For the past 22 years, Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) has been helping clients understand how to better measure, attribute and allocate their online and offline ad dollars. Doug Brooks, MMA’s global executive vice president, spoke with eMarketer’s Lauren Fisher about current trends and challenges associated with multichannel marketing measurement.
eMarketer: What do you think is the biggest challenge marketers face today with multichannel marketing?
Doug Brooks: Most companies have a group of media planners or a marketing department that has been doing traditional media for a very long time, and they have set metrics, set data and set ways of planning. Apart from that, they also have a digital group that is using newer metrics and newer ways of planning digital.
Most companies today are measuring all of these activities in silos. So you’ve got the group who’s looking at the return on investment of search or their digital media. And then you have the traditional media group that’s using a lot of the tried-and-trusted ways of measuring things like television, print and radio. The problem is if you measure them in isolation, they don’t account for the fact that they work together.
What marketers need to figure out is not just how to make an individual tactic effective, but how to make a campaign or an integrated marketing program effective in a way that drives profitable growth.
eMarketer: What results have you seen when you’re able to get clients to take a more integrated approach?
Brooks: One of the stats I’ll share with you from our benchmarks across every industry is that between 15% and as high as 40% of all branded search traffic is driven by upstream media such as television, print and radio. That’s an important statistic.
Imagine if you were just measuring the impact of search in a silo. If you saw search is outperforming everything 10 to 1, you’d likely pull money out of TV or some other vehicle and put it into search. As a result, your search effectiveness would actually decrease, because the channels that were driving search traffic would be gone.
We’ll see interactions across many tactics, not just TV and search. For example, we’ve seen traditional media such as television and print and radio increase the effectiveness of email campaigns.
We also see that when there are more than three or four different tactics associated with a campaign, it’s often more effective. There’s a synergy. Modeling aside, they’re expanding their reach.
eMarketer: What are some of your more advanced clients focused on right now?
Brooks: The next step for most clients is to look at how to take cross-media measurement to the next level and link to their segmentation strategies. It’s one thing to look at the impact of media on your general sales population, but when you start looking at how certain consumer segments are influenced, you can start to measure whether there’s a higher ROI for certain display ad campaigns vs. radio, vs. print, and vs. search for different segments.
This type of thinking is much more aligned to how agencies plan media and how marketers think about targeting and driving growth. The new benchmark for success will be the ability to integrate your media assets, measurement, segmentation and planning into one holistic view.
eMarketer: What are some common mistakes companies make when trying to measure their integrated marketing campaigns?
Brooks: A lot of times, the people doing the measurement don’t understand the media and don’t spend the time to understand the role of media for that brand. They just take chunks of data, whether it’s impressions, clicks or [gross ratings points] or whatever, and they put them in a model to see which one drives the most sales.
What they should do is take the time to understand the media, the role of the media and how that media works for a specific brand. As an industry, we have the data, the analytic methodologies and tools to do the measurement, but the biggest challenge is structuring the analysis in a way that properly reflects the cross-media effects that occur.