Marketers now face an increasingly diverse set of challenges. On one hand, they are pushing out messages at a breakneck pace to a continually fragmenting number of digital channels. At the same time, they have never had more pressure to be accountable in pursuit of return of investment (ROI). It is no wonder that so much attention is now being paid to how marketing activities, channels and messages perform – and how it is all measured.
In 2017, there will be a bigger spotlight on marketing performance and measurement. We predict:
Trust will deteriorate
The quality of the data that is used to determine the performance of marketing activities came under the microscope in 2016. The publication of the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) initial Media Transparency Report shed some light on this issue with regards to agencies and their clients. Facebook admitted to a series of mistakes that it found with metric calculations.
Since the quality of the data has important implications, brands should take a ‘zero trust’ approach to the performance data they see. They should no longer assume that the data is right. They should put systems, processes and people in place to verify the performance data on their own.
Video and mobile will exacerbate measurement challenges
The digital video marketing ecosystem is going through a significant transformation. Brands are now posting videos natively on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Videos can now be inexpensive to produce, particularly live videos. And, most significantly, recent research from the Advertising Research Foundation has shown that advertisers are experiencing a video advertising ROI on mobile devices that is more than two times that on desktop devices - resulting in dramatic increases in spend for mobile video advertising.
While the aggressive growth of digital video content and ads is generally good for marketers, it also creates a new set of challenges. Having more services and publishers to deal with makes managing the execution and measurement of video marketing activities more difficult and open to ambiguous insights, which is not good when trying to justify spend. The industry will need to adopt new ways to standardise digital video measurement beyond the traditional approach born in the 30-second TV spot era.
Attribution will no longer be a shiny object
Attribution solutions are not a silver bullet to understanding channel performance. Many have even started to question whether accurate attribution can ever be attained, and those in pursuit of making it happen recognise that it isn’t easy. Recent research by IDG shows that organisations are facing major challenges when trying to implement attribution solutions – from data collection/centralisation and reporting accountability/accuracy, to process assessment and deciphering actionable insights.
In 2017, organisations will realise that attribution is not the panacea to their measurement problems. Attribution needs to be a part of a broader marketing measurement initiative to make a meaningful impact. Before getting started on implementing an attribution solution, organisations need to first establish a data foundation and measurement framework that addresses the challenges being faced.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning usage will proliferate
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have already had an impact in different areas of marketing technology. They are used to automate certain high-volume decisions and actions, like programmatic media buys and e-commerce personalization recommendations.
In 2017, AI and ML will play an increasing role in marketing performance measurement in two specific areas. First, they will be used to help process all of the marketing signals that brands receive on a daily basis across a variety of channels – minimising the manual work required to transform all of the data into a cleansed, normalised, useful format. Second, AI and ML will help automate the formulation of insights and recommendations to accelerate the cycle between an event and an appropriate action being taken. Marketers will stop letting so many opportunities and threats fall through the cracks.
2017 promises to be quite a year in marketing performance and measurement, as brands continue to grapple with the tension between trying different ways to reach their audiences and justifying the resources spent on such endeavours.
Opher Kahane, CEO and co-founder, Origami Logic
Tel: (650) 394-5355