Nielsen’s Matt Krepsik on Measurement Beyond Last Touch

April 25, 2019 Ginna Hall

Marketing has grown increasingly complex. You’re using more channels than ever before to reach, engage and convert your target consumers, and they expect a relevant, coordinated experience.

Yet many marketers are still using siloed, outdated and inaccurate techniques to measure their efforts. These include rules-based attribution methods such as first- and last-touch, which arbitrarily assign 100% of the credit for a conversion to the first or last touchpoint in the consumer journey.

This approach under- or overestimates the impact of certain channels. Results are skewed toward organic channels such as direct, organic search, and organic social instead of upper-funnel paid media channels, which tend to drive awareness earlier in the consumer journey.

When you make decisions based on last-touch metrics alone, some channels that play a role in driving conversions can get overlooked entirely. Without multi-touch attribution, each channel is being measured in a silo. Your results are duplicated and you lack the insight you need to avoid spending on marketing activities that are simply not delivering results.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Matt Krepsik, global head of analytics at Nielsen, describes how the company’s products such as Total Ad Ratings allow advertisers to gain a holistic view of unduplicated consumers across screens and move away from last touch.

Beet.TV: What’s next on the horizon for measurement?

Matt Krepsik: The growth in Total Audience Ratings has been around the building the ecosystem and the measurement currency of the future. Underpinning that is an unduplicated view of a consumer across screens and devices. That allows [brands] to know the true reach that they’re delivering across their content.

In a big way, we’re moving the industry forward. We’re continuing to evolve that currency and future-proof this industry to think holistically around video and the way we deliver an unduplicated view and measurement for our customers.

Beet.TV: How does BYOD (Bring Your Own Data) play into how advertisers can apply identity to their creative campaigns? Or are they mostly still reliant on third-party data?

MK: The foundation of a number of [Nielsen’s] acquisitions is how do we enrich our view of audiences for planning and measurement purposes. We want a foundation around age and gender, but how do we ladder up incremental views of those audiences and individuals to help customize and tailor the view?

We built across platforms and into the digital ecosystem to extend that view of who customers are. In the past few years, we’ve invested in the attribution space, closing the loop. Not only can an advertiser verify the reach of a particular audience member, you know their age and gender, if they’re buying in my category or not, and are they a relevant audience member.

Now I’m actually driving the incrementality of audience behavior. Answering the question: Am I delivering an ad to a person that it matters to? Does it motivate and influence them to make a purchase or change their behavior or a transaction?

Beet.TV: Is attribution an alternative to last touch or something that can complement it?

MK: It’s an evolution. A maturation of the industry. For a long time it was easy to track impressions. We knew the impression volume and wanted to get closer to “Am I influencing behavior? Am I driving engagement?”

Last click was a good surrogate metric. Now we’re seeing we need to move beyond last click because it tends to skew towards whoever was last in line. We need to think holistically across the entire customer journey. Whether it was the linear TV ad I saw two weeks ago that drove awareness for me or it was the display ad or the recommendation in an email I had from a friend and I finally went online and searched for that product or that category.

I need to look at the entire customer journey and give transparency into the role that each of the media assets, channels and all our creative played, driving that customer all the way to conversion. Taking a step back and driving that holistic view. Can we start to nurture customers across that entire path. And not just narrowly focus on the bits and pieces of that journey.

Moving to the Future of Measurement

It’s no longer enough to focus on individual channel performance and last touch attribution. Marketing effectiveness depends on more than just measuring clicks and opens. It’s about measuring the impact on pipeline and revenue and understanding what works best for each target audience.

When you can do this, you can make important, strategic investments for your company that optimize consumer experiences and business results. Stop making excuses for poor measurement practices and prepare to move into the new era of marketing effectiveness.

Learn More

Download our ebook to cut through the hype and learn the differences between key measurement approaches: Untangling Attribution’s Web of Confusion: A Primer for Marketers

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