Brands have been constantly fighting the changes in the marketing measurement landscape for the last 10 years. Most brands measurement was built around last click and 3rd party cookies, with the later getting an extended life and last click officially being killed off by Google. Brands have struggled to get marketing measurement right and they have decided to lean into trusting platforms from GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) in dictating marketing performance. This is at substantial risk but also lazy measurement as it does not align to the business objectives. This was backed up while auditing brands data and measurement set-up.
70% did not have a measurement framework14% had 5 years of data or better known as long data
Every brand will have its own measurement requirements with its own complexities. Having a measurement framework while ensuring the right data is available is a critical requirement. Not knowing how you are measuring and not having the right data leads into a territory of short term funnel thinking where marketing efficiency becomes king. In the last 18+ months marketing effectiveness has become a bigger buzz word which is understandable with budgets getting squeezed and the role of marketing getting interrogated. The way I look at marketing effectiveness it is all about the approach taken.
The journey to better marketing measurement requires these 3 key pillars.
Holistic Measurement, moving away from Platforms
For measurement to becomes the core it requires brands to think of measurement holistically. One of the first steps is to understand that platforms such as Google Analytics, Facebook and others can only provide a limited view of your marketing performance as they don’t have a view of all touchpoints of the customer journey. The challenge for using the platforms for measurement it becomes too focused on digital channels only.
Getting the balance between finding the right analytics techniques that can drive the measurement journey forward while still utilising the rich insights and capabilities from the platforms is the ideal set-up to be able to answer business questions.
Measuring marketing incrementality should become a key requirement for brands which can be done through marketing mix modelling (MMM). Too often measurement becomes too focused on digital channels only. What MMM provides is the ability to understand the incremental impact of digital and offline channels.
From audits 16% had looked at MMM but for those brands it was a one-off then part of their measurement approach.One of the challenges for measurement is around data availability and having the right data infrastructure to support the measurement requirements. There is no one measurement solution that can answer all the business questions, there needs to be a range of analytics techniques to help provide the full picture.
As powerful as modelling can be it still requires brands to look at quant and qual data from measuring brand health, monitor competitor data through benchmarking and customer research. It will help provide insights on what motivates the consumer, how to better communicate with the customer to improving the customer journey and the impact of brand campaigns to help inform strategy. Combining this data with MMM its where the real insights and opportunities come out.
For marketing teams within brands to have the kind of impact within the business it requires silos to be broken down and cross department support from IT, Finance, Product, Sales, Data teams and many more. The first challenge is how marketing is viewed internally and that barrier needs to be attacked as a top down approach in changing the culture.
If data is the big win, it requires a collaborative approach from internal and external stake holders. Getting the right data and quality of data is the first step in the process to get to better measurement.
For example, marketing teams are likely to be reporting metrics directly coming from Google Analytics, but internal teams would be using different tools and metrics to reports on performance back to the business. Which creates conflict as neither team understand nor trust each other.
For one brand I worked with during redundancy they built a solution where all key data sets was loaded into a data warehouse allowing them to build a match rate report looking at revenue reported in Google Analytics v Shopify. This would provide a daily / weekly view allowing any actions to be taken on a solid base of data that can be trusted.
For another brand they started the process to build out their own ecosystem, taking control of all data sets. For the case of MMM, for digital channels building out a data pipe connected to all digital platforms. For offline channels which is not as straight forward it was a manual process were agreeing upfront the data structure was critical.
Closing the data gaps with internal data sets but also from agencies and vendors will become a necessity. Building a data infrastructure to help enable the collaboration, supporting the data and measurement requirements. This should lean into all business units who are reporting off the same datasets providing more trust driving better business and marketing decisions with measurement at the core.