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Leveraging Data Strategically: A Q&A with Lauren Hill, PAN VP, Head of Data & Analytics

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With more than a decade of experience in leveraging data strategically, Lauren Hill has dedicated her career to creating value for emerging growth and enterprise B2B technology and healthcare companies. Her in-depth expertise across brand and demand has led to thought-provoking campaigns (like this one) that help businesses meet and exceed their goals – with the data to back it up.  

She even tracks her own progress, no matter how big or small the task (in fact, she once had a 159-day streak completing The New York Times daily crossword). As Head of Data and Analytics at PAN, data-driven, creative storytelling is a no-brainer for Lauren. She’s even been recognized as Measurement Expert of the Year by PR News.  

Lauren recently sat down to discuss her unique experience and the approach PAN brings to data and measurement for our clients. With emphasis on the human side of data tracking and interpretation, we push the boundaries of what’s possible to see clients succeed. Keep reading to understand the impact of taking a data-driven, integrated path when marketing your growing business.  

Leveraging Data & Analytics: 6 Questions with Lauren Hill 

Q. What is your approach to data and measurement? 

A. It’s all about finding the perfect blend of human and machine – balancing automation to drive efficiency with the time it takes to distill really smart insights that drive actionable storytelling. 

Data is only as good as the insights that go alongside it. When clients come to us with a wealth of data that they’re not sure how to activate on, the first thing we do is a deep discovery dive. As part of this, it’s important to really zero in on the ultimate business objective. Some questions we might ask are: Why was the data initially collected? Where does it come from? Are there constraints around how it’s used? What are you hoping to achieve through use of the data?  

Next, we build a methodology that narrows the idea and allows us to pinpoint the data that’s going to be most impactful for making actionable decisions. This is where my team at PAN shines. There can be a breadth of data available, yet much of it is likely hit or miss.

[Data for marketing and PR is that] right balance between automation to drive efficiency and really smart distillation into insights that drive storytelling.

Other times, clients come to us without a good sense of what data they have—or even what is possible to collect, and we’re happy to dive into the trenches to partner in getting the right infrastructure for data collection set up aligned to their ultimate goals.  

Developing data-driven strategies from there is a core focus for us, and something we’ve built a reputation around over the past decade. I’m excited to see how this continues to evolve to fit our clients’ needs, and even more excited about how the integration of AI and automation can make processes like this increasingly effective in the years to come. We’ve made some exciting investments in our own stack of marketing technology over the past few years, so no matter what our clients bring to the table, we’re able amend and enhance with additional third-party intelligence.

“[Data for marketing and PR is that] right balance between automation to drive efficiency and really smart distillation into insights that drive storytelling.” 

Q. How do you look at the relationship between brand awareness and data? 

A. This is an age-old question. By nature, it can be tough to measure the impact of certain channels on brand awareness and even demand generation. Yet I do see this as an area where we’ve been able to stand out through developing a formula that helps our clients figure out how to use correlative metrics and insights to better understand the impact that “unmeasurable channels” could be having on their bottom line.  

I think it’s an interesting balance marketers try and strike today. Between ensuring that you have robust, multi-channel attribution when looking at campaign success across different channels, strategies, and tactics, and balancing that with your overall air cover and brand awareness efforts, it’s really important to ensure that you’re thinking about silent drivers and the impact of each touchpoint, pre-conversion, that may not show up in the data. For example, keeping in mind not to over-rotate toward channels that are more likely to be attributed, like paid search.  

Related Read – Navigating GA4 in 2024: A B2B Marketer’s Guide to Metrics and Reporting 

Q. What sets PAN apart on the data frontier? 

A. At PAN, analysts are involved in client engagement from start to finish, whether that be in strategy, planning and data-driven ideation or ongoing daily optimizations, all the way through measurement and reporting. That deep-dive analysis into your data and what is driving the best outcomes for your business is what makes our approach so special.  

We also offer data-driven deliverables, such as a robust, tiered bench of audits to help you understand how your different channels and functions are performing, as well as strategic explorations like greenfield identification, validation of storylines, campaign ideas, and audience discovery. This all plays a part in making sure that we’re building campaigns that are going to reach critical audiences for our client partners. When it comes to optimizing content, channel efficacy and the customer journey have never been more important than in today’s rapidly changing, digital world. 

Q. In your opinion, why is data and measurement so important for a proper integrated marketing and PR strategy? 

A. The RIGHT Data empowers brands to unlock transformative growth and business performance. With strategic application of data, analytics, and strategic insights, you’ll find that you uncover the right possibilities at the right time, driving the most impact with your key audience.  

Q. Here at PAN, you’ve helped build the PANtelligence model. Can you talk a bit about the importance of this for our clients?  

A. Businesses that use data-driven strategies drive five to eight times higher ROI (return on investment) than businesses that don’t. PAN has always been a data-driven agency, so PANtelligence is really our way of doubling down on data as a core differentiator for how both we and our clients think about integrated marketing and PR.

Curious to learn more about PANtelligence? Let’s talk! 

With PANtelligence, we’ve built a more elevated approach to the integration data into every component of a campaign — from strategy and planning to ongoing optimization and, of course, measurement. It’s an approach that really ensures we’re arming clients with the data analysis that they need to drive optimal results. PANtelligence provides our clients with dedicated data-savvy analyst time to maximize their investment, as well as access to real-time dashboarding capabilities that ensures you always have a pulse on the value your teams are delivering.

Businesses that use data-driven strategies drive 5–8x higher ROI than businesses that don’t.

Data and analytics are infused in everything we do. Whether that’s understanding the long-tail impact and outcomes of high-level, top-of-funnel brand efforts, or deepening our grasp on bottom-of-the-funnel conversion and revenue drivers. 

“Businesses that use data-driven strategies drive 5–8x higher ROI than businesses that don’t.” 

With PAN’s in-depth industry knowledge and 30 years of experience, our team is here to help provide your business with the insights and expertise that matters most. We partner with leading brands to help them achieve business goals and reach the next stage(s) of growth through data-driven campaigns. Check out some of the work we’ve done. 

More Insights From PAN’s Experts: 

Supply Chain Trends, Changes and Challenges in 2024 

Cybersecurity Perspective: The Convergence of the CISO and CMO 

B2B2C Healthcare Perspective: A Q&A With Dan Martin, PAN’s EVP of Healthcare 

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