Digital marketing is considered to be the most measurable medium. We present this Three part series on Measurement in digital marketing where the first part talks about the fragmentation and benchmarks, the second part covers the challenges and the final part will help in tackling the issues in measurement.
In the previous two parts of the series, we read about the areas where measurement is needed and the big challenges facing marketers. The final part will try and address the issues and help to build certain guidelines that can help in improving the efforts in this space.
If we have to look at the way forward for brands, agencies and partners, the first step is to do a self-assessment and see where they stand. The next step would be to set up basic guidelines across Paid, Owned and Earned media.
Fig. Guidelines to ensure improvement across Paid, Owned and Earned Media
If we had to broadly divide the entire set of recommendations, we have 4 areas: (a) KPIs & Objectives, (b) Guidelines and Benchmarks, (c) Planning and (d) Reporting & Optimization.
KPI & OBJECTIVES
Working with clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential and should be the immediate focusfor any planned activity. The alignment of communication objectives, KPIs and optimisation strategies is critical to achieving desiredoutcomes. Many campaigns are planned against irrelevant, conflicting, or incomplete KPIs and thereforeunderperform at best, and destroy value at worst
GUIDELINES & BENCHMARKS Before the planning happens, it is important that we have a repository of what a good measurement metrics looks like. For this to happen, we should create
- Guidelines – a guidelines documents for everything that we would be undertaking on incl ad fraud, viewability, website performance, etc
- Benchmarks – Taking historical data and creating benchmarks of cost, performance, delivery, etc
PLANNING It can be hard to assess the effectiveness and neutrality of a digital media plan. It is important that we are in a position to challenge an agency’s strategic approach.
Looking at spend levels, buy types, and format selection across websites, platforms, and channels and comparing them to your competitive set usually yields valuable insights and deepens the level of informed debate around media planning decisions.
REPORTING & OPTIMISATION
A core requirement for the media buyer is toidentify media investment From worst- to best-performing, across POE, The agency should actively improve performance over the campaign duration, learning From prior outcomes toenhance future improvements,
Taking learnings and moving spend From underperforming buy types into the better-performing buy types reduce inefficient media placements.
We, at What Clicks, are always on the lookout to find challenges in the digital eco-system and try to address them in our own way. Our core services are digital marketing audit, measurement solutions and consulting on strategy and transformation.
One of our offerings is a tool, IRA, developed in-house, that attempts to provide a solution to the challenges in measurement. IRA helps in unifying the data on a dashboard, across paid, owned and earned media – which are shared with the marketers in silos. On top of the unification, there is a layer of benchmarks which helps understand performance of campaigns in a better context. Most importantly, there is a layer of intelligence built over this data to provide actionable insights that help marketers in improving efficiency, increase the effectiveness, optimize using factual data rather than impulse and be a lot more transparent (as data is synced using APIs wherever possible). And with alerts set up for KPIs (hitting the target or missing it), helps the teams to take actions quickly, improving the agility of their digital spends too.
With all the above, we have seen a unique opportunity to have a single currency of measurement, which we call “Brand Engagement Score”. In summary, all the interactions with the brand From clicks to visits, likes to shares, retweets to video views, mentions to blog reads, reviews to check ins, and finally leads or transactions; everything is calculated with weightages given as per certain pre-defined criteria, and that’s how the brand’s engagement is measured for campaigns, always on spends and innovations –weekly, monthly or annually.
In this series about measurement, we have tried to explain the challenges, addressed them using guidelines and ways in which digital about marketing can be measured. Below is one of the solutions to work on the ideal structure for measurement. (Please Note that this may need changes as per industries, maturity stage as well as each brand’s set of challenges).
The Ideal Measurement Structure
In the past few years. With the growth in demand for measurement, transparency, and to combat ad fraud, the market has seen the introduction of many tools that are actually helping in bring in improvement in the state of affairs on digital. For Third party monitoring, including Viewability, Ad fraud detection, In-target advertising measurement, etcthere are notable players like – like Sizmek, DoubleClick, ComScore vCE; Integral Ad Science, Moat, Nielsen DAR, White Ops, Protected Media, etc
The digital eco-system has been growing exponentially, and so are the challenges. Measurement is often overlooked due to lack of time, efforts needed in set-up of tools, expertise required to understand the gaps and maybe in some cases to get away without being pin-pointed as an under-performing area.
The only way forward is to invest time to understand the challenges in details, see what is applicable in what we do, and act on it before it gets too late. We are sure that within three months, there will be new challenges and maybe newer ways to combat those challenges.
With this, we conclude our three part series on Measurement, with the hope that we have been able to put some on this topic and also provided ways to combat it. Do reach out to us for more details, or to understand how the challenges you are facing can be tackled, and maybe to see how we can help you improve the current setup.
Toshal Shenai, Co-founder and Chief Media Officer at What Clicks.