Why your marketing performance problem is really a measurement challenge

Figuring out how your company will grow is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers. The playbook is clear: Choose a high-value audience, execute relevant and creative campaigns, and voilà, results and growth for your brand, product or service. But setting your marketing team up for success is tougher than ever. One reason is that, […]

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Figuring out how your company will grow is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers.

The playbook is clear: Choose a high-value audience, execute relevant and creative campaigns, and voilà, results and growth for your brand, product or service.

But setting your marketing team up for success is tougher than ever. One reason is that, at many companies, the individual players aren’t using the same playbook. They choose a lower-value target, or the wrong one altogether, launch campaigns without insight and watch growth and ROI sputter.

Getting on the right track for growth is easier said than done. If you’re not seeing the number of leads, conversions, sales or other key metrics you’re looking for, finding out what’s not working and knowing how to fix it is tough.

The issue may not be your marketing tactics at all. It might actually be how you’re measuring performance. Without accurate measurement that de-duplicates results across customers and gives each touch point the proper credit toward a desired outcome, you really don’t know what’s working and what’s not.

This makes it almost impossible to invest in the channels that are driving results and avoid wasting spend on those that aren’t.

Digital marketing is complex

This is a common problem for today’s marketer. For decades, marketers have used traditional channels such as print, radio, TV, yellow pages and outdoor ads to reach consumers. But the digital revolution has proved disruptive to traditional marketing approaches. TV, radio, print and outdoor now work alongside digital marketing —  search, organic and paid search, email, social and video.

An explosion of digital channels, platforms and tools have made marketing more complex than ever. There are more touch points as consumers take control of the funnel, interacting with brands across multiple devices, niche media outlets and streaming TV.

Being able to reach and engage your best customer as they move along a tangled digital path requires sophisticated understanding of tools and tactics and clear strategy and vision. But the strategies and technologies that marketers have relied on for years to target, analyze and optimize their marketing and advertising campaigns have not evolved fast enough to keep pace with these demands.

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Marketing teams don’t share goals

Another challenge to growth is that it’s common for marketing teams to operate in silos. Most marketing organizations are split between marketing (direct mail, website, mobile, email, SEO, social, PR, events) and media (display, paid social, SEM, affiliate, print, radio, TV).

This split is compounded by multiple layers up and down the org chart: CMO, VPs, and directors, each with a team of managers and specialists under them, executing tactics and managing spend for each channel. Every organization also has multiple agency and vendor relationships.

That’s a lot of people in the pool. This complex structure often leads to individuals or teams working toward independent key performance indicators (KPIs) and incentives, leading to fragmented, ineffective optimization — by channel instead of across channels.

Aligning your organization toward common goals is challenging, especially when the goals change. Organizational silos and the complexities of the digital era have created measurement challenges that make it more difficult to maximize marketing effectiveness.

You may be hurting rather than helping performance

When goals, metrics and incentives align, teams can work together to boost performance and enhance the consumer experience along the entire funnel. But when they don’t, channel managers may unknowingly be working at odds.

Assuming that every part of the organization is doing all they can to feed the funnel and drive results is no longer enough. If your organization sets individual goals and incentives by silo, you may be hurting rather than helping performance.

That’s because each silo has its own metrics. Your Paid Search Manager is optimizing keyword performance while your Email Marketing Manager is tracking opens and click-through rate. How can you be sure they’re looking at the right numbers to achieve company goals?

Aligning metrics to a common goal is key

To truly understand the value of each consumer interaction with your brand, it’s not enough to count impressions or eyeballs or to measure the effectiveness of your marketing using last-touch metrics. You need to know the effectiveness of each marketing touch point in every consumer journey, regardless of where those touch points occur.

No matter which goal you’re focused on, you have to make sure your metrics align so that you’re tracking the right indicators. From a marketing perspective, this is critical. Marketing teams and management need to align on objectives and the KPIs that track progress toward achieving them.

Multi-touch attribution: New measurement for all channels

Many brands are reluctant to use advanced attribution methods that accurately assign fractional credit to marketing and media touch points, yet they’re spending millions of dollars annually measuring performance using last-click metrics they know are flawed.

