A startup in stealth mode with no clients doesn’t need an ad analytics software. If it is a B2B companies with a few clients, with no intention to scale fast, it doesn’t need an ad analytics engine either.
That’s why an advertising agency might have built a complex and sophisticated ad platform that they use for their clients, not for themselves.
If you are looking for an Ad Analytics Software, you will find (as usually happens in this space) a lot of landing pages full of buzzwords (machine learning, predictive analysis, big data). This makes your life as an IT buyer really hard.
Here is my own personal list of things you should watch over before and after you’ve decided to engage with an Ad Analytics company:
1) User tracking: tracking users activity is a problem too complicated for an analytics company to solve. If they have their own solution, make sure it is integrated with third-party vendors specialized in the field.
2) Cross-channel: this is really hard to get right, and where most of the ad tech companies fail. They don’t fail because it is difficult to integrate with a channel Ads API, they fail because they don’t build an infrastructure elastic enough to adapt to the channel’s changes. Also, they fail on capacity planning, overestimating how much data they will be pulling from all the channels. If they don’t have a cloud-microservice based software, walk away.
3) Reporting: companies spend -a lot- of money on the UI/UX of their products. It’s not wasted money, but for you as a customer, you might already have a reporting tool, or you’d instead prefer to use a third-party tool to visualize data, and not being tied to what the company is offering you. Ask them for an API or data extract capabilities.
4) Too many features: unless they are Salesforce or Adobe, be suspicious if they offer too many features. Do they have an Ad-Fraud feature? Do they partner with White Ops to support it?
5) Look beyond buzzwords: if you read cross-platform, trillions of impressions, multi-touch attribution, don’t just stop on those words. All that matters is the product itself: if you can connect your ad accounts easily; if the data is frequently pulled without issues; if its flexible regarding looking at that data; if it has recommendations/insights that will add value to your business.