This article originally appeared in MarTech Series
The explosion of digital channels, platforms, and devices is both a blessing and a curse for retailers. Retail marketers can reach audiences in new ways, but budgets need to stretch further as customer journeys become more complex.
Taking a smart, data-driven approach to measurement is essential for understanding what’s working, what’s not, and where to spend the next marketing dollar. By embracing these four measurement best practices, modern retail marketers can get the accurate, actionable insights they need to improve efficiency and effectiveness in every area of investment.
1. Assess Performance Holistically
Amid a wave of store closures, retail marketers are under more pressure than ever to tie their marketing efforts directly to sales, revenue, and growth. To help assess the impact of their efforts, many have embraced advanced measurement approaches, such as marketing mix modeling and multi-touch attribution. Both approaches enable marketers to make more informed decisions, yet each has its own unique advantages.
Marketing mix modeling provides a strategic, cross-channel approach to marketing measurement. Using historical, summary-level data, it provides broad recommendations on where marketers should allocate their budgets to optimize performance. Marketing mix modeling also accounts for seasonal, economic, competitive, and other exogenous factors that can impact business performance.
Multi-touch attribution, on the other hand, is designed for tactical optimization. It uses person-level data from addressable channels to measure performance in near real-time and at more granular levels, such a publisher, placement, creative, and more.
Bringing the strategic and tactical insights produced by marketing mix modeling and multi-touch attribution together is critical for understanding the contribution of all touchpoints across the consumer journey, as well as unique touchpoints that influence each shopper’s path to purchase. When used in tandem, marketers get the comprehensive view they need to make the right decisions, using the right level of data, at exactly the right time.
2. Embrace People-Based Marketing
Effective marketing requires an understanding of consumers and the influences along their path to purchase. People-based marketing is rooted in the concept of marrying multiple data sources together under a single identifier, so marketers can get a cross-channel view of customers and insight into the mix of tactics that produce the best results for their business. Mastering the fundamentals of people-based marketing also helps retailers deliver more relevant and timely messages and offers that enhance the customer experience.
While a people-based approach can provide a significant competitive advantage for any retailer, it’s essential that consumer trust isn’t sacrificed in the process.
Marketers should look for measurement solutions that embrace privacy by design principles, so they can collect and use customer and interaction data without putting personal information at risk. When marketers balance both of these needs successfully, they can forge real connections with customers and prospects and optimize their performance in the process.
3. Make Decisions as Dynamic as Your Consumers
Consumer behavior changes by the day. What works today might not work tomorrow, yet many marketers base their decisions on weeks or months-old data. To minimize waste, retail marketers need accurate, up-to-date data at the same time they are making decisions.
Measurement platforms that refresh and remodel data every day enable marketers to make precise adjustments to campaigns while they are still in-flight, swapping out creatives, or tweaking keywords and placements as needed. By speeding up insights and optimizations this way, marketers can keep pace with consumers while improving their effectiveness and efficiency overall.
4. Continuously Test New Campaigns and Tactics
Today’s constantly changing media landscape makes it harder to find target audiences and build an effective plan to reach, engage, and convert them. Delivering the right offer at the right moment is essential for increasing the number of trips online and to the store, growing the size of the basket and driving conversions.
To succeed, retail marketers need to continually test new campaigns and tactics, but they also have to prove the impact of those investments on sales.
Lift analyses can provide retail marketers with powerful insights into the incremental impact of new channels, campaigns, and tactics. Sales impact is measured by analyzing changes in consumer purchase behaviors – such as purchase frequency, basket size and more – for buyers who were exposed to a campaign versus those who were not.
By tying marketing activities directly to sales, Retail Marketers can not only maximize revenue outcomes but also end the debate over the business impact of their efforts.
In today’s landscape, retail marketers must be open to improving their measurement practices if they want to get ahead. Ultimately, success depends on having a true understanding of customers and the tactics that influence their decision to buy.
By embracing the core tenets of holistic measurement, people-based marketing, timely analysis, and continuous testing, retail marketers can increase the effectiveness of their efforts, while delivering meaningful experiences that keep customers coming back for more.
Visit Nielsen Marketing Effectiveness Solutions to learn how marketing attribution can help you maximize efficiency and effectiveness across your entire marketing portfolio.