Crafting Intelligent B2B Experiences

In recent blog posts, we’ve written about the important role of data in B2B marketing. We explored what comprehensive data capture looks like and how to curate that data once you have it. This third and final installment will focus on intelligent B2B e…

In recent blog posts, we’ve written about the important role of data in B2B marketing. We explored what comprehensive data capture looks like and how to curate that data once you have it. This third and final installment will focus on intelligent B2B experiences as a means to both use that data and continue to capture more of it.

The Components You Need in a Connected Identity Platform

Despite Google’s latest third-party cookie announcement, delaying deprecation from 2023 to 2024, identity is still the heart of a brand’s ability to deliver great customer experiences in a privacy-safe way. And the smartest brands are preparing now to …

Despite Google’s latest third-party cookie announcement, delaying deprecation from 2023 to 2024, identity is still the heart of a brand’s ability to deliver great customer experiences in a privacy-safe way. And the smartest brands are preparing now to gain competitive advantage. But what are the core capabilities that must be adopted to gain a competitive advantage in the evolving advertising ecosystem?

Due to these industry changes, technology that relies on third-party cookies to enable activation and measurement is becoming obsolete. Many organizations have begun to heavily invest in identity, data, security, and more advanced ways to activate and measure media spends. Beyond that, brands need the core components that fill the gaps left by a cookie-less world to ensure that they have the tools to succeed in a privacy-safe way going forward.

It is also important not to confuse identity platforms with a customer data platform (CDP). A true connected identity platform will manage data and identity outside a client’s walls, while a CDP’s strength is within the walls of an organization. Read more on how they work together here.

A connected identity platform should include these components:

Unsurprisingly, these platforms provide an identity solution using a person-based ID. This identity anonymizes the individual person but also enables an organization to act on the ID across the ad ecosystem (i.e not cookies). This also provides the ability to leverage the identity graph of the provider, enabling greater reach (or matches) in media endpoints.
 

These platforms can supplement and enhance first-party data with second- and third-party data stores. This combined data also uses a person-based ID to bolster what you understand about customers,
 

These platforms are built with the marketer in mind. They offer several ways that someone without coding skills can build and manage audiences across data sources and provide high-level insights and sizing before activation. These platforms have a long list of turnkey integrations with media end point to make media planning/activation scalable while shorting time to market.

A clean room is a privacy-safe environment where data sources can be meshed at the individual customer level. The cleanroom enables an organization to combine different data sources or signals of their own and/or of other partners in a privacy compliant manner. The two main use cases of the connected identity platform clean room enable an organization to perform advanced audience analytics insights, modeling, longitudinal analysis, closed-loop measurement (connecting online exposure to offline conversions) Having this advanced analytics workbench connected to data sources and end points is a key advantage of an integrated clean room.

One of the key features of connected identity platforms is the ability to bring all these disparate data sources into a privacy-compliant analytics workbench where closed-loop measurement, advanced insights, and custom modeling can be done on persistent person-based ID.

All these features help a marketer address the changes of the evolving ad tech ecosystem. While post-cookie digital ecosystems might bring new challenges, organizations that employ a transactable identity backbone and analytics tools will be in a strong position for the future.

Brands must find a solution that allows them to use these capabilities while also building their own identity graph consisting of all identifiers and signals while they can. The graph will get smarter over time, making it easier for brands to recognize and connect with people in a more personal and relevant way, wherever they are.  We know more change is coming. This is the time for brands to invest and prepare.

Want to learn more about connected identity platforms?  Need help with your analytics? Contact our team here.

Free Schedule Maker: a Google Sheet Template for School & Work

Many people bristle at the idea of using a schedule planner. They don’t want restrictions and prefer the freedom to tackle things as they come up. While an open day is wonderful on a vacation when you have nothing to do but relax, vacations eventually …

Many people bristle at the idea of using a schedule planner. They don’t want restrictions and prefer the freedom to tackle things as they come up. While an open day is wonderful on a vacation when you have nothing to do but relax, vacations eventually end. In the real world, there is work to finish, people to meet, and a family to nurture. When we don’t plan time in our day to do what really matters, our life quickly falls out of balance.

The post Free Schedule Maker: a Google Sheet Template for School & Work appeared first on Nir and Far.

