What are the best ad-tech and / or data companies currently operating in the US that measure the effectiveness of digital and social communications to business outcomes and / or individual users?

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What are the best ad-tech and / or data companies currently operating in the US that measure the effectiveness of digital and social communications to business outcomes and / or individual users?

Executive Summary

The traditional way of measuring the effectiveness of marketing communications on business outcomes was to use return on investment (ROI), measured as the ratio between net profit and marketing or advertising cost, and calculated as a percentage. However, digital and social media marketing campaign effectiveness can be measured by other metrics such as audience reach, engagement and sentiment. There is currently a vast array of companies that offer tools to marketers to measure these metrics and help to evaluate the impact of specific communications on business outcomes. I have selected ten of the best in the industry and provided pros and cons for them when available. The top three are Hootsuite, Brandwatch and Google.

METHODOLOGY

The selection of the ten best ad-tech or data companies that measure business effectiveness of digital and social marketing campaigns has been made according to industry experts judgments of their tools. Information has been collected from nearly a dozen rankings from professionals who have rated the best tools to measure digital and social communications' effectiveness. A list of ten companies that appeared the most in the various rankings has been compiled. Lexer does not appear in the top ten but some of its referenced competitors are in it, such as Agora Pulse, Hootsuite, Netbase, Brandwatch, and Sprout Social. Not all companies are based in the US but they all operate there as it is a major market for this industry. As most these companies are defined by one major analytic tool, pros and cons have been derived for that tool, when available.

HOOTSUITE

Hootsuite makes a social media management tool that tracks engagement numbers and brand mentions which can be a way to measure effectiveness of digital and social ads. It combines multiple social media analytics such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook Page, LinkedIn, and Instagram in one place. Some of its features are free but it has a lot of add-ons that can hike the price up to $100/month.

GOOGLE

As part of its multiple services and products, Google provides an analytics service that is free, which is an important pro. Another pro is that it allows to assess ROI statistics which is an important feature to evaluate the impact on the business. It is a cost effective way of tracking campaign successes. It is very rich in features and one of the most widely used analytics service in the world. Some of its cons can be summed up in its tricky interface that includes too many dashboards and the very high price for the premium version ($150 000).

Brandwatch

Brandwatch offers a social media analytics tool that is very data-oriented in its interface. It is destined for database experts and its main purpose is to monitor brand reputation live. It can therefore be useful for measuring the impact of advertising campaigns on brand valuation. Its cost is somewhat steep compared to competitors at nearly $900/month. Their customer service is considered as one of their cons.

TWITTER

Twitter has an analytics service that allows companies to have access to a multitude of data related to this platform. The drawback is that it only covers one platform and that the ROI is difficult to estimate using this tool. It is a very detailed approach and offers many useful features to improve engagement. Another pro is the detailed segmentation option and the opportunity to use multiple types of ads.

Buffer

Buffer is a company that makes a tool that can be used for tracking presence and post marketing campaign analytics in order to measure its impact. It is useful to figure out which specific ads or posts were the most effective, and even to understand why that was the case. The drawback is that it only tracks the posts made through its dedicated interface.

NetBase

Netbase makes a product that delivers industry insights with automated alerts. One of its cons is that is focuses primarily on Twitter and less on other social media platforms. They rely on a strong support team and focus on good visuals. A major advantage for its worldwide clients is that it can be used in 42 languages.

Sprout Social

The company is listed as one of the competitors of Lexer. It provides a tool that can be used for social media management and helps to track brand mentions, impressions and unique users. It also offers a detailed analytics platform. Its major drawback is that does not integrate with all social media platforms.

Agora Pulse

This is another company considered as a competitor of Lexer. Its strength is to offer an affordable analytics solution for tracking performance of online advertising campaigns. As part of its offering, the company includes a feature to compare results of ad campaigns with competitors. It also offers the option to work in many languages. A free trial is made available by the company, that markets itself as an alternative to Hotsuite and Sprout Social. As with other companies, Agora Pulse is limited by the fact that apart from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram it lacks monitoring capacity of other social media platforms.

Brand 24

Brand 24, as its name indicates, is a company aimed a growing their clients' sales and customer satisfaction. They do this thanks to a solution that gathers mentions about the company and even segments them by positive, negative or neutral mentions. This allows to check the extent of a campaign's success. They also focus on providing a simple interface, not just aimed at data specialists. One of its cons is that costs can quickly escalate when exceeding quotas and archiving is limited to 12 months.

socialbakers

Socialbakers is a company that specialize in measuring the impact of social media advertising on business outcomes of their clients. Its tool also allows to measure marketing campaigns performance against competitors. It is able to source data from the main social media platforms, and benefits from an easy interface. Their trial period is shorter than the competition, and their tool has less social media channels.

Lexer

Lexer is a data analytics company involved in increasing engagement between companies, clients and prospects. They have a product called Lexer Listen that is used for gathering and analyzing data about customer response. It benefits from multiple language support and Mobile applications. There is not a huge amount of reviews on the company that is publicly available.

Conclusion

As online advertising has grown and budgets have become more important, companies want to make sure that their campaigns are cost-efficient. There is a multitude of companies operating in the US that offer data analytics services for their clients. Their services allow to measure the effectiveness of digital and online advertising. I have compiled the ten top companies in the industry, including Lexer as required. These include Netbase, Spread Social, Agora Pulse and others.
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