To be effective, marketing organizations and their agency partners must rely on a data source that offers a holistic picture of performance and makes it possible for everyone to work toward shared goals. At the same time, each team member has different needs for actionable marketing intelligence at a different cadence.

Multi-touch attribution is an approach that makes sure all members of the organization are working together. Multi-touch attribution integrates disparate marketing performance data to establish a single source of truth.

By collecting, consolidating and normalizing performance data into common measures and taxonomy, this methodology supplies the insights your team needs on a consistent, holistic basis. Some multi-touch attribution solutions even integrate third-party behavioral and demographic audience data to provide tactical performance insights by audience segment.

Five attribution use cases

Here are five ways multi-touch attribution helps make sure your team is looking at the right numbers.

CMO: Budget allocation

It’s budget-planning time. The CMO of a large retailer needs to justify current marketing spend to other C-suite leaders and decide how to allocate budget and coordinate messages and experiences across online and offline channels.

Because they use multi-touch attribution, s/he knows VPs of marketing and media can report on which channels are driving business objectives for each target audience. The CMO uses that information to reallocate budgets to achieve higher top-line growth and better bottom-line efficiency.

VP: Cross-channel interaction

It’s the end of Q2. Last quarter, the brand launched a new multichannel campaign to drive sales of a new product, but the campaign fell short of its performance goals. The VP needs to know how to best allocate spend in order to increase sales by 20 percent in Q3.

Since a business rival is launching a competing product, she knows the marketing messages need to resonate with target customers and compel them to take action. She asks the managers of paid search, display, email and their e-commerce site to use multi-touch attribution to report on cross-channel interactions before deciding how to best allocate her quarterly budget to reach Q3 targets.

Channel manager: Email

It’s Monday, and there are campaigns rolling out on Tuesday and Thursday to different audience segments. The email channel manager needs to boost click-through rates to meet the weekly KPI.

Using multi-touch attribution, he checks the response to last week’s campaigns and sets up A/B tests for the emails going out this week, tweaking creatives for each audience segment to see which raises CTR. He then optimizes the email by segment and pushes those out to generate a higher return.

Channel manager: SEM

At the agency, the SEM channel manager sees via multi-touch attribution that the effectiveness of her Tier 1 campaign has suddenly dropped off because a new competitor has started aggressively bidding on the same keywords with an enticing offer that’s stealing click share.

She directs the SEM specialist to increase max bids by 10 percent and asks for an update on impact to performance in 24 hours. In the meantime, she asks the media analyst to report on which ads in the rotation are driving conversions at the highest rate for that campaign so she can direct her SEM specialist to pause the weaker performing ads.

Media analyst: Dimension analysis

At the agency, the media analyst pulls the numbers gathered via multi-touch attribution from yesterday’s mobile app, digital video, display and paid search ads. He compares creatives, ad sizes, offers, devices, geography and publishers to see which ones are performing well. He notices that last night’s new creative is working well across publishers, but only in the bigger size. He alerts the media buyer to boost ad size across channels.

Getting the marketing performance you deserve

Digital innovation has created a new set of opportunities and challenges for marketers. As a result, many brands today think they have a performance problem. The truth is that they actually have a measurement problem. If they can solve the root of the issue — poor measurement — they’ll get better results.

Multi-touch attribution allows brands in all industries to tackle the daunting task of properly measuring and optimizing the results of their marketing efforts. This makes it a whole lot easier for your organization to work together toward shared goals and grow.

To learn more about how you can be a better marketer in the digital era, download the Nielsen Visual IQ e-book: Crossing the New Digital Divide: Your Guide to Marketing Effectiveness

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Enable attribution across all channels, platforms and devices

It’s no secret that legacy attribution solutions are limited. As consumer digital journeys become increasingly cross-platform and cross-channel, these attribution providers have largely failed to evolve and adapt. This white paper from Branch Metrics covers: An overview of web and app attribution as they have developed. The challenges faced by today’s web and app attribution. […]

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It’s no secret that legacy attribution solutions are limited. As consumer digital journeys become increasingly cross-platform and cross-channel, these attribution providers have largely failed to evolve and adapt.

