Measuring and optimization are the nuts and bolts in digital marketing since precision and deep understanding of how to compare and synchronize different data sources are key to the quality of the results and the success of campaigns. If marketers work consistently on a data-driven basis and align all measurements with the needs of the customers, more turnover with the same budget or budget savings can be most certainly achieved while maintaining the same turnover. Considering the following prerequisites definitely helps:
- Many buyers proceed according to the principle "research online - purchase offline" nowadays, providing marketers and advertiser with many insights into customer behavior that way. Unfortunately, even though all necessary data are available - be it from the cash register, the CRM system, and the online campaign – there are still more hurdles to consider, such as data protection requirements. In order to comply with them conscientiously, a neutral data service provider is needed that fulfils important regulatory, technical and methodological requirements, besides demonstrating an agile and pragmatic approach.
- Whether at the point of sale, in social networks or in email marketing, each channel follows the rules of its own key figures and exactly these similarities in the data points must be tracked: direct marketing values opening rates; those responsible for branding look at unique visitors or ad-impressions as well as the playing time; for banners it counts more how often they are delivered, clicked, and the resulting transactions. A detailed reporting of the service provider usually shows all key figures at a glance, but most of the time, there is no statement about accuracy over the entire amplitude of the target group: for instance, which target group has been reached at what cost and how was the reaction? The best way to get an answer to such questions is to catalogue the data and place it side by side. But, are the parameters defined the same everywhere so that the statements can really be compared with each other? Ideally, a consistent valid statement is created across all channels, closely related to the economic parameters of the core business.
- Bringing together terminology and different measurement methods is not an easy task, but crucial to analyze and handle budgets more efficiently: if several systems supply raw data for the evaluation, the standardization of the measured values (time and date) is fundamental. Working with an exact picture of the customer in mind, makes it in addition a bit easier to find out which motive or offer (creative or call-to-action) will be effective, who can best be addressed exactly when and where, and what value the customer potentially generates (Customer Lifetime Value).
- Today’s customer is used to switch between channels, always on the lookout and opting for the ideal medium that provides the wanted information. In addition, he encounters other different impulses in everyday life - such as radio, TV, city lights or large-scale advertising - that influence his decisions. Hence, in order to create more comparability between the channels and consistency between the data silos, the customer himself and his actions are the logical linchpin: cookies, logins, IDs, online and offline purchases, shipping addresses, hotline inquiries and much more come into play. In order to take, at least theoretically, the individuality of each customer into account, performance marketing experts use personas that act as a makeshift to see things like potential users: e.g. how those living in cities are different from country folks, the single from the family man etc.?
- Measuring actions and responses along the entire customer journey, then evaluating and drawing conclusions, are the real challenges. With A/B testing, you can not only check the established thesis but get from both groups further, valuable data points, which can then be evaluated in other scenarios in the future. With the knowledge gained, the advertiser sets up new theses, measures, evaluates and adjusts his actions, gradually optimizing the setup. The continuous measurement, evaluation and re-adjustment finally provides clear answers to the question: "Am I using my marketing budget correctly?"
The fact is that due to the increasing digitization, everybody is now able to clearly assign almost any customer behavior or approximation values with the help of attribution models creating a foundation for successful data-driven marketing.
By Daniela La Marca