How Can Identity Help B2B Marketers Build Better Experiences? (Vlog)

Identity is a must for B2B organizations to best reach key buyers in a privacy-safe way. Historically, organizations would manage lead generation efforts separately from their nurture, growth, and retention efforts. This resulted in disjointed teams, d…

Identity is a must for B2B organizations to best reach key buyers in a privacy-safe way. Historically, organizations would manage lead generation efforts separately from their nurture, growth, and retention efforts. This resulted in disjointed teams, disjointed messaging, and cold-start problems that could be avoided if all efforts were being coordinated through one platform. At the same time, lead generation efforts largely depended on third-party cookies, which are going away.

How to Start Using Ethical AI Today – A CMO’s Guide

There’s an increasing need for brands to oversee and understand their artificial intelligence (AI) processes as they’re used more and more across organizations. Ethical AI, or explainable AI, provides the foundation for doing just that. Though AI overs…

There’s an increasing need for brands to oversee and understand their artificial intelligence (AI) processes as they’re used more and more across organizations. Ethical AI, or explainable AI, provides the foundation for doing just that. Though AI oversight might immediately make one think of a chief data officer or chief technology officer, in actuality, all members of an organization play a key role in ethical AI.

A Fail-Safe Trick in your Search for the Right Productivity Apps

The internet is inundated with articles that have titles like “The Best Productivity Tools of the Year” and “Productivity Apps That Will Make Your Life Easier.” Dozens if not hundreds of apps claim to help people focus, manage their time, and stick to …

The internet is inundated with articles that have titles like “The Best Productivity Tools of the Year” and “Productivity Apps That Will Make Your Life Easier.” Dozens if not hundreds of apps claim to help people focus, manage their time, and stick to healthy habits.

The post A Fail-Safe Trick in your Search for the Right Productivity Apps appeared first on Nir and Far.

Using Data in the Face of Inflation: Your Top Questions, Answered

Inflation is top-of-mind for all consumers this year, causing marketers to question how best to adapt. I recently discussed inflation and its related marketing challenges on a webinar hosted by eMarketer and have pulled out some of the top questions br…

Inflation is top-of-mind for all consumers this year, causing marketers to question how best to adapt. I recently discussed inflation and its related marketing challenges on a webinar hosted by eMarketer and have pulled out some of the top questions brands are asking right now.

How Snowflake Can Accelerate Organizations’ Transformation

Over 11,000 attendees experienced the Snowflake summit in Las Vegas earlier this summer. If anyone is wondering if the industry is ready to attend in-person events, the answer was a resounding yes as evidenced by this event.

Over 11,000 attendees experienced the Snowflake summit in Las Vegas earlier this summer. If anyone is wondering if the industry is ready to attend in-person events, the answer was a resounding yes as evidenced by this event.

Snowflake summit

You’re Not Addicted to Technology. Here’s What’s Happening Instead.

The loudest voices in our culture today say yes. During a conversation about technology on his mega-popular podcast, Joe Rogan said, “We’ve got a real addiction problem in this country.” In a congressional hearing in 2021, U.S. representative Kathy Cas…

The loudest voices in our culture today say yes. During a conversation about technology on his mega-popular podcast, Joe Rogan said, “We’ve got a real addiction problem in this country.” In a congressional hearing in 2021, U.S. representative Kathy Castor of Florida said that apps are “designed to be addictive.” During his 2020 presidential campaign run, Andrew Yang said, “Our kids unfortunately are getting addicted to smartphones.”

The post You’re Not Addicted to Technology. Here’s What’s Happening Instead. appeared first on Nir and Far.

Transform Data’s Impact: Pick The Right Success KPI!

Your analysis provides clear data that the campaign was a (glorious) failure. It could not be clearer. The KPI you chose for your brand campaign was Trust, it had a pre-set target of +5. The post-campaign analysis that compares performance across Test & Control cells shows that Trust did not move at all. (Suspiciously, there […]

The post Transform Data’s Impact: Pick The Right Success KPI! appeared first on Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik.

Your analysis provides clear data that the campaign was a (glorious) failure.

It could not be clearer.

The KPI you chose for your brand campaign was Trust, it had a pre-set target of +5. The post-campaign analysis that compares performance across Test & Control cells shows that Trust did not move at all. (Suspiciously, there are indications that in a handful of Test DMAs it might have gone down!)