This white paper from Branch Metrics covers:

  • An overview of web and app attribution as they have developed.
  • The challenges faced by today’s web and app attribution.
  • The shortcomings of fingerprinting and cookie-based attribution methods.
  • The benefits of industry-leading people-based attribution and its benefits.

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “Ultimate Guide to Web and App User Attribution.”

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Google to stop media buyers from using DoubleClick IDs, keeping measurement & attribution within its ‘walled garden’

Marketers say that this move is part of a larger trend by companies like Google to control measurement and attribution metrics.

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Google has told media buyers who use its data transfer service that they will no longer be able to use a DoubleClick ID, multiple sources reported in the past week. Marketers use the IDs to pull cross-platform measurement data from Google’s DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM).

Google has told its partners that beginning May 25, DoubleClick will no longer populate the encrypted UserID field that stores the DoubleClick cookie ID and mobile device IDs in DCM and DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) logs for impressions, clicks and site activities associated with users in the EU.

May 25 is also the deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a sweeping set of rules that govern data privacy for members of the European Union.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

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Facebook unveils new analytics features, including a tool to track the omnichannel journey

The social media company made this announcement — and many others — at F8, its developer conference in San Jose.

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Facebook introduced new analytics features — including a tool to track customer journeys through multiple channels — on Tuesday at its F8 developer conference.

Journeys is the most notable addition to Facebook’s currents analytics tools. It provides omnichannel data and reporting, so marketers can see what users are doing right before they take an action that results in a conversion.

Journeys report, for illustration purposes only

The company took special care to note that this data is anonymously aggregated and not tied to any specific individuals’ identities. From the blog post announcing the features:

… as we work to build the future of analytics, we take our responsibility to keep people’s information safe seriously. We carefully built this product to protect people’s privacy. That’s why the insights we report are aggregated and anonymous; and don’t contain individually identifiable information, like emails and phone numbers. As Facebook Analytics evolves, we’ll make sure it’s in ways that work well for both people and businesses.

Facebook continues to reel from increased scrutiny and criticism in the wake of allegations that it provided users’ personal information to data firm Cambridge Analytica, which was then used to influence voters in the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Funnel vision

Facebook’s new analytics can auto-detect sales funnels using machine learning algorithms across channels, which enables marketers to “identify friction in your marketing and product experience, and uncover opportunities to optimize for conversions faster.” The enhancements will also provide insights gleaned from both auto-detected and user-created funnels.

The company is also adding to the automated insights it introduced last year to help marketers discover unusual patterns and correlations faster.

“It’s a new way to access some pretty interesting insights for your business,” the company said in its blog post. “If you know a particular action — certain types of website engagement means users are more likely to download your mobile app, for example — you can optimize your user’s experience to encourage more of that behavior.”

Facebook has also launched a Facebook Analytics mobile app, pictured below.

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New date! Customer data strategies & identity resolution webinar

When it comes to customer data, fundamentals matter. If you don’t know who your customers are, you can’t create personalized brand experiences that increase revenue and lifetime value. Before you jump on the latest big digital marketing bandwagon, ask yourself these questions: How complete is our customer data? How much of our customer data sits […]

The post New date! Customer data strategies & identity resolution webinar appeared first on Marketing Land.

When it comes to customer data, fundamentals matter. If you don’t know who your customers are, you can’t create personalized brand experiences that increase revenue and lifetime value.

Before you jump on the latest big digital marketing bandwagon, ask yourself these questions: How complete is our customer data? How much of our customer data sits in silos? Can we scale what we know about our customers?

Join our experts as we discuss data best practices that will solidify your customer data foundation. We’ll explore how new techniques in identity resolution can connect the data fragments that exist across your organization and fuel more relevant customer relationship marketing strategies.

Register today for “Customer Data Strategies & Identity Resolution: Best Practices,” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by FullContact.

The post New date! Customer data strategies & identity resolution webinar appeared first on Marketing Land.

How to increase B2B form submissions through conversion testing

Contributor Abraham Nord looks at four tests that illustrate how improving the online experience can lead to dramatic increases in conversion rate and lead results.

The post How to increase B2B form submissions through conversion testing appeared first on Marketing Land.

