Why Did We Build ChannelMix?

James Hart Alight Insights, Marketing Data Management

Because we (and every other marketer on the planet) needed a solution that made reporting on media data simpler, faster and more accurate.

And, until ChannelMix came along, nobody had created anything that came close to meeting that need. We know. We looked.

The Data Death March

Back in 2007, when Alight Analytics first launched, it wasn’t a technology company — it was a full-service consulting firm dedicated to marketing analytics. Our founders, Matt Hertig and Michelle Jacobs, got their start serving a wide range of advertising agencies and brands.

Those clients all needed help tracking and interpreting their media data. The field of digital advertising was just taking off, and a lot of marketers struggled to demonstrate (and explain to their clients) how their messages and campaigns were performing.

With their expertise in marketing, media buying and tech, Michelle and Matt were in high demand. Everything about the business was great … except for the Data Death March. That’s what Matt and Michelle called the process of building monthly reports for clients.

One advertising agency, in particular, had more than 100 of its own clients that each needed reports each month on results from organic and paid search, email, social media, traditional media and other channels.

All that media data had to be downloaded by hand. Next, Michelle and Matt cut and pasted those numbers into hundreds of Excel spreadsheets without making any errors because, as you know, one tiny screw-up can throw off everything.

In their spare time, they prayed their Excel spreadsheets wouldn’t crash and destroy all the work they had done.

Multiply the monthly reporting demand across multiple ad agencies with multiple clients running multiple campaigns, and the task became an even bigger monster. Matt and Michelle were forced to devote hours upon hours (and more than a few all-nighters) to high-stress, high-stakes clerical work.

If Alight Analytics was going to survive, Michelle and Matt needed a better way to manage marketing data. When they couldn’t find one on the market, they had to build it.

Introducing ChannelMix

The result was what’s now known as ChannelMix, the world’s first marketing data aggregation platform.

ChannelMix automatically gathers media data from a range of sources — web analytics, pay-per-click, social channels, email, TV and radio and many more.

It’s all stored in a data warehouse where ChannelMix sniffs out errors, outliers and other potential problems. Everything is kept in a common, analysis-ready format that can be used with your choice of business intelligence (BI) or visualization tool, like Tableau.

Did we mention the “automatic” part? All of this is accomplished with a minimal amount of human intervention. Goodbye, Data Death March.

Michelle and Matt built ChannelMix to make their own lives easier. In fact, we still use ChannelMix with our own consulting clients.

But the Alight co-founders realized other marketers were probably suffering from the same problem. In 2015, they started selling ChannelMix to brands and agencies, who raced to sign up.

Remember that early client, the ad agency with more than 100 clients of its own? Because ChannelMix was built to serve that agency, it’s been ideal for other agencies, too. They all need a single solution for storing and managing media data, but also want to keep different clients’ information in separate pots.

Thanks to ChannelMix, we see clients achieve huge improvements in efficiency — one agency reduced the amount of time it was spending on reporting by 90 percent.

Our clients take the hours they used to lose to the Data Death March and reinvest them in what they excel at: creating marketing campaigns that grow their customers’ revenue and delivering insightful, actionable analysis.

We can do the same for your agency or enterprise, too. Reach out today at info@alightanalytics.com or 816-359-3305. We’d love to discuss the opportunities with you!