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Marketing Data & Privacy Data

‘Clickers are weird, focus on metrics that impact business outcomes’, say experts

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By Preethi Ravi | Journalist

April 25, 2023 | 8 min read

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Video views or clicks can provide insights into consumer sentiment and message resonance but don’t directly attribute to business outcomes, say experts from On Device Research, ProfitWheel, Standard Chartered Bank and Meta.

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It is important to consider the customer journey and how it may vary for different products or services / Adobe Stock

Instead, marketers should focus on lead indicators which are easier to measure and provide more immediate feedback. Trust is the name of the game for digital marketers – whether that’s earning it from consumers or being reassured of it by the tech giants. With billions of dollars spent in digital advertising, measurement is the sanity check marketers need to rely on.

Experts at The Drum’s APAC Trends Briefing explained how to ensure that cross-platform measurement gives a true picture of how marketing spend is performing. The session, moderated by Prantik Mazumdar, managing director, CXM group, Singapore Dentsu International, explored the challenges, marketing mix modeling (MMM) and metrics that directly impact business outcomes. Catch up on the full session here.

When it comes to measuring marketing effectiveness across different funnels, Hiren Desai, head of digital marketing, ASEAN and South Asia at Standard Chartered Bank says, “It's important to consider the customer journey and how it may vary for different products or services. Different marketing channels and tactics may require different metrics to evaluate their effectiveness.”

He further explains that the focus at the top of the funnel is on creating awareness and attracting potential customers. At the middle of the funnel, it’s on engaging with potential customers and nurturing their interest and at the bottom of the funnel, it’s about converting potential customers into paying customers. “Metrics like brand recall, reach, awareness uplift, returning visitors, consideration, ROI, sales revenue and conversion rate must be considered,” he adds.

With several intricate measurement solutions, making sense of data is a challenge. Alistair Hill, chief executive officer at On Device Research, advises marketers to focus on metrics that are linked to effectiveness rather than just delivery metrics.

He says: “Clickers are weird. Click-through rates may not be a good indicator of sales. Clients should be advised to prioritize metrics that impact business outcomes, such as conversion rates or ROI. It’s important to look at the data in the context of the customer journey and consider how different touchpoints impact customer behavior.

“For example, a client may be seeing low conversion rates on their website, but if they are also driving a lot of foot traffic to their physical stores, it may still be effective overall. By looking at the data holistically, it’s possible to better understand the overall effectiveness of a marketing campaign.”

The metrics that matter for Meta are based on incrementality and lift measurement. “We focus on establishing whether an ad works or not through basic, pure incrementality, rather than giving credit to views or clicks,” says Gayathri Venkatesan, marketing science partner manager, South East Asia and emerging markets at Meta. “We look at metrics such as awareness, installs, sales, operating margin, and life time value(LTV) but there may still be some challenges in attributing these metrics back to specific campaigns.”

Abhinay Bhasin, head of product marketing and strategic account relationships at ProfitWheel, believes that while metrics such as views, clicks, and leads are important, “it is crucial to also look at the dollar value metric and understand the consumer behavior in a non-linear path to purchase.” He emphasizes the importance of humanizing data and understanding the audience to create messaging that resonates well, which will ultimately lead to a higher ROI.

The speakers concur that personalization at an individual level is becoming increasingly difficult due to changes imposed by companies like Apple, Google and Facebook, and that it’s important to understand consumers at a fundamental level across behaviors and platforms.

“Have a holistic approach towards measuring marketing effectiveness,” says Venkatesan. “It’s not just about relying on one single method, whether it’s experimentation, attribution or MMM. Instead, all three methods should work together to provide a comprehensive understanding of marketing impact. Additionally, investing in privacy-enhancing technologies can enable a safer and more granular approach to data stitching, which can further improve the accuracy of measurement.”

As for metrics, Hill suggests that around 5% of the campaign spend should be allocated towards measurement, if not, then the campaign may be under-measured.

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Desai highlights the key challenges that clients face when trying to navigate measurement and attribution:

  1. Data: having clean, consented, comprehensive and continuous data can be a big challenge for many brands. They need to have a single place where they can store all their data and get a continuous stream of data

  2. Attribution: with the rise of walled gardens and the eventual demise of cookies, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attribute results to various platforms. Brands need to find new ways of attributing results that are accurate and privacy-safe

  3. Hybrid approach: brands need to have a hybrid approach that incorporates both platform-level data and cross-channel attribution and measurement. This will allow them to micro-optimize on specific platforms while also zooming out to get a bigger picture of their overall performance

  4. Alignment: brands also need to ensure that their measurement and attribution are aligned with their overall business goals. For example, they need to make sure they are measuring the right metrics for their specific objectives.

To ensure greater trust in measurement, the speakers summarized four steps the industry can take:

  1. Have a trusted measurement partner who is future-proofed against the changes in cookies and third-party cookies

  2. Embrace a future of measurement that is modeled and don’t rely solely on AI

  3. Be open to experimentation and understand the limitations and advantages of different approaches

  4. Use multiple methods and KPIs to hold yourself accountable.

To learn more about measuring effectiveness across the full funnel, check out the full session on The Drum TV.

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