Every so often, the story is just as simple as that.

You do the best you can with a marketing campaign (creative, audience, targeting, channels, media plan elements like duration, reach, frequency, media delivery quality elements like AVOC, Viewability, etc.), and sometimes the dice does not roll your way when you measure impact.

You would be surprised to know just how frequently the cause for failure is things that have nothing to do with the elements I mentioned above.  In future Premium editions we’ll cover a bunch of these causes, today I want to cover one cause that is in your control but often a root cause of failure:

Judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree!

AKA: You picked the wrong KPI for the campaign.

[Note 1: I’m going to use the phrase Success KPI a lot. To ensure clear focus, clear postmortems and clear accountability, I recommend identifying one single solitary metric as the Success KPI for the initiative. You can measure seven additional metrics – say for diagnostic purposes -, but there has to be just one Success KPI. Close accountability escape hatches.]

[Note 2: Although the guidance in this article applies to companies/analytics teams of all sizes, it applies in particular to larger companies and large agencies. It is there that the largest potential for mischief exists. It is also there, with an army of brilliant Analysts, that the highest potential for good exists.]

[Note 3: This article, part 1 of 2, was originally published as an edition of my newsletter The Marketing < > Analytics Intersect. In part 1, below, we’ll sharpen our skills in being able to recognize the problem, and five of the twelve rules for success. If you are TMAI Premium member, check your inbox for TMAI #313 for part 2 with the remaining rules and additional guidance. If you can’t find it, just email me. Merci.]

Be sure to save the summary visual at the end for implementing it in your company/agency.


The Subtle Art of Picking Bad KPIs.

Example 1.

Let’s say I work at Instagram, specifically in the Reels team. We want Reels to, say, crush TikTok. The team runs a $250 mil multi-platform campaign to increase Awareness of Reels. The campaign Success KPI was chosen to be: Incremental Reels Videos Created.

Good campaign. Bad Success KPI.

If you truly build Awareness creative, then judge success using the KPI Awareness. No?

Fish swim.

[Yes, long-term success of Reels will only come from Instagram users uploading Reels, but that was not the problem the creative was solving for. If the goal was Incremental Reels Videos Created, you would build an entirely different creative, you would target the campaign, potentially, to a different audience, you might create a different media plan, you would… run a different campaign.]

Creating a performance Success KPI for a brand campaign is a particularly common, and heartbreaking, mistake. Sophisticated brand measurement is hard. It feels simpler to pick what’s easy to measure, but you are going to make the fish feel bad when you judge its ability to climb trees AND you don't accomplish the desired outcome.

Example 2.

Let’s say I ran the campaign mentioned at the top of this email for my employer American Express.

If you look at Brand Trackers published by numerous industry sources, it becomes apparent in two minutes that American Express does not have a Trust problem. Americans trust American Express in massive quantities.

If you run a trust campaign for American Express, that campaign is going to fail. You are solving a problem that’s not a problem.

Bad Success KPI because of, technically speaking, high baselines.

Example 3.

Your new, Extremely Senior Leader is obsessed about doing Marketing that makes people fall in love with our brand. So, they conceive of a multi-million dollar Social campaign and demand the success KPI be: Brand Adoration.

[A KPI like that instinctively makes Analysts cringe because what’s Brand Adoration anyway. What does that even mean? Do we just make something up? If we do, how would we ever know if we did something meaningful, how we are doing compared to competitors/industry, what kind of creative/media do we even use to build “Brand Adoration,” and what are the core drivers of Brand Adoration, and if you don’t know, what are you actually doing spending all this money? I am going to set all this aside for a future TMAI Premium editions!]

You’ll measure that KPI using a question (or five) that will be presented in both the Test & Control cells. Will anyone who is not an employee of your company or in your Team's orbit even understand what the question is?

Let’s say, you ask Do you adore PayPal? Will the responding human know how to process this question?

Let’s say, you try an even more clever trick and ask PayPal is my preferred choice for financial transactions of a personal nature, and I would never use any other service, choose Yes or No.

Would the responding human understand that you are measuring brand adoration and give you a valid answer?

This is a bad Success KPI because no responding human can understand what you are asking – then the signal you accumulate to assess the campaign success or failure is a false signal.

And, it is the analytics person/team/agency's mistake.

