Stop Counting Clicks, Start Tracking Value

Marketing measurement has gone from difficult to, in some cases, practically impossible.

Consider: According to Forrester Research, 68% of customers use Internet-connected devices while watching TV. “This makes measuring extremely difficult,” Forrester analyst Tina Moffett said during her session at Forrester’s 2015 Forum for Marketing Leaders.

Analytics could help—if more marketers took advantage of them. Moffett cited research from Forrester’s recent CMO survey revealing that only 16% of marketers say their company is leveraging marketing analytics to answer its most challenging marketing questions all of the time; 53% say some of the time; and 31% say none of the time. Further, only 10% of respondents say their company effectively integrates customer information across purchasing, communications, and social media channels; 57% claim to do so somewhat; and 33% not at all.

Moffett reminded attendees that they have to measure effectively, but also have to optimize and react quickly. “Only 26% of marketers use attribution models to understand customer behavior,” she said. “It’s a missed opportunity for the rest.” Understanding customers, she said, lowers the cost to serve and improves customer engagement.

Her recommendation is to move from marketing attribution to customer journey measurement and then to contextual measures that allow marketers to understand performance beyond marketing and media. That process requires data, of course. Primarily, customer and contextual data.

In terms of customer data, Moffett advised connecting first-party data, customer-based impact metrics, and qualitative data to measure non-marketing/media contributed value. The value of doing so, she said, is enhanced insight into non-markting motivation factors like brand perception, segment-based insight that feeds into marketing planning, and deeper path-to-purchase analysis.

As for contextual data, Moffett recommended integrating context information—e.g., location, timing, sequencing—of marketing interactions. The value of this is the ability to measure the impact of event timing and context versus marketing stimuli: Would customers have bought anyway?

Once marketers have their data squared away it’s time to create a journey map, Moffett said. It will help marketers view the ecosystem of interactions from their own lens and the lens of the customer. Marketers will then be able to understand the ecosystem more holistically and can help channel managers coordinate their efforts, she said.

All of this begins with a hard look internally. “Assess your measurement capabilities honestly,” Moffett asserted.

And once you’ve jumped in to using contextual measures, keep moving forward. “You’re never done building analytics capabilities and strategy,” Moffett said, “because customer needs and expectations are always changing.”

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