Marketers know consumers want relevant, coordinated digital experiences. They are aware that personalisation is now considered a basic standard and most consumers — just over half (52%) — are likely to walk away if brands don’t offer tailored communications.
So why aren’t they adopting measurement tools that enable them to meet these demands?
Marketers have access to more data than ever to inform their efforts, but without the ability to measure all touchpoints and influences along the path to conversion, it’s hard to identify what works best and tailor activity accordingly. According to Econsultancy, a majority of companies (64%) don’t even have a data analytics strategy.
Clearly, change is needed. To fulfil consumer expectations and stay competitive, brands must move away from outdated siloed measurement approaches, towards holistic methods that provide a single view of individuals and the impact of each touchpoint in their journeys.
Yet initiating, managing and implementing change can be challenging, and it’s easy to come up with excuses for keeping poor measurement practices in place. Let’s explore how the top three can be overcome.
1. “I already measure the consumer journey”
Many marketers already use customer journey analytics to track consumer activity across channels and touchpoints and may feel they have enough insight. While these tools can track various brand interactions, such as the ads individuals click on, the emails they open, and the web pages they visit, they don’t reveal the value of each touchpoint. Marketers can see that an interaction occurred, but they don’t know if or how it impacted the outcome. As a result, marketers typically end up giving all the credit to the final touchpoint the consumer encounters. In doing so, they set the value of other interactions at zero: producing a skewed perception of the tactics and channels that influenced a lead, sale or other desired outcome. Even worse, allocating all the credit to the last click can have devastating effects on the efficiency of marketing spend.
To avoid this, marketers must deploy more advanced measurement methods, such as multi-touch attribution, that account for the cross-channel consumer journey. Leveraging individual, user-level data across addressable channels like direct mail, online display and paid search, multi-touch attribution calculates and assigns fractional credit to the marketing touchpoints along the consumer journey that impacted the desired result. Only then can marketers pinpoint which aspects of their campaigns influence consumer behaviour and tailor communications accordingly.
2. “I can’t add another measurement platform”
The marketing technology landscape is increasingly complex. Last year alone, the number of available solutions grew by 40% to reach a total of 5,381; so it’s understandable that the thought of implementing another tool isn’t initially appealing. The problem is that when marketing and advertising channels are managed separately, and all data pertaining to a channel is housed in its own system in a proprietary format, it’s impossible to get a holistic view of performance. Marketers can’t tell how their channels and tactics are working together to drive outcomes at each stage of the funnel. Even worse, having separate goals and incentives for each channel may actually mean teams are working against each other.
This is where implementing an alternative approach can help. By adopting platforms that take a unified approach to measurement — blending various streams of disparate performance data into a single repository with common measures — marketers can break down inefficient silos and create a ‘single source of marketing truth.’ More sophisticated solutions can even integrate audience attribute data to provide clarity into the messages and tactics that drive the best results – and the best experiences – for each audience.
3. “It will disrupt the workflow”
Although there may be some temporary interruption, the benefits measurement adjustment brings far outweigh its drawbacks. Firstly, updating systems allows marketers to outpace rivals by quickly adapting communications to capitalise on consumer wants, needs and behaviours. Secondly, implementing platforms that can integrate new channels as they enter the marketing mix will give marketers a comprehensive understanding of what’s working and what isn’t. From there, they can move budgets to areas that deliver both the best experiences and greatest return on investment.
Furthermore, it doesn’t mean that old measurement tools must be removed with immediate effect. Starting with a single channel or campaign can help minimise the disruptions of an “all or nothing” approach to advanced measurement. Focusing on a single channel or campaign to start, enables marketers to create an initial set of results that prove the platform’s performance and capitalise on those early successes to build momentum for expansion.
No more excuses…
As consumer habits change and technology develops, the measurement tools marketers rely on must evolve too. In the current age of multi-channel and cross-screen consumer journeys, marketers can’t afford to evaluate performance in silos or mechanically attribute conversions to one final touchpoint.
To provide the seamless and personalised experiences modern consumers want, they must achieve a holistic view of individual paths to purchase — including the influence of every touchpoint on the final outcome. With smart multi-touch attribution abilities, there is no longer any excuse for bad measurement or uncoordinated and irrelevant marketing communications.