Nine valuable tips that companies should consider when evaluating and optimizing their marketing performance.
How to get fit for better marketing performance
To make the best decisions in digital marketing, we need to determine a complete picture of the value contribution of our marketing campaigns in terms of channels, publishers, ads, timing, budget usage, etc. Given the disparate data models and the siloed application systems that most companies use to get an overview of the effectiveness and efficiency of their campaigns, this is often difficult. Here's an overview of what's important:
#1 Focus on data
Taking a look at the various applications in companies (whether in large multinationals or smaller enterprises), we find that many of the systems in use base on technologies that are either outdated or no longer suitable for today's complex challenges.
In marketing alone, we are now dealing with exponentially growing volumes of data from various sources and systems. Countless channels, market participants, interfaces, and models have to be merged and evaluated. That complicates decision-making processes not only concerning the right strategy and optimal management.
#2 Focus on agility
Companies need to be agile because digital marketing thrives on speed and agility. Whether in real-time bidding or the planning and control of advertising campaigns. Everything has to be precise, fast, and at the same time flexible and optimally controlled across a wide range of channels. Therefore, the marketing technologies used should also be equally flexible and agile. They must integrate new campaign KPIs, new partners, new setups and interfaces, etc., within a short period. Bringing all these aspects together can be a big challenge.
#3 Focus on methods
Many classic modeling approaches used in marketing controlling are reaching their limits today due to the speed and complexity of digital possibilities. On the one hand, they are not flexible and fast enough due to high manual calculation and data collection efforts. On the other hand, classical media mix models are trapped in a rigid, mostly linear model world. Consequently, they alone are no longer able to meet today's requirements for analysis and forecasting quality. Read more in our blog post Why CMOs need to digitize their marketing controlling now
#4 Focus on automation and processes
Due to the fast pace of the market, it is crucial for marketing success to keep the time between modeling and strategic and operational decision-making as small as possible. That is where data-driven marketing attribution using automated attribution algorithms and automated processes for data collection and processing comes in handy. The combination reduces the time required for model adaptation and recalibration to just a few days. Marketing professionals can then immediately analyze the results of data-driven attribution to make the necessary adjustments to advertising campaigns promptly.
#5 Focus on objectivity
Attribution models determine the method of how to attribute parts of a conversion to the touchpoints within a customer journey. Depending on the model, the outcome can vary tremendously because not all models are the same. The most common examples for dogmatic, rule-based solutions are earlier models such as Last Click Wins or position-based models. Here, conversion shares get distributed according to a pre-defined rule or set of rules; for example, Last Click Wins assigns sole advertising success to the last touchpoint on the customer journey. That is practical because it is simple. The problem with this view is that it simplifies or distorts attribution results by prescribing a rigid rule.
For companies that reward their partners based on rule-based models, Exactag's approach offers the possibility of running the two different models (data-driven and rule-based) side by side and evaluate them.
#6 Focus on excellence
Data-driven attribution models provide companies with the exact data they need at the granularity they require. Algorithms determine the value contribution of each touchpoint on the customer journey in a value-free and thus objective manner. One of the most important differences to rule-based models is that dynamic attribution models consider non-converting customer journeys in addition to converting customer journeys. After all, it is also vital to know which advertising measures have not led to the desired result.
Exactag's dynamic attribution also considers interactions and synergies between different channels or devices and automatically incorporates changes like customer behavior or market conditions. The model learns with each new data set and continues to evolve.
#7 Focus on challenges
The pressure for change in the (digital) advertising market is constantly increasing and thus presents companies with new challenges in measuring advertising success. That also includes topics like GDPR, ePrivacy, and the end of 3rd party tracking.
Due to data protection regulations and court decisions regarding cookies, consent management platforms (CMPs) got introduced in which users must give their consent for the setting of cookies. Problem: High opt-out rates mean that user profiles can no longer be created for this user group via the customer journey using cookies or fingerprinting.
In addition, technology providers and browser providers (e.g., Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari) prevent cross-site tracking, i.e., 3rd party cookies are deleted or blocked. Besides, there is the effect that some publishers, such as YouTube and Facebook, prohibit tracking at the user level. Problem: These changes impact the tracking of ad impressions that occur outside of company websites. And in this age of increasing video and rich media formats, that's a not-insignificant portion of ad impressions.
Consequently, the construction of an exact customer journey becomes problematic for a considerable part of users. Hence, the industry has to develop new approaches and methods for these user groups so that marketing measurement can continue to deliver accurate results on the impact of advertising. The outcome of these approaches should be that ads are still relevant and tailored to the respective target groups.
#8 Focus on compliance & digital privacy
In the long run, the only thing advertisers are likely to rely on is the use of aggregated and anonymized data. Exactag has continuously evolved its tracking and attribution models over the past few years – with a strong focus on privacy. At the same time, Exactag offers sophisticated modeling approaches plus a look behind the Walled Gardens with access to exclusive Publisher Data Hubs – e.g., Google Ads Data Hub.
That will still offer advertisers effective options for tracking in the future. Looking behind the Walled Gardens also provides a more detailed picture of advertising impact.
#9 Focus on completeness
Companies should evaluate all online and offline media channels according to their influences during the customer journey. Thus, Exactag's technology maps all contact points along the customer journey and evaluates each touchpoint according to its value contribution. External baseline factors (seasonality, trends, and disruptive effects) and advertising measures on classical channels that influence the purchase decision process are also considered and evaluated in terms of their efficiency.
All data is brought together in Exactag's agile, overarching SaaS platform. That ensures a holistic view of customer behavior across devices and channels. Exactag also provides many interfaces to external media systems, enabling companies to easily import campaign data, conversion information or costs, etc. We can even connect systems without a direct API, thanks to modern middleware technology. Advertisers also receive concrete recommendations for action for the optimized distribution of their marketing budgets.
Companies that rely on data-driven marketing attribution will continue to receive timely, accurate results at a granular level.
However, for data-driven attribution to reach its full potential, a large amount of high-quality data is required. That is since data modeling is an essential component of dynamic attribution, where complex algorithms and statistically relevant patterns get analyzed over a large amount of this data.
In multi-channel marketing, we believe that the holistic marketing attribution solution from Exactag is the best choice for measuring and analyzing marketing performance. As a single source of truth, it provides all relevant information on the performance of channels, publishers, touchpoints, and cross-effects, etc.
For a better performance in Marketing.