate, spread all over the web, in databases, and other sources such as web analytics or ads performance. Tying this information back to revenue is difficult since attribution tracking can be challenging.
In 2017, Room 214 wanted to become very intentional about using data to inform decisions within their business and in that of their clients. They chose to use Panoply to collect and manage their data and Chartio to visualize data outcomes. Now Room 214 is able to make better decisions for their business and clients with dashboards that show concrete business effects in near real time.
We talked with Max Morganfield, Channel Strategist, and Jenn Casson, Managing Director, and learned more about how Panoply and Chartio power Room 214’s data-driven business.
What was data and reporting like before Panoply - and what is the process like now that Room 214 has a data stack in place?
Before creating a real data stack, we carried out a lot of copy/paste operations and used many, many spreadsheets. Clients had Google Sheets with historical data, and each month we went into countless social media platforms and manually exported data from CSV into the central spreadsheets.
We conducted lots of screen grabs of reports on ad metrics and pasted these screenshots into decks and presentations. The process was very siloed, manual, and prone to human error. We were spending more time creating reports instead of analyzing the data and having valuable conversations around it. Simply put, reporting was an afterthought.
After creating the new data stack, being data driven has become central to conversations between teams. We are able to look at the numbers together and develop more of a holistic view of what’s happening with our campaigns and why. As an agency we can add context and value for our clients in a way we couldn’t before.
Our insights and analyses are richer since reporting is now key and showing ROI are paramount to every goal. We have better conversations both internally and with our clients.
When working with others, we are able to start with a strategy that revolves around data.
How are you using Panoply and Chartio now?
We use Chartio as our visualization tool of choice and Panoply brings together all our data sources.
These data sources include:
Programmatic Display and Display partners
Social Media Platforms (Instagram, FB, Pinterest, Twitter, Paid Social)
Paid Search Platforms (Yahoo!, Bing, Google)
With this stack we’re creating interactive dashboards that allow our users to view client data in many ways, starting with the main KPIs we have defined as a digital marketing agency. Instead of looking at every metric available, we have settled on four key ‘categories’ of metrics that show marketing effectiveness through a variety of customer stages. Dashboards with metrics such as impressions, clicks, site metrics and conversions allow us to get out of the weeds and take a big picture look at what’s happening in the digital marketing space.
Would you need to have a dedicated data engineering team without Panoply?
Without using Panoply and Chartio we’d have to have a PostgreSQL DBA, an analyst to optimize queries, and more. We would also require a part-time or contract engineer building data connectors and ETL solutions for a multitude of data sources.
By using Panoply, we have a hosted cloud solution without needing to babysit servers or constantly write ETL code. Panoply and Chartio’s support teams answer all our questions and have been amazing to work with.
What has the new focus on data done for Room 214?
With our Panoply powered data stack, we’re more nimble, more accurate and more analytical. With the new solution, we have:
Less human error
No more silos
More time for strategic thinking & data insights discovery
Ability to pull in many new data points without added effort/time involved
Tell me more about Room 214’s evolution of becoming a data-driven agency for clients:
To be competitive moving forward as a company, it’s all about data access and analytics. Data informs all the work we do, even in things such as creative, image creation and content. With these tools, we now can collect, analyze and rapidly process all the ad-related data being thrown at us — it’s amazing.
To be competitive moving forward, we need to effectively use data analytics to drive decisions in everything we do.
As a marketing agency, we’re operating in an environment where we don’t have all the information — there are a lot of unknowns. The trick is to use the data we do have available and treat each campaign as an experiment in which we’re garnering more data.
With Panoply and Chartio, we’re able to quickly capture and analyze this new data, learn from it, discover and experiment with it, and of course use it to inform our next decision.