This is the future of marketing measurement



25th July 2023

~ 5 min read

We’re hearing from marketers in every sector that measurement is now their number one priority. With marketing spend being scrutinised more closely than ever before, being able to measure effectively and demonstrate the success of marketing efforts is absolutely essential. 

Last week, we brought together measurement experts from Croud and Google to dive deeper into the future of marketing measurement, and look at the steps brands can take towards undeniable ROI. 

Speakers included Senior Sales Engineer and GA4 guru, Alice Crawley, and Head of Partner Solutions Ian Turner from Google, as well as Global CSO and renowned author Avinash Kaushik, Director of Data Strategy, Kevin Joyner, Senior Analytics Manager, Sally Beers and Senior Data Scientist, Salvatore Maraniello from Croud.

Here we take a look at some of the key themes from the event.

Effective processes can save hours

Analytics’ real business impact depends on an end-to-end measurement strategy; one that examines and acts on insight found across all channels, and in the data that describes user behaviours, as well as acquisition and outcomes. This was certainly the case for a national kitchen retailer, one of Croud’s clients.

Croud was able to automate daily reporting – something that when done manually was very time-consuming – and this saved the client up to 19 hours of work each week. As a result, Croud was not only able to identify key blockers when it came to conversion through the client’s website, but could take a step further and boost performance through more testing, forecasting and investment.

More time for analysis + an end-to-end measurement strategy = ability to uncover actionable insights

In short, through freeing up time, we were able to identify key questions, and then answer them through extensive testing. The impact of gaining up to 19 hours a week through automation meant this time could be better spent creating valuable impact.

You need more than just efficiency

It’s pretty normal to want to increase efficiency by reducing something like Cost per Sale – for example, if the current cost per sale is £10, setting a target of £9.

But this common tactic is a double-edged sword. The truth of the matter is that the fastest way to increase efficiency is more often than not at the cost of effectiveness.

For instance, if the current market share is 18%, then after driving that efficiency, the new reality may be something like 16%. If you want to set a new efficiency target, it’s important to set a floor when it comes to key business metrics like market share, lifetime value, or revenue.

It’s important not to overinflate the importance of increasing efficiency at the expense of effectiveness – after all, I think we can all agree that if, for instance, our strategy increased market share by 4% yet reduced efficiency in the process, we’d still be very happy with the outcome.

The true formula to success actually looks something like this…

Efficiency + effectiveness = big success

Don’t focus on attribution

…and if you do insist on focusing on attribution, don’t trust the human, trust the algorithm instead.

Attribution modelling is the process of attributing credit across all marketing activities that have a positive impact – so for instance, 20% of spend went to Facebook, 40% of spend went to Spotify and 40% of spend went to Google, which ultimately led to 100k conversions. 

This breakdown is helpful to a certain extent, but we don’t actually know what impact our marketing activities had on conversions. We have no clear sight of what would have happened had we not run Facebook or Google activity at all. Almost all of the conversions could have resulted from the combination of TV activity and market factors, and might have been seen by running no activity at all.

Focusing on incrementality (i.e., looking at business results from marketing tactics that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise), is a much more helpful approach. So, for instance, if we hadn’t spent 20% on Facebook, 40% on Spotify and 40% on Google, how many of the 100k conversions would we lose? Let’s break this down.

Since incrementality is a tricky thing to measure, there are several methods you can use – all of which answer very different but important questions. Using these three methods in combination will help your Analytics team demonstrate undeniable ROI.

  1. Channel-silo incrementality – by using conversion uplift studies, identify exactly how many conversions you gain per campaign so that you can make immediate tactical improvements to how you spend your budget.
  2. Cross-stack incrementality – by using matched-market tests in carefully defined and co-ordinated geo experiments, you’ll be able to work out each channel’s maximum value, by discovering the level of spend that delivers the greatest return at peak efficiency.
  3. Portfolio incrementality – by using media mix models, you’ll be able to look at your entire marketing spend and work out the true incremental value of your marketing efforts. This level of sophistication in measurement enables outcomes-based media planning across the full media mix.

The Modern Analytics Maturity Model (MAMM)

At Croud, alongside our Global CSO, Avinash Kaushik, we’ve developed a framework for measuring our clients’ level of maturity when it comes to strategic analytics and measurement. Our MAMM provides a comprehensive assessment of the advertiser’s current situation, as well as clarity in the steps needed to progress to higher levels of the maturity model.

The MAMM consists of six levels – from zero to five – each with specific analytics stakeholders, capabilities, infrastructure, data types, measurement solutions, and more. By diagnosing analytics maturity by these many dimensions, we’re able to plan the work that will take an advertiser to consistency at a level, and that will then deliver progress to the next, and beyond. This broad and purposeful approach ensures lasting improvements and long-term business impact. 

If you’d like to find out more about which level your marketing practice sits at and which measurement methodologies are best suited to you, simply reach out to our team.

Want to know more about measurement?

You can request access to the event slides here, and stay tuned for our upcoming measurement guide which we are launching in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about how effective measurement can elevate your business strategy and demonstrate your marketing’s undeniable ROI, get in touch with our measurement experts today.

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