How You Can Tell If Your Marketing Is Working

April 24, 2018 Ginna Hall

Remember “spray and pray?” Forget the mass media hose—you can now target with the precision of a pipette. You can and you must. Because the stakes just keep getting higher. There are more ways than ever to reach consumers, yet marketing and advertising budgets have tightened. In the face of stiff competition, brands must spend wisely.

By one estimate, spending on consumer-focused advertising and marketing slowed in 2017. At the same time, CMOs and other marketing executives are tasked with growing results and contributing directly to the bottom line. Every penny counts.

If you’re not sure what’s driving revenue and what’s wasted spend, you’re not alone.
There is little consensus regarding the best way to optimize marketing or allocate budget for the highest ROI. Gathering accurate data about spend and performance is challenging. With a wide array of measurement and forecasting models, methodologies and tools at their disposal, many CMOs continue to rely on external agencies or, in many cases, the humble excel spreadsheet.

  • Only 45 percent of organizations are satisfied with their measurement of marketing ROI.
  • 79 percent of CMOs report they are not prepared to pursue digital marketing opportunities.

It’s time to put an end to the confusion. To understand which marketing tactics and messages are working, here are two things every CMO should know about:

  1. Addressable Channels: Digital has introduced a category of channels that allow you to track individual, user-level data across touchpoints.
  2. Multi-touch attribution: Advanced attribution lets you take advantage of this unique set of data to understand effectiveness at granular levels.

Mining Data from Addressable Channels

Traditional media such as TV, radio, print, and OOH now work alongside digital marketing – search, organic and paid search, email, social, and video. These channels are “addressable.” They produce a unique set of individual, user-level data so you can track touchpoints in the consumer journey.

Instead of estimating how many people might have seen your message, marketing organizations can now know the location, device, time, browser, and action at every consumer touchpoint online. It’s a tremendous opportunity that offers far greater access to data about consumer behavior than ever before.

Addressable channels allow marketers to move from marketing to anonymous personas to engaging with actual individuals (cookie ID + device ID + offline ID). These IDs can be linked to associated demographic, intent and interest data for a 360-degree view of each consumer and their interactions with a brand, no matter where those interactions occur. This type of people-based marketing enables brands to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right place and time.


Marketers are embracing addressable channels for good reason. They allow brands to target prospects and customers with relevant messaging, more precisely, and produce trackable data. This means marketing and advertising efforts can be more efficient and effective compared to traditional, non-addressable tactics. An investment in addressable can pay off in better results, higher engagement, and improved loyalty.

Measuring Addressable Channels with Multi-Touch Attribution

But digital marketing does have its challenges. These channels exist in silos and it’s difficult to follow customers and prospects across multiple channels and devices. To truly understand the value of each consumer interaction with your brand, it’s not enough to count impressions.

You also can’t measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing using the consumer’s last interaction with your brand (i.e. last-touch metrics). You need to know the effectiveness of each marketing touchpoint along every consumer journey regardless of where those touchpoints occur.

Yet tracking and attributing customer and prospect activity can be arduous. There’s more data than ever before and it’s scattered across silos. Marketing and media campaigns span different devices that consumers use simultaneously. Marketers are forced to “stitch” together duplicate and often incomplete data sets when determining the effectiveness of a particular tactic – digital or physical. They’re left in no better place than when they started their analysis – making decisions by intuition.


This why you need multi-touch attribution. Whether rules-based or algorithmic, multi-touch attribution provides the insights CMOs need to drive results.

Effective multi-touch attribution eliminates duplication by tracking the consumer journey across all addressable touchpoints – digital, mobile and physical – and assigning fractional credit to the channels and tactics that influenced a desired business outcome.

Here’s one example: It’s budget planning time. 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. S/he asks VPs of marketing and media to report on which channels are driving business objectives for each target audience.

Because they use multi-touch attribution, they can clearly see which media and messages are working and which aren’t. They use that information to reallocate budgets to achieve higher top-line growth and better bottom-line efficiency.

New Measurement for a New Era

Today’s addressable world requires multi-touch attribution. It’s the difference between getting a summary view of marketing performance at the end of the quarter and knowing exactly which creative worked best yesterday.

With a clear understanding of the touchpoints that drive performance, CMOs can make smarter decisions and direct their teams to pump up the volume on the tactics that are working, and ditch the ones that aren’t.

Get More Information

Download our ebook: Crossing the New Digital Divide: Your Guide to Marketing Effectiveness

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