Great insights from some of the top social media and marketing execs will be found in the following article by Giselle Abramovich. The questions we all have are the same digital data gives us so much to analyze and track, but do we do a good job of it and are we getting what we need to as marketers out of it. See what others have to say about that topic. The Page Group always says it is about knowing your audience first and then analyzing and tracking the results of the activity your trying to generate from your social media programs. Do that first and you take the guess work out of what your campaign results are doing…you will be focused.
Do You Know What Your Marketing Is Doing?
CMO EXCLUSIVES | October 04, 2013
Senior & Strategic Editor
The rise of digital technology and platforms enable marketers to measure and understand their initiatives better than ever before.
- “Everyone on our team treats our marketing dollars just like they’re coming out of our own bank account.”
- “Social needs to address that always-on market mentality and. . .attract customers no matter their place in the funnel.”
- “The ability to quantify marketing efforts has never been so readily within reach.”
Indeed, marketing leaders are giving digital a bigger slice of the marketing budget because of its promise for more targeted and measurable media. Online reach is growing as we speak. Brands have banner ads, and marketers know how they’ve performed. They have a blog that’s widely followed, and that’s tracked, too. But can marketers put it all together? Do they have an overall picture? Do they know what their marketing is doing?
That’s the question we posed to brand marketers. Here’s what they said.
John Boris, CMO of Shutterfly, told CMO.com:
At Shutterfly, we are much more in tune with our marketing spend, what it’s returning, and how it’s performing both on an individual and on a collective basis. First and foremost, I and everyone on our team treats our marketing dollars just like they’re coming out of our own bank account. I think it’s critical that people take a personal responsibility for the dollars they spend. Second, as we look at it on a channel-by-channel basis, we have a set of metrics that we analyze daily, hourly at times, and it comes down to our cost-per-new customer, cost-per-action, our return on ad spend, ROI, and LTV. We look at that across every measureable channel. But the reality is not every channel is measurable.
TV is a great example. It’s not QVC where we have a ticker of how many items we’ve sold. These are broader-based awareness vehicles. We’re not going to extract an explicit ROI from that. So, in that instance, we do pre- and post-awareness studies to understand: Did it change awareness and perception? We’ll also do detailed analysis of when we did our TV ad, did it drive up our search queries, for example, and did it drive up our brand in search? If the answer is yes, we are much more efficient as a marketing entity because we’re not spending as much on category search. So we try to connect the dots as best as we can, and I think we are best-in-breed in doing that because it’s not just about the individual channel. It is about how you take the portfolio of channels and overlay multitouch attribution modeling to really figure out what the right sequence is and the right return is.
Brian J. Maynard, Director of Marketing at Jenn-Air, a Whirlpool brand, told CMO.com:
This is a question that marketers have been asking since the beginning of modern marketing. We all know that over 100 years ago John Wanamaker said, “Half of my advertising dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half.” The good news is that today the dollars wasted are significantly less than 50 percent; the bad news is that some percent of our dollars are less efficient than others. There is no definitive answer to this question, particularly in the highly considered luxury appliance space.
The short answer for Jenn-Air is we do know what our marketing dollars are doing. Our research indicates that we have moved the needle on almost every brand attribute that we know drives business. Whether it’s awareness, purchase intent, click-through, engagement, share of voice, and more, our numbers are increasing. As I oftentimes remind our folks, the marketing measures are important, but at the end of the day the more important question is, how are sales? And how are sales in comparison to our competitive set? These are the most important question as the fundamental objective of marketing is to convince a consumer to buy your brand versus a competitor.
Adam Broitman, VP of Global Digital Marketing at MasterCard Worldwide, told CMO.com:
The ability to quantify marketing efforts has never been so readily within reach. That said, many marketers are drowning in a sea of data without the ability to effectively swim. The more talk I hear about big data, the more I push my ideal of “big action.” Just as strategy without tactics is just paper, data without insights and subsequent action is just numbers. This is something that is a big focus at MasterCard. We know that our tools are only as good as the insights we get out of them, coupled with the ability to effect change within our marketing and communications.
While there will always be unknowns in this space, I believe all marketers need to be working toward data-driven frameworks that allow for the ability to quantify and respond to your customers in near real-time—in this day and age, that level of rigor is table stakes as markets and the customers that make them up have grown to expect marketing interactions that are both relevant and timely.
Adam Rockmore, VP of Marketing at Fandango, told CMO.com:
Measuring effectiveness highly depends on goals. But, in general, we can measure effectiveness via ongoing pre-/post-studies (e.g., brand awareness, attitudes, satisfaction etc.) through direct response KPIs, sales data, consumer behavior data, and controlled A/B testing, to name a few. This has changed in many ways over the past 10 years. There’s fragmentation of media—consumers consume media in innumerable ways, so reaching one’s target is not so straightforward anymore. And there’s social media—tapping into and building social conversations is a whole need vehicle and a new dynamic to successful marketing. Much of media has a direct response capability, and there are so many more ways to measure media and consumer behavior—so measurement is easier in some ways, especially when speaking from a commerce standpoint.
Joe Barbagallo, Manager of Social Media at Volvo Cars of North America, told CMO.com:
Different channels within the marketing realm are designed to obviously do different things at different points in the purchase funnel. I think social is unique in the sense that it sort of defines the modern-day purchase funnel/customer journey, which is much less like an organized and predictable funnel and more like a circle or, at times, a funnel cake (visually speaking of course). Today, customers are technically always in-market because of all the channels that they’re plugged into, all the channels that their friends are plugged into, and because of all the channels that brands are plugged into. Close to the point of when they make their purchase decision, they are already in market again for its replacement, upgrade, addition to, etc. So social needs to address that always in-market mentality and try to always be relevant and attract customers no matter their place in the funnel.
What we have to do in social is a variety of the following: branding, awareness building, conversation driving, and an amplification of other marketing channel activities. If your metrics correlate with or exceed your benchmarks and the sentiment is positive around the conversation it’s driving, then your marketing, socially speaking, is doing its job. I don’t want to say that social media won’t drive direct sales, but unless you have the proper tracking within your other marketing and sales channels to track that, which most organizations do not, then it is unfair to hold social media to that Holy Grail metric.