A Brand’s Marketing Measurement Journey

  • Impact of marketing on Sales
  • Benchmark return on investment ROI
  • Measure the impact of campaign
  • Optimize marketing mix
  • Identify the right marketing budget

Why should a brand adopt frequent marketing measurements?

When a brand moves to more frequent (half yearly, quarterly, monthly) measurement of marketing performance compared to ad hoc tracking; here are the direct benefits you witness:

Frequent measurement gets you out of the fog
  • Develops discipline of looking at marketing activities
  • Provides a consistent version of truth in what is driving business performance.
  • Builds an institutional knowledge of key metrics
  • Improves predictability of sales forecasting models
  • Avoid the media waste while being more experimental & agile.
  • Save time for middle managers who spend most of the time preparing reports for leadership.
  • It forces focus on trending forecastable indicators of activity if an activity is going to be included in the model.
  • It creates internal conversation and alignment about what metrics are the best indicators of tactics and/or activity. For example, on digital — is it spend, impressions, CTR — what should we be tracking and when?

Key Learnings for a team building a measurement capability

There is just so much confusion when it comes to measuring the marketing. Many times stakeholders put too much focus on how much data they have (1st party, 2nd party, and 3rd party), how many tools are connected, what modeling techniques should we employ. All of that is really important, after all data is at the center but people, process, teams involved in this journey are the key to make this journey an overall success. Here are few tips:

  • Start small & Set up the cross-functional team
  • Don’t try to incorporate everything in the beginning
  • Do not underestimate internal change management
  • Treat output as dashboard vs. deck
  • Choose a right measurement vendor
  • Role of marketing channels; expected ROI
  • What can or cannot be done in terms of recommendations provided as an outcome of measurement exercise?
  • Keeps everyone in check when it comes to making model assumptions, validity of models (including independent variables, dependent variables), limitations to regression analysis (w.r.to to domain) and quality of predictions.
  • Triage the issues around models & outcomes with vendors and the business leadership.
  • Ensure that data from various sources are provided to the measurement vendor on time.
  • Facilitate validation of final data with relevant stakeholders.
  • Consolidate questions/hypotheses that stakeholders may have.
  • Get an alignment with business & analytics leadership on outcomes before sharing it with the larger audience (including agencies & brand team).
  • Work with your measurement vendor to educate teams on how to use the outcomes for better decision making.
  • Finalizing the media data from the agency side.
  • Explaining the marketing measurement methodology (mostly done by measurement vendor),
  • Understanding KPIs & how various channels are executed by the Brand & measurement vendor.
  1. First spend time on understanding how “Display” marketing channel is working on a high-level and its interaction with other channels.
  2. Once understood, get to the publisher level.
  3. And then, at a tactic or creative level.
  • Stakeholders might not comply with the timelines to provide hypothesis & business questions
  • Data templates are changed without communicating to everyone involved in the process.
  • Expectation to incorporate new data sets without advance notice.
  • Few participants never open the document before meeting and few might need a week’s notice; balance out the need.
  • Response curves, for all media and promotions channels, can be used in the forecasting process to integrate short-term performance of marketing channels in the last quarter.
  • Share your outcomes and key metrics with various teams managing downstream processes to understand what kind of additional data can be brought into modelling to bring additional value over a period of time. For ex.,
  • Unstructured data i.e. comments, reviews, digital conversations
  • Measuring brand equity in addition to sales
  1. Attributed EQ volume/Sales: How much sales is driven by each channel
  2. ROI: How well is this channel performing? It should be looked at in conjunction with the spend and Attributed EQ volume and not by itself.
  3. Conversion KPIs: There are some non-sales metrics such as CTRs, Viewability etc. that are available in the everyday data that are correlated to sales/ROI. These KPIs can be used as indicators of performance.
  4. Effectiveness: Understand the performance of the channel with respect to the execution and not just spending. Especially when detailed spending is not available, this helps accurately understand performance
  • Dashboards make it much easier to identify data gaps, anomalies, patterns and trends.
  • Dashboards can provide a significant amount of detail for various time periods and KPIs by channel, sub-channel and any detailed execution requested for by the teams or agency (performance by coupon, performance by ad length etc.)
  • Analysts/Brand teams/Agencies that are involved in the execution and decision making can get access to performance metrics and underlying data via these templates. It brings transparency about data at execution level
  • Generate an executive summary (PPT) for business leadership interested in seeing answers of specific hypotheses.
  • Transparency: Would you have visibility into the modelling box or would it be a black box to you?
  • Reflecting business landscape: Is the technology equipped to learn from business changes (adding new variables, dropping old ones, merging variables, baseline related changes, etc.) and deliver on-time; this might mean changing the models multiple times.
  • Collaboration: Can the vendor work with your various agencies, coach them and support them in building the best media plans possible for your brand?
  • Pushing boundaries: Capability to ask questions to business, marketing/media and analytics team to break group think.

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