As media becomes more accountable, marketers need a consistent way to measure campaign performance across media outlets. It’s important to determine which tactics are most successful, but it also simplifies the entire process. Direct mail, search and banner ads have been held to the same ROAS standards for years, and it’s time that we start expanding that list. Marketers need something that is repeatable and dependable across their advertising tactics, they need to focus on outcome-based marketing.
Currently, media is trending toward third-party measured outcomes. Cable providers are pushing traditional TV in this direction, and Facebook, arguably the digital leader, is doing the same as well. However, not all measurement partners are created equal. Some are more focused on branding and engagement metrics while others measure just online or offline sales. As marketers, we should strive to drive incremental ROAS or incremental outcomes, not just organic conversions. Industry-wide, we have already consolidated tracking impressions into a few big partners (DFA, Sizmek, Flashtalking, etc.), why should omnichannel sales not be the same way?
It’s time to start consistent measurement beyond the impression. Here are five steps that you as a marketer can take to move the conversations about your campaign results from impressions and clicks to omnichannel sales.
1. CHOOSE A PARTNER THAT ANSWERS YOUR CORE BUSINESS PROBLEM
Every marketer needs to identify their core business problem and find the right measurement to ensure the problem is solved. Whether you are looking to get the word out about your brand or you are trying to drive more sales and gain more share-of-voice in your category, there are measurement partners that can help with each of those specific needs.
The benefit of having a partner is that not only will they give you unbiased information, they’ll also give you the same information across all of your media so you have a consistent view of your core business problem. The key is to make sure to choose one that best fits your business.
2. HOLD ALL OF YOUR MEDIA PARTNERS TO THE SAME MEASUREMENT STANDARDS
When comparing all of your media outlets, the only way to truly see which is better is to ensure they’re all judged in the same manner. When it comes to incremental outcomes, using the same methodology across all of your media partners will give you a better understanding of what is working for your business—and more importantly, what’s not.
Using a test and control approach, where you have an exposed and unexposed group to see the impact that your ad had on the exposed audience, will allow you to see each media outlet separately and distinguish between your organic growth and the growth that is being driven by the money you are investing in advertising. Accountable media is necessary to consistently produce successful campaigns. Having a certain level of accountability that each outlet you work with is expected to reach will lead to a higher baseline for the quality of work.
3. SET LOWER-FUNNEL EXPECTATIONS THAT ALIGN WITH THE MEDIA’S EXECUTION
You wouldn’t go to the grocery store to buy a television, and you wouldn’t use conquesting targeting to drive loyal brand customers to your business. Those people are already a fan of your brand and what you have to offer; you don’t need to pull them away from another brand or convince them that yours is more valuable.
This example speaks to the importance of aligning the right expectations and execution to each tactic you choose. Lower-funnel strategies need to be more specific and targeted to the right audience to make an impact. Your loyalist will buy more from your brand, but new customers are also a necessity to succeed.
You need different strategies designed for each group.
4. USE HIGHLY PERSONALIZED TACTICS TO DRIVE YOUR BUSINESS RESULT
The majority of consumers have moved toward responding to only the most relevant ads. A 2013 study found that 74 percent of consumers actually get frustrated if the offers, ads and promotions on a site have nothing to do with their personal interests. Millennials, who represent the highest buying power in the economy, expect a message to be relevant and personalized to them.
The more granular your ads can be with targeting and messaging, the bigger the increase in results will be.
5. DON’T LET MEDIA METRICS DERAIL YOUR END GOAL
It is always tempting to look at standard media metrics to gauge how one campaign fairs against the next. However, how do those media metrics really tie to your end goal?
Without good viewability, you won’t see good omnichannel sales. So instead of focusing on media metrics, focus on the end goal. If your partners can deliver great viewability, but terrible incremental sales, are they really helping your business?
As a brand marketer, it’s important to align everything to the same metrics for more accountable media. It’s already been done for some marketing tactics, but it’s time to start looking for and using partners that provide metrics in ROAS. Streamlining everything will be instrumental for your organization to understand what is working, what isn’t and what needs to change with your marketing strategy.