Example 4.

A little grab bag for you…

When you are trying to drive long-term profit, picking Conversion Rate as a Success KPI for a campaign would be a mistake.

For your Display Advertising campaigns, picking any Success KPI close to buying (ex: Revenue) usually is a mistake. (Assisted Conversions – over a 30 or 90-day period, depending on your business – might be better.)

Anointing Conversion Rate (or dare I say even Revenue) as the Success KPI for your Email newsletter is a double mistake. It will cause your team to use newsletters in the spirit of pushy spam, and it will stop newsletters from truly becoming a strategically valuable owned asset, as Email is magnificent at See and Think, not so much Do.

I could keep going on. I have a hundred thousand more stories of judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree.


12 Rules for Picking the Right Success KPI.

While there is enough responsibility to spread around, I rest accountability for this common mistake on the Analyst/s. Marketers, CMOs, Finance peeps should know the implications of picking an imprecise Success KPI, but the Analyst is the expert and, hence, I expect them to take the lead.

To help you do that, here are 12 rules I codified for our team to use when we pick the Success KPI for a campaign. Each of these rules helps address a common error, collectively they also help you/leaders think through the campaign strategy, consider if they are solving the right problem, and so much more beyond just the KPI.

Ready to be A LOT MORE influential in your company?

Here are 12 rules brilliant companies use for picking the right Success KPI (and do Marketing that matters):

1. Is it an industry standard KPI?

It sounds like bad news that I’m saying you are not a special snowflake, that your campaign/tactic/magnificently brilliant idea is not so very incredibly unique that you need to make up a Metric to measure its success.

When you use an industry standard KPI, you have access to standards and benchmarks – providing you the super cool benefit of being able to assess your own performance in a much bigger context. This choice also comes with guidance on best practices for measuring this KPI – so that you don’t have to invent a methodology/technique that has no benefit of the industry’s collective wisdom.

Bonus: If you use an industry standard KPI, very often you’ll get access to research related to drives of that KPI that your Creative, Media and Strategy teams will kill for. If they know the drivers, they can internalize at a deeper layer what it takes to drive success.

Try not to make up a KPI, try not to make up the formula/question/methodology for a Success KPI. On that note…

2. (If it is a made up metric:) Is the KPI definition clear and understandable by a non-employee (aka consumer)?

For brand marketing, you and I assess success using a question we ask consumers.

When we make up our own metrics, the questions come from our best expertise, they might then get changed by a non-expert (Director of Marketing, CEO) because they like the sound of a particular word or phrase. But, phrased like that… Only your Director, and five people who say yes to everything the Director says, actually understand the question and answer choices. People taking the survey are super confused or putting their own interpretation on what you are asking. Now, their answers are suspect and – regardless of if their campaign results are indicated as a Big Success or Big Failure by the data – the measurement is imprecise.

Non-employees – aka normal people – need to be able to clearly and quickly understand what you are asking in your brand measurement surveys. Both the question AND the answer choices.

For performance marketing, you can see this confusion practiced when you create compound metrics. I bet your CMO dashboard has Social Engagement on it – only you understand what that metric actually is, and the convoluted formula ensures no one will ever know why Social Engagement went up or down. Not a good success KPI.

3. Is the Success KPI a business metric or a third-order driver metric?

You might have noticed above that I’m a fan of understanding the drivers of success (driver metrics) and not just the Big Thing we are trying to move (success KPI).

But, there is a special type mistake I see often made: The driver metric is chosen as the Success KPI.

An example of this is choosing Conversion Rate – certainly a driver metric – as the Success KPI vs. Profit. Yes, perhaps Profit will go up if you have a higher Conversion Rate, but the team could just use coupons or targeting low-value customers to drive the Conversion Rate and Profit will never go up.

Another example of this is that we want to influence Trust in our company, and we end up picking Product Quality as the Success KPI. Yes, Product Quality will improve Trust over time, but the coefficient is probably petite.

To correctly identify the impact of your campaign, pick the business outcome you want as the Success KPI and not one of the many driver metrics.

4. Is the Success KPI the goal set in the creative brief?

The creative is the ad we see on TV or TikTok, it is the lines of text in your Bing ad, and it is the (hopefully not annoying) image, text, animation, call to action, in your Display ad currently running in the Sacramento Bee.