Nearly all business-to-business (B2B) marketers are focused on increasing leads, improving lead quality and improving return on investment (ROI).

Conversion testing plays a key role in all three of these objectives. Let’s look at four tests that illustrate how improving the online experience can lead to dramatic increases in conversion rates and lead results.

We will also analyze why the tests worked so you have a better understanding of how to apply the same principles to your own unique circumstances.

Test #1: Form position and orientation

Test variations:

Hypothesis: By centering the registration form and moving it higher on the page, visitors’ eyes will more easily flow from the call-to-action (CTA) statement to the form. The benefit bullet points and asset imagery will now serve as secondary, supporting content.

Results: Variation 1 won with a 34.47 percent higher conversion rate at 92.04 percent confidence.

Conclusion: Many visitors were ready to get the downloadable asset without needing additional information. The registration process was more seamless and apparent with Variation 1, thus increasing form submissions.

Test #2: ‘Instant download’ badge

Test variations:


Hypothesis: Visitors do not like waiting for an asset to be emailed to them, especially since they often have to check their junk folder to find/receive the asset. By adding a badge indicating the asset is an “instant download,” we will eliminate this pain point, thus increasing form submissions.

Results: Variation 1 won with a 31.93 percent higher conversion rate at 91.61 percent confidence.

Conclusion: Visitors did, in fact, appreciate the straightforward and transparent approach of giving them the asset immediately. There was also no significant difference between variations in terms of the quality of emails provided.

Test #3: Tabbed content

Test variations (desktop):


Test Variations (Mobile):

Hypothesis: By including additional information about the company and organizing that content in tabs, visitors will more easily see how the downloadable asset is relevant and beneficial to them, and thus, more visitors will complete the form and convert.

Results: Mobile: Variation 1 won with a 160.28 percent higher conversion rate at 98.75 percent confidence. Desktop: Control won with a 31.13 percent higher conversion rate at 86.28 percent confidence.

Conclusion: For desktop visitors, the tabbed information was less meaningful than immediately seeing testimonials and partners (as social proof) at a glance. However, mobile visitors appreciated the additional content presented in an easy-to-digest tabbed format on the smaller screen.

Test #4: Overall look and feel

Test variations:

Hypothesis: By testing a different page layout/look, we can make the largest gains in conversion rates in the shortest amount of time. The increased visual prominence of the asset and form area will draw visitors’ eyes to the area where we want the most engagement.

Results: Variation 1 won with a 44.73 percent higher conversion rate at 88.41 percent confidence.

Conclusion: The more prominent form section and front-on view of the asset were the largest factors in Variation 1 winning. Visitors could more easily see the asset they would be receiving and more immediately understand how to get the guide. After finding a winning overall layout/look, we can test additional iterations of this page.

Improve your lead resulting via testing

These four landing page tests represent a small sampling of possible conversion rate optimization (CRO) tests available to B2B marketers. The examples showcase the importance of page layout, registration form placement and format and the information/images associated with downloadable assets.

And as Test #3 reinforced, make sure you are looking at different device types and experiences separately so you can customize and optimize the conversion rate for all of your visitors, regardless of how they come to your site.

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Best practices for customer data strategies and identity resolution

When it comes to customer data, fundamentals matter. If you don’t know who your customers are, you can’t create personalized brand experiences that increase revenue and lifetime value. Before you jump on the latest big digital marketing bandwagon, ask yourself these questions: How complete is our customer data? How much of our customer data sits […]

The post Best practices for customer data strategies and identity resolution appeared first on Marketing Land.

When it comes to customer data, fundamentals matter. If you don’t know who your customers are, you can’t create personalized brand experiences that increase revenue and lifetime value.

Before you jump on the latest big digital marketing bandwagon, ask yourself these questions: How complete is our customer data? How much of our customer data sits in silos? Can we scale what we know about our customers?

Join our experts as we discuss data best practices that will solidify your customer data foundation. We’ll explore how new techniques in identity resolution can connect the data fragments that exist across your organization and fuel more relevant customer relationship marketing strategies.

Register today for “Customer Data Strategies & Identity Resolution: Best Practices,” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by FullContact.

The post Best practices for customer data strategies and identity resolution appeared first on Marketing Land.