Selecting from the Measurement Menu Relative to Brand Maturity
A brand’s measurement journey is much like The Game of Life, you cannot skip ahead to the end of the game with all the best attributes and win, it is a process full of fits and starts. Just as game players need to go to college, get married, etc. before they can collect assets that allow them to win, brands need to begin with readily available measurement and grow into a more advanced program that can combine components of different offerings from the measurement menu in advance of finding an optimal solution. Navigating this game requires a strong understanding of the marketing measurement options available and how it fits in with the current landscape for the brand and relevant agency partners, which we will outline here.
Deciphering the Options on the Measurement Menu
Marketing Mix and Unified Attribution are complex concepts, and they need to be to properly deployed in order to meet the needs of brands. There are other, simpler options, that brands and agencies can (and should!) leverage while getting up to speed. In fact, some measurement types are symbiotic with a Unified measurement approach. A few examples of alternative measurement types:
- Audience measurement and verification
- Brand health measurement
- Sales and/or brand lift studies
- Control / expose testing (MMA also has a great testing solution!)
- Last click attribution
- Correlation analyses
These tools can all help brand marketers make key decisions, but most importantly can start to create a culture where measurement is executed, prioritized, and leveraged against. However, as these tools age and brands become more willing to accept a more complex, yet beneficial measurement form, their flaws become increasingly overt. The above approaches don’t explicitly measure how to grow topline business, are not inclusive of all business drivers (marketing or otherwise) and may not even measure incrementality.
Picking the Filet off the Measurement Menu
Once brands and agencies are organizationally ready for a Unified approach, the benefits can manifest in clear ways alongside core business processes. The best implementations of Unified results manifest in the following:
- Overall Strategy
A Unified approach measures all business drivers that have an influence on topline performance and must be accounted for. Understanding how non-marketing levers like Seasonality, Competitive Activity, and Price impact the business on the same scale as marketing tactics like Television and Coupons allow for all organizational stakeholders to make strategic support decisions from a single source of truth. Specifically, this allows marketers to understand how their performance impacts the business, both directly and synergistically with other activity, and why levers in their remit may be impacted from direction provided by senior leadership.
- Tactical Decision Making
Understanding what, and importantly why, tactics are performing well within a marketing and agency remit is core tenant of a Unified measurement approach. Beyond simple delivery of ROIs, this approach helps those activating media to truly understand what is causing performance to improve or worsen over time. Having this information allows for a multi-tiered approach where decisions can be made at a tactic group, channel, and intra-channel level. This combination of factors can stimulate improvements over time, as both the business and media landscapes simultaneously evolve.
Reporting in media parlance is a term that carries multiple connotations, ranging from impression delivery, performance metrics, all the way to ROI. In the context of Unified measurement, it goes beyond the (very important!) delivery of ROIs and the core consultation they are coupled with. Providing these results within the context of media execution gives agencies the tools needed to leverage the results on an ongoing basis. Access to modeled results such as Targeting Multiple (which measures how much of your audience is being reached by certain tactics) and media metrics like Frequency allow for astute advertisers to use Unified results in a more proactive and regular manner.
What Happens After Selecting off the Marketing Measurement Menu
As brands and agencies mature into their marketing measurement journey and leveraging results become the rule, the path to success is dependent on collaboration from all partners. Not only do brands need to be willing to deploy the results of a measurement program, the marketing measurement vendors and agencies need to work hand-in-hand to best activate the slew of insights generated.
The next blog in our series will address our best practices for agency and measurement vendor collaboration.