2019 is going to be a year of disruptive change in the world of digital planning, buying, and measurement. As privacy regulations get stricter, walled gardens get higher, and access to data continues to shrink, marketers must adjust their approach digital media or fall behind.
Held at Papalote Museo del Niño, in the Chapultepec Forest in Mexico City, AdWeek LatAm gathered almost 4,000 folks from the media, marketing, brand, technology and broader industry communities throughout Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The week focused on key business trends, issues, and conversations that are shaping today’s global industry.
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My session covered:
- What today’s measurement landscape looks like
- How marketers are attempting to solve for these challenges today
- How Nielsen is helping marketers analyze and optimize their marketing and media strategy through data
Here are nine takeaways from my session, Digital Measurement: What Marketers Should Consider in 2019.
1. Consumer behavior is forcing brands to evolve.
Continuous growth in the digital space and the proliferation of new channels and devices have dramatically changed how consumers interact with brands. The digital revolution has empowered consumers.
Shoppers around the world no longer simply go to the nearest store; they grab their nearest digital device. And the more devices a person owns, the more they juggle them to complete various tasks, often switching between devices mid-activity.
In fact, studies show that 25% of consumers use three devices and 79% switch between devices before completing a task.
Marketers overwhelmingly agree that gaining a single view of consumers is vital to improving return on marketing spend and providing the seamless experiences that today’s always-on customers expect. But only 6% have attained that panoramic customer view.
2. The digital revolution is having a global impact -- including in Latin America.
After a long period of instability, consumers and brands in Mexico and throughout Latin America are regaining confidence in the economy. Consumers are increasingly going digital alongside continued investment in digital infrastructure, improved mobile internet access, less-expensive data plans and rapid smartphone adoption.
Mobile adoption is growing too. Latin America is now home to 249 million smartphone users, and mobile now makes up more than one-quarter (27.5%) of all retail ecommerce sales, totaling $14.62 billion.
3. Digital investments are on the rise.
The digital era has created exciting new opportunities for brands. Perhaps most significantly, it’s revolutionized the way we engage, interact with, and cater to audiences through our marketing efforts. We have new ways to measure and improve our efforts, as well.
Improved internet access and rapid smartphone adoption have driven ongoing increases in digital advertising spend. Digital ad spending will increase to $11 billion this year, accounting for 26.3% of total media outlays.
4. Digital allows greater consumer relevance.
Brands can now reach consumers through multiple channels, devices and platforms using a variety of tools and technologies, enabling marketers to target consumers more precisely with more personalized, relevant information than ever before.
Digital has also introduced a category of channels, called “addressable” channels, that produce a unique set of individual, person-level data that enable marketers to track the consumer journey and better measure the effectiveness of our marketing and media efforts in driving sales and other desired outcomes.
5. But digital adds complexity to the consumer journey.
The increasing array of channels, devices and platforms have splintered mass communication into thousands of niche outlets, each catering to a specific audience. There’s more data than ever before and it’s scattered across silos. Marketers are forced to “stitch” together incomplete data sets when determining the effectiveness of a particular tactic – digital or physical.
At the same time, technology is raising customer expectations at a breakneck pace. Today, consumers have access to virtually unlimited data, content, and information that has set the bar high for brands. If brands can’t meet or exceed their expectations for relevant and personalized experiences across the entire customer journey, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
6. Tech silos, data gaps and metrics are significant challenges.
Marketers are dealing with the reality that different metrics and KPIs are used across paid, earned and owned marketing channels, making it difficult to measure all efforts on the same scale, and derive insights into how channels are performing against one another.
Different internal teams may measure different channels, and different channel managers may take credit for a conversion when their channel didn’t have the greatest impact. Or, a company may look at the last channel a consumer interacted with before converting, and give it all the credit when other channels contributed to that conversion.
Coverage gaps pose another big problem. Third-party tracking limitations on platforms like Facebook and privacy restrictions like GDPR are limiting the amount of data marketers have access to. Other channels are so new that nobody has access to that data yet. When marketers have these kinds of gaps in their media coverage measurement, they’re bound to miss key opportunities.
7. Digital is a real-time medium.
The success of digital campaigns depends on how quickly marketers are able to measure and react to fluctuations in performance. The faster you can capitalize on optimization opportunities, the more effective you’ll be.
The problem is that many marketers are still basing their decisions on old data, yet they’re making decisions and digital buys every day. This mismatched speed is not only imprecise, but can also lead to significant amounts of wasteful spending.
8. Many marketers are still applying old-school measurement approaches to a digital world.
In some cases, marketing executives have a traditional media background and lack the experience to establish an effective digital marketing program. In others, marketers are aware of the challenges posed by digital marketing, but they don’t realize that solutions exist.
So they fall back on legacy approaches like last-touch attribution and channel-specific metrics. These metrics are easy to get from your analytics, but they create silos and ignore the path to purchase, so marketers end up spending more than they should in the wrong channels.
9. Marketers need advanced measurement.
Advanced measurement approaches such as multi-touch attribution enable marketers to take advantage of the unique set of person-level data produced by digital channels to understand effectiveness at granular levels, by audience, and at a much faster cadence.
It’s the difference between understanding how TV, print, radio, email and paid social impacted sales last quarter, and which display ad worked best yesterday to drive in-store sales so you can boost ad spend for the winners while the campaign is still in-flight.
With a clear understanding of the touchpoints that drive performance, marketers can make smarter investment decisions that optimize performance and enhance the consumer journey.
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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