Top 5 Qualities to look for in an Online Media Analyst
The primary function of an Online Media Analyst is to assess an advertiser’s campaign performance in order to identify ways to eliminate media waste and increase online conversions. The Online Media Analyst position (also referred to as Online Marketing Analyst or Internet Analyst) is roughly a new kind of role in the advertising industry. A good experienced Analyst will possess 4 of the 5 qualities that I will share with you in a moment. However, before we look at these qualities, let’s make sure we understand what an Online Media Analyst is NOT.
An Online Marketing Analyst is NOT a Research Analyst or Database Manager. The primary role of a Research Analyst is to design or assist in the development of questionnaires, identify competitors and research changes in the industry that may affect sales. The primary role of a Database Manager is to create and distribute reports. They will likely have experience with SQL, Access, web site analytics tools and Business Objects. So if you are interviewing candidates for an experienced Online Media Analyst position, how do you know if the candidate has the right skills for the job?
Interview question to ask a candidate for a senior Online Media Analyst position – Quality #5
If you are interviewing candidates for a senior level Online Marketing Analyst position, it is first best to confirm they have an online analytics or digital analyst background. Here is one question you can ask the candidate – “if a client wanted to increase paid search weekly spend by 30%, how would you determine or predict the number of sales they’d expect to generate as a result of the increased media activity?”
A candidate with an Online Marketing Analyst (Analytics) background should be able to answer this question which results in quality #5, the ability to assess the problem and determine how to go about finding the proper solution. If they cannot answer this question, this candidate is likely not qualified for a senior Online Marketing Analyst role. (If you want to know the answer to this question, please send me an email).
Quality #4 – Intermediate to Advance Expertise with Excel
An analyst must be able to process and analyze data very quickly and this is where good Excel skills come in. An experienced analyst will know how to use Vlookups, Pivot Tables and Solver. If they have some experience with Access and VBA Modeling, even better!
Quality #3 – Had a Great Mentor
A good mentor guides, critiques and helps improve an employee’s performance in every way possible. When I was a Media Planner years ago, I was very fortunate to work under Greg March, Media Director at Wieden + Kennedy. Greg had began his career with Beyond Interactive (now Beyond Interaction) back in the 1990’s and taught me a great deal, everything from trafficking banner ads to developing innovative ways on how to work with ad networks.
As an analyst, I worked under Jennifer Zola, Director of Strategy and Insights for GroupM Search and MECi. Jennifer’s background in data analysis and statistical modeling served not only as valuable experience for me, but also for clients and media teams. I owe both Greg and Jennifer a great deal of gratitude for I believe I worked alongside two of the best and most experienced minds in the online industry!
So ask for references and find out if they had a good mentor because if they did, it is likely they are better than what their resume entails.
Quality #2 – Had Previous Experience as a Media Planner/Buyer
With the internet, there is a virtually unlimited amount of online data at our fingertips. This is great for analyst since there is so much information that can be pulled from this data. However, analyzing all this data will often lead to a waste of time. What is the purpose of spending two weeks analyzing data and finding out some interesting, but useless information?
Before looking at data and performing any analysis, an analyst should ask him/herself this one question – “Will the conclusion or strategic finding possibly change the way I plan or buy my media?” This is why I think the 2nd best quality an Online Media Analyst can have is to have a media planning background. Otherwise, they can easily waste a great deal of time analyzing data that will not lead to optimization recommendations.
Quality #1 – Cares About Performance
A person who cares about performance will get the job done, simple as that. An analyst who cares about his/her client’s campaign will find a way to optimize and doesn’t mind working late or weekends because it is very likely they like what they do. And if this person likes what they do, they will likely be good at it!