Sean Adams, Global Insights Director at Brand Metrics, shares his views on how marketers can ensure brand metrics are central to their advertising campaigns…
The digital metrics available to brands are often unsatisfactory. Focused on bottom-of-the-funnel outcomes, they offer only partial insights into what's really happening. Instead, brands need access to measurement that shines a broader light across the entire marketing funnel.
So what should you be taking into consideration to deliver the metrics that matter?
1) Measure the entire funnel
Measurement is complex. There's no one metric available to measure everything advertisers want to know about a campaign's performance, and relying on one or two traditional performance metrics offers only a limited snapshot into what's happening. To gain a better understanding, brands should use a range of metrics, reflecting the consumer's journey down the marketing funnel. The nature of a product or service influences the stage in the funnel at which advertising will be effective, so it’s critical to have measures that illuminate the whole journey, not just a part of it.
2) Remember that performance is more than direct response
Digital advertising is a genuine brand play, not simply an environment for driving performance. However, the standard success metrics that are quick, easy and consistent to measure, such as click-through rate [CTR], mean it has come to be seen as a direct response channel. But these metrics ignore the multi-dimensional impact that advertising has in driving upper-funnel measures – like awareness and consideration – and the influence that messaging and context have on behaviour.
Measuring brand performance has historically been time-consuming and difficult to scale, but digital is catching up with the needs of advertisers. There are now new methodologies and solutions that provide you with the tangible evidence that your marketing is delivering brand lift. And by taking full advantage of them, you can rebuild your confidence and trust in digital advertising.
3) Measure where your ads are
In the past, when a brand needed to measure uplift and campaign impact, it would have to commission costly and time-consuming panel-led research. In this online age, metrics guide algorithms. This means decisioning must be driven by instant, actionable metrics that take into account an ad's impact in the context in which it is delivered. Panels can't provide this real-world environment. In order to ensure they're using measurement built for the digital age, brands should work with media companies that offer automated brand measurement built on robust marketing research foundations. These can deliver rapid, accurate, and consistent results to inform and drive digital advertising.
4) Measure often
While measuring a single campaign offers up valuable insights, this process shouldn’t be an ad hoc exercise. Measurement is central to everything, so measuring every campaign is vital. By doing so, you’ll build up a wealth of accurate, consistent and comparable data that’s critical for benchmarking performance, optimising future campaigns and driving more effective marketing. Ultimately, the more you measure, the more successful you’ll be.
5) Recognise that brand measurement is not just for the big guns
Brand uplift measurement is no longer restricted only to advertisers with deep pockets. For start-ups and challenger brands, justifying their marketing investment and ensuring their budget works is just as critical, but they have been forced to fall back on clicks to measure effectiveness. Technology means it's easier and cheaper for smaller businesses to embrace brand lift measurement. And they can also benefit from being able to benchmark their campaign outcomes with those from other brands in a similar sector. All these insights help drive better future outcomes.
6) Ensure transparency
There's a great deal of smoke and mirrors when it comes to digital measurement, especially when partners use their own measurement systems to deliver results. Work with those that provide you with independent, accurate and transparent measurement to give you confidence in the credibility of the outcomes.
7) Choose a future-proof solution
As the sun sets on third-party cookies, your campaign measurement approach must remain relevant and applicable in the future. Choose publishers that offer brand lift measurement built on first-party data, not cookie-dependent solutions.