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How to measure for success in an omnichannel world


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

September 26, 2023 | 8 min read

As part of The Drum’s Deep Dive, The Convergence of Media, we asked top marketers how they handle ad measurement in an ever-more fragmented world.


How to measure for success in an omnichannel world?

As media channels blur together, how are most marketers handling the apples versus oranges conundrum and working out what mediums provide the best value for money?

Are agencies capable of giving clients an accurate view in this day and age?

How to measure success in an omnichannel world?

Andy Jones, head of UK sales, Samsung Ads: “Viewers don’t delineate between ‘traditional’ versus ‘digital’ advertising on their TVs, and so as an industry, we need to move away from this hangover siloed thinking. For CTV, the solution is not a complicated one but rather a combined approach: combining modeled data (such as BARB) with deterministic data (like Samsung Ads’ ACR data), advertisers can get a more holistic picture of TV.

“This benefits both targeting and measurement. The experience gap for buying and selling TV ad inventory is closing further with new solutions that help trade CTV ad inventory similarly to linear, and vice versa. The same is happening with the measurement gap. We want media agencies to continue to share feedback on any challenges in the process, but rest assured the industry is listening, and we are improving.”

Arthi Veeraragavan, head of analytics, Apollo Partners: “Omni channel marketing has significant benefits for brands from resource efficiency to increased customer insight. But it’s more than meeting customers where they are; it’s having the right conversation at the right time. Our social media headspace differs from our Hulu binge mode. For example, CTV may only drive s directly, but it can fuel search demand. It’s crucial to remember the role of each channel and invest in adequate cross-channel measure,ment so you’re still measuring the impact of individual touchpoints on business goals.”

Will de Lannoy, managing partner and head of media and new engagement Models at Anomaly: “The inherent issue with streaming media measurement is similar to the paradox of measuring coastlines. In that case, the more precise the measurement, the ‘longer’ the coastline appears to be. Higher fidelity finds more nooks and crannies to measure. With media, it’s the inverse. The more precise the measurement, the ‘less impactful’ the media appears to be. Higher fidelity measurement finds more reasons to discount an impression - duplicated viewers, low attention, sound off, no viewer at all, ads playing out of view, a cluttered ad environment, etc. Many of those issues have always existed in TV measurement,t too, but without a way to track them, they could be ignored.

“And all of that is true before you get to even weightier advertising measurement issues, like how you truly know if an ad or collection of ads drove a sale. Acknowledging this, I think it’s critical to look at media measurement not as an accounting of the trust but as a useful collection of proxies to help advertisers make decisions. There is no ‘accurate picture’ of exactly what happened.”

Mark Byrne, director of paid media, Brave Bison: “Media channels are continuing to blur, with traditional TV launching streaming services and some streaming platforms now broadcasting live TV. This calls into question the more conventional approach of measuring both channel’s effectiveness separately. As with all media, measurement and KPIs must be adapted to reflect modern complexity. It is impossible to compare channel effectiveness if measured through different lenses.

“We see similar challenges in performance marketing - there needs to be a balance between long-term aspirations and short-term goals, requiring correct KPI and goal setting. The world of content media measurement is no different; just as marketers must balance brand-building measurement against short-term sales activation, media measurement must balance traditional and streaming channels. Both require unified metrics based on actionable KPIs.”

Emma Moorhead, general manager, Wavemaker UK: “An omnichannel approach enables us to move from a world where we are planning channels in isolation, with activations running in a silo and individual channel measurement, to a world where we have connected planning, connected activation and most importantly connected measurement.

“The measurement part is challenging – just trying to connect TV with Broadcast Video On Demand has involved the broadcasters uniting around CFlight, which is still limited in its reporting capabilities. ISBA’s ambitions with Project Origin remain lofty. The focus needs to be beyond the media metrics to the brand metrics, and this part is possible. For example, in the past, we have worked with On Demand Research to measure multi-channel exposure and sales to demonstrate uplifts in people exposed to multiple channels versus those exposed to just one channel. The results were impressive.”

Ric Hayes, group strategy director of SocialChain: “In social, we ask if ROI is the best metric to track against to determine success. ROI is short-term focused, so straight away, you’re potentially missing factors that can contribute to brand impact and sales in the longer term. To ensure clients understand how well the brand is performing in a fragmented environment, I’d recommend reorientating KPIs to focus on a more holistic measurement approach, focusing on specific channel metrics in isolation.”

“A good way to kickstart this is by setting key strategic objectives and aligning KPIs against those. In other words, deliver against outcomes, not metrics. For example, an agency delivering x impressions or x clicks or visits is great, but ultimately, from the client’s perspective, what did it achieve? Once you can say we delivered this much reach, exposure, engagement, or whatever against a particular task or long-term goal, it’s much easier to give clients an accurate picture of a campaign's success.”

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