4 Tips for Measuring the Always-On Consumer

April 18, 2019 Ginna Hall

The average person today has four to six connected devices and switches constantly from one to the other. Research shows that a consumer can have up to 40 profiles in a single database. Longer customer journeys that have more touchpoints produce even more fragmentation.

The average marketer doesn’t have the ability to consolidate fragmented data to understand the influence of touchpoints across digital and traditional channels. Analyzing marketing effectiveness is arduous as marketers struggle to get accurate and actionable results.

We asked Moira Freeman, product marketing manager, Nielsen, how marketers should prepare for an increasingly complex customer journey. Read on to see four takeaways for the measurement strategies and tactics marketers need to be successful in 2019 and beyond.

1. Don’t Settle for Less

Marketers are using a variety of tools to measure the impact of their marketing initiatives and have no holistic understanding of how their target audiences are interacting with all of these initiatives across channels and devices.

Piecing this information together is better than nothing, but it’s a competitive world out there and “better than nothing” or “better than last year” is simply not good enough anymore. Consumers are sophisticated, and marketers have to be, too.

That’s why having the right software solutions at your disposal is critical. When it comes to understanding the consumer journey, accurately measuring the impact of your marketing and media, and optimizing your strategies for the future, attribution software is where it’s at.

2. Choose the Right Measurement Approach

Attribution helps marketers make sense of all of the ways consumers are interacting with their marketing initiatives across touchpoints. Whether marketers use marketing mix modeling or multi-touch attribution depends upon their data, channels, use cases and goals.

Marketers who want to inform strategic and periodic planning (annually or semi-annually) for all of their investments - offline and online - and have higher, aggregate level data should look to marketing mix modeling. Marketers who want to optimize campaigns at granular levels across their addressable channels frequently, while they are still in flight, should look to multi-touch attribution.

3. Look for Comprehensive Data Coverage

In today’s world, it’s getting harder and harder to understand consumer behavior in digital environments due to privacy regulations and coverage gaps. Without complete visibility, marketers run the risk of wasting spend on channels, publishers, and tactics that aren’t driving conversions.

One of the most important things for marketers to keep in mind when they select an attribution provider, therefore, is coverage. The rules of the game are made by the holders of data, so unless your attribution provider has strong relationships with large media platforms, ways to track data despite limitations that will arise in the future with cookies, and ways to cross-check the accuracy of data sources, marketers are going to be left with gaps.

In our research, we’ve found that lack of complete visibility into the consumer journey can cost marketers up to 25% of their budget because they waste it on underperforming investments.

Nielsen has the kind of data and coverage marketers need to get as much visibility into the consumer journey as is humanly possible today. Nielsen attribution solutions have coverage of walled garden publishers, access to Nielsen TV data (which is the most extensive in the industry), credit and debit card transaction data, loyalty card data, and can leverage Nielsen panels to cross check data accuracy and representativeness.

4. Prepare for a Post-Cookie World

There are already gaps in data coverage due to the inability to track cookies, either for technical reasons (mobile in-app is a cookie-less environment) or privacy policy reasons (Safari’s intelligent tracking prevention). And with GDPR, CA2020, and general concerns around privacy arising, we have strong reason to believe that the pressure is on and tracking with cookies will soon be a thing of the past.

There are ways to continue measuring at granular levels in a cookieless world and Nielsen is already developing approaches to prepare for this. Not only should marketers look for coverage now, but they should look for a vendor with the resources and commitment to solving complex problems that are likely to arise in the future.

We’ve seen a lot of attribution providers disappear from the landscape over the past few years. Once you’ve got attribution up and running, it becomes the single source of truth across your team. Everyone, including executives, begins to rely on it to make media planning decisions and prove the value of the team’s initiatives. Marketers should make sure that the tool they implement will be there for the long haul.

Learn More

Download our ebrief to learn why it’s time to start thinking about your post-cookie strategy: Why Marketers Should Prepare for a Cookie-Less World

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