Are Your Poor Marketing Results Really a Measurement Problem?

July 31, 2018 Ginna Hall

A version of this article also appears on MarketingLand.

Are you seeing the number of leads, conversions, sales (or other key metrics) you’re looking for? If performance is lagging, finding out what’s not working and knowing how to fix it is tough.

The issue may not be your marketing tactics at all. It might actually be how you’re measuring performance.

Many brands today think they have marketing performance issues. The truth is that they actually have a measurement problem. If they can solve the root of the issue -- poor measurement -- they'll get better results and growth.

Without accurate measurement that de-duplicates results across customers and gives each touchpoint the proper credit toward a desired outcome, you really don’t know what’s working.

This makes it almost impossible to invest in the channels that are driving results and avoid wasting spend on those that aren’t.

To learn more about how you can be a better marketer in the digital era, download the Nielsen ebook: Crossing the New Digital Divide: Your Guide to Marketing Effectiveness

Digital Marketing Is Complex

This is a common problem for today’s marketer. For decades, marketers have used traditional channels such as print, radio, TV, yellow pages and outdoor ads to reach consumers. But the digital revolution has proved disruptive to traditional marketing approaches. TV, radio, print, and outdoor now work alongside digital marketing –  search, organic and paid search, email, social, and video.

An explosion of digital channels, platforms and tools have made marketing more complex than ever. There are more touchpoints as consumers take control of the funnel, interacting with brands across multiple devices, niche media outlets and streaming TV.

Being able to reach and engage your best customer as they move along a tangled digital path requires sophisticated understanding of tools and tactics and clear strategy and vision. But the strategies and technologies that marketers have relied on for years to target, analyze and optimize their marketing and advertising campaigns have not evolved fast enough to keep pace with these demands.

Marketing Teams Don’t Share Goals

At many companies, individuals and teams operate in silos, using different playbooks. Most marketing organizations are split between marketing (direct mail, website, mobile, email, SEO, social, PR, events) and media (display, paid social, SEM, affiliate, print, radio, TV).

The challenges caused by this split are compounded by multiple layers up and down the org chart: CMO, VPs, and directors, each with a team of managers and specialists under them, executing tactics and managing spend for each channel. Every organization also has multiple agency and vendor relationships.

That’s a lot of people in the pool. This complex structure often leads to individuals or teams  working toward independent key performance indicators (KPIs) and incentives, leading to fragmented, ineffective optimization -- by channel instead of across channels.

You May be Hurting Rather Than Helping Performance

When goals, metrics and incentives align, teams can work together to boost performance and enhance the consumer experience along the entire funnel. But when they don’t, channel managers may unknowingly be working at odds.

Assuming that every part of the organization is doing all they can to feed the funnel and drive results is no longer enough. If your organization sets individual goals and incentives by silo, you may be hurting rather than helping performance.

That’s because each silo has its own metrics. Your Paid Search Manager is optimizing keyword performance while your Email Marketing Manager is tracking opens and click-through rate. How can you be sure they’re looking at the right numbers to achieve company goals?

Aligning Metrics to a Common Goal is Key

To truly understand the value of each consumer interaction with your brand, it’s not enough to count impressions, eyeballs or measure the effectiveness of your marketing using last-touch metrics. You need to know the effectiveness of each marketing touchpoint in every consumer journey regardless of where those touchpoints occur.

No matter which goal you’re focused on, you have to make sure your metrics align so that you’re tracking the right indicators. From a marketing perspective, this is critical. Marketing teams and management need to align on objectives and the KPIs that track progress toward achieving them.

Multi-Touch Attribution: New Measurement For All Channels

Many brands are reluctant to use advanced attribution methods that accurately assign fractional credit to marketing and media touchpoints, yet they’re spending millions of dollars annually measuring performance using last-click metrics they know are flawed.

To be effective, marketing organizations and their agency partners must rely on a data source that offers a holistic picture of performance and makes it possible for everyone to work toward shared goals. At the same time, each team member has different needs for actionable marketing intelligence at a different cadence.

Multi-touch attribution is an approach that makes sure all members of the organization are working together. Multi-touch attribution integrates disparate marketing performance data to establish a single source of truth.

By collecting, consolidating and normalizing performance data into common measures and taxonomy, this methodology supplies the insights your team needs on a consistent, holistic basis. Some multi-touch attribution solutions even integrate third-party behavioral and demographic audience data to provide tactical performance insights by audience segment.

How CMOs Use Multi-Touch Attribution

There are many ways multi-touch attribution helps make sure your team is looking at the right numbers. Budget planning is a critical use case. For example: The CMO of a large retailer needs to justify current marketing spend to other C-Suite leaders, and decide how to allocate budget and coordinate messages and experiences across online and offline channels.

Using multi-touch attribution, s/he knows VPs of marketing and media can report on which channels are driving business objectives for each target audience. The CMO uses that information to reallocate budgets to achieve higher top-line growth and better bottom-line efficiency.

Getting the Marketing Performance You Deserve

Digital innovation has created a new set of opportunities and challenges for marketers. Multi-touch attribution allows brands in all industries to tackle the daunting task of properly measuring and optimizing the results of their marketing efforts. This makes it a whole lot easier for your organization to work together toward shared goals and grow.

Learn More

To learn more about how multi-touch attribution can help you be a better marketer in the digital era, download our ebook: Crossing the New Digital Divide: Your Guide to Marketing Effectiveness

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