Digital Marketing Measurement Requires New “Plan A”

Data-driven thinking“is written by members of the media community and contains new ideas about the digital revolution in media. Today’s column is written by Peter Vandre, Director of Analysis at dentsu Media FR.

If you foresee the imminent death of the cookie, that’s a productive goal – but also, think bigger. Those who want to plan for the sequel should start preparing for the end of digital marketing measurement as we know it.

Changes in the marketing ecosystem are destroying the cornerstones of traditional digital marketing measurement. Policy changes announced by tech giants like Apple and Google, as well as evolving privacy laws, significantly restrict the way data at the individual level is collected, integrated and used for measurement. This means that we must immediately say goodbye to display-based KPIs, multi-touch attribution, and our ambition to deduplicate reach and frequency between partners.

Browser changes mean that it will no longer be possible to use an ad server or pixel-based metric to associate to track a consumer across the Internet. These seismic changes threaten the foundation of measurement and will create a wave of disruption in marketing departments and analytics teams as they scramble to explain the decline in media performance or the loss of KPIs.

In this new situation, your usual Plan A will no longer work. If the brand leaders continue your default approach to the market, performance will apparently decline because you are using old standards that do not reflect the new realities. We also know that in the world of marketing, brands can only really activate a Plan A, so recognize the major changes to make it last.

Speed ​​will be essential for leadership, so plan fast but plan smart.

Now is the time, not 2022, to revisit your measurement framework, KPIs, and benchmarks, as only organizations that evolve immediately will have the best understanding of performance continuity in this changing landscape.

Your new Plan A should have specific priorities to make sure you are agile but strategic. Here’s where to focus:

Remove your KPI biases

Change tracking has already created a bias in some digital KPIs, such as view-based engagement and conversion rates. This measurement bias leads teams to optimize their optimization far from audiences where credit is lost for conversion. (Think, for example, of iOS and Firefox.)

The unintended consequence of this bias is a decrease in the reach of target consumers and higher frequencies. Unfortunately, these effects are masked by the fact that the same tracking issues inflate range and underestimate frequency.

As Chrome’s tracking changes take effect next year, less than 15% of our target audiences will likely be accessible using third-party cookies and Device IDs, which will make the problem much worse. . We need to identify the problematic KPIs now and decide how we should move them. Solutions can put more emphasis on qualified click-through rates and modeled KPIs.

Start today by analyzing the correlations between “qualified” clicks and post-view conversions to understand how clicks represent views.

Deepen cross-channel modeling

Multi-touch attribution is dead. Cross-platform optimization needs to start moving even more towards marketing mix optimization to understand relative performance and ROI against business KPIs such as sales.

Great thinkers are rethinking cross-channel measurement methods and developing a competitive advantage through what they develop.

For example, time series modeling and machine learning techniques can also be geared toward mid-funnel KPIs, including cost per site visit or app download, after follow-up after display disappears.

Get started now by organizing your advertising data on the navigation path and modeling these mid-funnel KPIs to see how well your models predict key mid-funnel actions.

Plan publisher-specific optimizations

Stop using reports from your ad server to optimize publisher spend. Instead, it’s time to start stepping up advertising measurement and testing programs.

These solutions are certainly still emerging, walled gardens like Google, Facebook and Amazon being the most advanced in their offer. But other big publishers and even retailers, such as Walmart and Kroger, are introducing solutions to help marketers close the loop on sales and other bottom lines, using data cleanrooms and link technologies. algorithmic at the person level or emerging.

More sophisticated companies are working with partners to set up their own data cleanrooms and dealing with publishers to ensure they will have critical exposure data circulating after the cookie to understand marketing performance.

Now determine which publisher and retail environments will be most important to your business and start testing. Also consider upgrading your corporate analytics environment to a data cleanroom.

“Wait and see” will not work. Brand leaders need to create a new Plan A now, before digital tracking as we know it is gone. Optimize your ability to successfully transition your KPIs and measurement methods to make smarter marketing decisions and ultimately gain competitive advantage.

Relying on a plane B will not work when the foundations of the digital measure are irreparably cracked. Find new ground.

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