What Are the Metrics That Matter?

by Beth Carlson

Posted on 02-07-2018

We’re bom­bard­ed by data these days. Say I want to book a table for an impromp­tu meal with friends. A vis­it to the restaurant’s web­site pro­vides its address and hours, dis­plays its menu and prices, and pho­tographs of its sig­na­ture dish­es. They may cite the num­ber of tables, brag about the vari­ety of gin behind the bar, or offer chap­ter and verse about how the ingre­di­ents are sourced. With a bit more dig­ging, I can unearth pro­fes­sion­al reviews—or vis­it a site such as Trip Advi­sor, and read cus­tomers’ descrip­tions of their din­ing expe­ri­ences. But what if all I need on that par­tic­u­lar night is some­place equidis­tant from all our offices, near pub­lic trans­port? The rest becomes noise.

Data also comes at adver­tis­ers fast and furi­ous­ly, and busi­ness­es may strug­gle to deter­mine which suc­cess met­rics are the right ones to focus on when devel­op­ing an effec­tive, prof­itable dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Tra­di­tion­al dig­i­tal media met­rics such as com­ple­tion rates, clicks, and cost per action don’t always eas­i­ly tie back to a brand’s bot­tom line. Nor do they nec­es­sar­i­ly give an actu­al mea­sure of the ad’s effectiveness—how do you know that your ad actu­al­ly caused that per­son to click?

To put that in per­spec­tive, between 2000 and 2009, the divorce rate in Maine and the state’s per capi­ta con­sump­tion of mar­garine were direct­ly cor­re­lat­ed, but it’s safe to assume that one did not cause the oth­er. The same goes for marketing—if some­one sees your ad and then buys your prod­uct, cor­re­lat­ed met­rics assume that the ad influ­enced the pur­chase, but was that per­son plan­ning to buy already?

This ambi­gu­i­ty makes it hard to allo­cate bud­gets appro­pri­ate­ly, let alone cre­ate a win­ning strat­e­gy. You’ll also be required to link dig­i­tal invest­ment to your organisation’s over­all busi­ness objec­tives (often to prove suc­cess to high­er-ups, or ensure ample bud­getary spend in the next fis­cal year). Thus mar­keters have quite a strug­gle ahead of them.

They know it, too. At the 2017 Digi­day Pro­gram­mat­ic Mar­ket­ing Sum­mit, mar­keters dis­cussed KPI over­load and their frus­tra­tion in try­ing to tie adver­tis­ing met­rics to busi­ness goals. A lack of qual­i­ty data, and an increas­ing­ly com­plex mar­ket­place were also cit­ed as con­cerns. What’s the solution?

Understand Different Data Sets

It has always been chal­leng­ing to link online mar­ket­ing spend with offline behav­iour, but thanks to the wealth of new­ly acces­si­ble data, those chal­lenges are wan­ing. The hur­dle now is sift­ing through all those met­rics to find the few that actu­al­ly have an impact on your brand’s unique goals. Not all met­rics are use­ful to all brands. There are dozens upon dozens of data points, and each comes with its own pros and cons. Some exam­ples include:

As the mar­ket demands more mea­sur­a­bil­i­ty, more solu­tions emerge dai­ly. It’s impor­tant for brands to seek out objec­tive part­ners when choos­ing a mea­sure­ment solu­tion, and under­stand that work­ing with­in a walled gar­den doesn’t always paint a full pic­ture. Inde­pen­dence is imper­a­tive for an unbi­ased view.

Determine What Matters for Your Brand

You’ll need to:

Remem­ber, it’s a crowd­ed field. If you’re not sure which data to use, or whom to trust to pro­vide it, rely on an expe­ri­enced third-par­ty such as Adobe Adver­tis­ing Cloud to guide the way. Hon­ing in on the right data—and find­ing the right part­ners to pro­vide it—will play a big role in your mar­ket­ing success.

Topics: Digital Transformation, attribution, data analytics, footfall, location data, media metrics, Metrics, Roi, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA