Reviewing post-campaign metrics to measure efficiency and draw lessons learned is no longer helpful in today’s fast-paced environment. Marketers need to look at big data across all touchpoints to analyze and predict best future engagements with their relevant audiences. All this is called “unified measurement system,” and it offers the great benefits of better marketing performance measurement, planning and continuous optimization of channels and engagements across all marketing touchpoints.

According to the recent study around marketing strategy measurement driving business success, a report commissioned by Equifax Data-driven Marketing to Forrester Consulting, companies adopting a unified marketing measurement standard are gaining four dollars for each marketing measurement dollar spent, they secure more than $73 million in additional revenue, about a 3 percent increase in revenue overall and generate nearly 3% more leads.

While collecting more and more data from more and more channels, the challenge facing marketing now is around analytics, making sense of aggregate data, and using it to generate insights into choosing the best way forward to maximize investments. Just looking at each channel through a modeling mix or attribution model is no longer enough to sustain the real insights a business needs when it comes to optimizing marketing spent.

The marketing mix modeling is good to show which channel performs the best in a campaign. It’s now easy to get the analytics after each action on email, paid ads, social media, or an external partner, to name a few. However, this is just getting analytics in silos, without understanding the real picture over the actual tactics that worked.

The attribution model is efficient in letting businesses understand which of the touchpoints gets the credit for the sale but misses to offer an understanding of triggers, traditional media, external market forces or market fluctuations such as price, inventory, distribution or customer experience.

A unified marketing measurement model gets all these analytics together, using data from both online and offline sources, internal and external ones equally. A future-looking business needs to be equipped with the tools to allow it to look in details into its crucial market drivers to leverage the ones to maximize profits. The unified marketing standard allows for informed decisions around what and where to spend money to generate brand awareness and leads: which channels and tactics, creatives, and audiences to reach out to maximize ROI.

Challenges to reach a unified marketing model

As with any model, the output can be only as good as the quality of the input. Getting the right and accurate data into the model keeps being the biggest challenge, and in the marketing’s world, identity is the critical issue to reliable data.

With consumers using now more and more devices, it’s getting harder and harder to connect one person’s identity with his actions online and offline, to get the full picture of his behavior and preferences.

Bad-data, incomplete journeys or assumptions often lead to an inaccurate customer model. Wrong models lead to less than optimal decisions, inefficient marketing spent that eventually lead to losing money.

The unified marketing measurement approach is not a one-person job and also not a one-time job either. A business needs all its partners – technology providers, consultants, agencies – involved in a constant effort to gather the right data in, analyze it correctly and optimize it on an ongoing basis for maximum output and decisions moving forward.

What “leaders” see as a result of using the mature standard in their marketing strategy

The Forrester report on how marketing strategy measurement drives business success categorizes the companies already implementing a unified marketing measuring standard as “leaders.” Besides reporting on real essential metrics growth, leaders have in common behaviors and approaches that lead to this growth.

Key metrics growth reported by the surveyed leaders include:

  • Earnings of $4 for each $1 marketing spent
  • 3% more leads generated
  • $2 million decreases in marketing spend
  • Net promoter score increased by 7 points
  • A higher correlation between sales and digital tactics

The behaviors reported that led the leaders to these results are quite particular in differentiating them in how they approach marketing strategy and business as models.

Leaders use more measurement techniques, being on various paths to unifying everything from the traditional marketing mix to different attribution models. This approach requires as a prerequisite that the leaders become better and better at data insight and data integration.

Through having a unified strategy, leaders can gain better customer insights, alongside better campaign targeting through contextual and personalized marketing. Leveraging on data is one key thing leaders got better at doing, and we can see their marketing measurement budget investments going up to even double over the years.

All in all, the trend in all industries and all functions is related to better data collection, understanding and being able to generate relevant insights to optimize current processes, improve and take the right decisions moving forward. Sales and marketing are drivers for any business as they are income generators; therefore, gaining the insights needed to make the right calls as to where to invest and how is becoming more and more crucial so that a business not just thrives, but stays alive.

Marketers now have the challenge of making the most of the customer data collected by analyzing it all through a unified marketing measurement intelligence standard and being the consultant a business needs to take the right decisions regarding its strategic directions.