Creative teams love big challenges and are motivated by solving existential issues. Hence, when Marketers / Leaders write creative briefs, they end up briefing the team for Big Things.

Make the world believe we are as good as Apple in quality… We are trying to get customers to think we are an innovative company… Our goal is to have the world believe that we are a force for good when it comes to climate change… The campaign investment is meant to help shift the perception that we are committed to our customers in the long run!

These are all fantastic things to shoot for (if your reality matches these aspirations).

The challenge occurs when the Success KPI for all of the above campaigns is set as In-Store Sales. Or, Lifetime value. Or, Most Valuable Brand in the world.

When there is a conflict between what the creative brief is (what the ads are being built for) and the measured Success KPI, the latter is an extremely poor choice because it will invariably show failure.

Brief the creative team for an outcome that actually matters to the business, and then set that exact same outcome as the Success KPI. Clear alignment between input and output.

5. Does the KPI have headroom?

I love this one. Not only as a great rule, but also to force Marketers to be clever.

What’s headroom?

Let’s consider this brand question: Is Apple an innovative company?

The answer: Yes (68%).

That is a very high baseline. If 68% of the people think anything positive of a company, there is likely no one else left in the world to persuade.

[In the case of Apple, there are a fair number of people who love to dislike Apple. That further means, purely from a measurement perspective, no headroom.]

You cannot move an unmovable metric.

No matter how much money you spend.

Even IF the campaign had great creative, it was well delivered, on the right channels, with optimal reach and frequency. The campaign will look like a failure. And, it was not the Marketing team’s fault.

Before you pick a Success KPI, do a bit of research to understand headroom. If you have less than six or eight points, don’t solve that problem (because data is indicating that it is not a problem!).

Pick something else. Unaided Awareness of Apple Tags is just 12 points. Solve that problem. Lots of headroom!

[Note: The concept of headroom applies to performance marketing as well. You might be maxed out for the audience you can reach in a particular channel. You already have max possible Click Share on Google. There might not be any more new customers to entice across the East Coast of the US. Etc. Assess headroom available across your performance Success KPIs as well.]

[Note:
​​​​ Premium subscribers will recognize assessment of headroom as another clever manifestation of the win before you spend Minerva (Pre-Flight) Check outlined in TMAI #273.]


Scoring Success KPIs.

It would not surprise you to learn that smart teams codify their thinking (frameworks FTW!), and implement a process that ensures that thinking is applied 1. at scale 2. at the right moment, and 3. is understood by all.

That’s the real success to winning influence with data. To make it easier for teams I've led to implement the rules for success KPIs framework, we use the following checklist (with part 1 rules)…

12_rules_for_picking_success_kpis_part_1

[Click image above for a higher resolution version. It is pretty easy to type it all up in Excel, but if you need an Excel version, just email me.]

A thoughtful assessment, upfront. Simple and clear to all the cross-functional teams involved (and not just the Analytics team).

Rules 1 through 8 are mandatory, all of them have to be met for a KPI to be anointed a success KPI. The scoring in light blue row above. Rules 9 through 12 are for Analysis Ninjas, those who want to go above and beyond, those who do not leave things to chance, those looking for coming as close to guaranteeing success as possible. The scoring is in the darker blue row.

The KPI candidate with the best score wins! :)

In a future blog post, we can cover the process to put in place to ensure this happens at scale in your company/non-profit.


Bottom line.

Measuring the wrong thing should be the last reason to get a false signal of the impact of a campaign. False positive or false negative.

Measuring the right thing, and ensuring there is a process and framework in place to discuss that up front, ensuring every good and bad dimension of thinking can be put on the table up front, is a gift of immeasurable proportions to your employer/client.

Pick the right Success KPI.

It won’t guarantee campaign success, it will ensure that you’ll know when success occurs that it is real, and when failure occurs, there are clear lessons to learn for doing better in the future.

Pick the right Success KPI.

How good is your team, your agency, at ensuring that you are picking success KPIs that deliver in-depth insights, and optimal accountability? Please share via comments below. Merci.

[Quick reminder: If you are a TMAI Premium subscriber, part 2, with rules six through twelve and bonus content, is in your inbox. If you can’t find it, just email me.]

The post Transform Data's Impact: Pick The Right Success KPI! appeared first on Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik.