The world of marketing measurement has evolved drastically over the last 5 years. I’ve personally watched as we have moved from theory into practice and it has been inspirational to say the least. I’ve seen some trends with the companies I’ve talked to that I thought it was time to talk about what trends are bubbling to the top.
I wanted to take a look at where the industry is headed and make some predictions so that marketing teams can finally get ahead of the curve.
CMO’s are getting tired of the BS when it comes to measurement. They’ve tried to put the onus on marketers to create standards and likely realized that it isn’t working. Unfortunately, too many marketers are fighting to make sure “their piece of the pie” is measured the way they want it to be, rather than looking at the big picture of how we measure everything. In 2014, I expect to see solid measurement standards created within companies that will force marketers to measure up in apples to apples comparisons. Expect to see metrics like cost per impression, cost per engagement, cost per conversion and ROI become the holy grail for getting budget as the first phase in standardization.
Cross-channel Measurement Will Become the New Standard
The whole reason for creating standard metrics is to allow marketing initiatives to be compared against each other. CMO’s aren’t buying that “we are wasting half of our marketing budget, we just can’t tell which half” any more. They fully expect to use the metrics to figure out which half and optimize the half that is working. You can expect to see measurement evolve into measuring multiple channels in side-by-side comparisons. This will put a lot of pressure on marketers to make sure the channels they are responsible for are delivering on the standard metrics that have been set. Ultimately, this may be met with resistance, but it is a good thing for the industry. Marketers may say the core metrics don’t reflect the value their channels bring, but at the end of the day marketing has a responsibility to deliver leads and revenue. If your channel doesn’t add to the value proposition of lead generation expect it to be met with scrutiny.
Strides Will Be Made in Multi-Channel Attribution
Don’t worry. Your CMO isn’t out to get you here. They fully understand that attribution models are going to hinder their ability to really understand what is working despite standardizing metrics across the company. I’ve yet to meet a company that doesn’t have a flawed attribution model. Most companies I’ve talked to are either using a first touch or last touch attribution model for assigning credit to the leads that are generated. This isn’t going to cut it if CMO’s plan on making decisions based on standard metrics. There is far too much risk of cutting off their nose to spite their face. Therefore, you can expect investment in building multi-channel attribution models that will eventually track the full campaign history of leads and customers. 2014 will be a year of laying the foundation for full campaign measurement. While the foundation of solid measurement is being laid, I expect to see a lot of testing with the data that results for what kind of multi-touch attribution model best tells the story of where more and less investment is required to increase revenues.
Revenue Creation Will Become the Story
All of this will lead to data being used to drive marketing decisions and investment dollars. Therefore, it will be more important than ever for marketers to become ROI-driven marketers, understand how data is collected in their organization, and how to get their data into the customer record for later analysis. With these types of standard metrics it isn’t about whether email or Twitter is performing better, as an example. It’s really about how Twitter or email influenced the sale. This means that conversations will be focused on how to tell “which” marketing channels a prospect or customer touched through their journey and more importantly how to track that on a customer record. Marketers will need to figure out how to get their data into CRM on a customer record or they may find themselves without any budget to work with in 2015. This is a fundamental shift in how we’ve thought about measuring marketing for decades. It’s not about the campaign, it’s not about the channel, it’s not about the content, it’s about how all of those efforts combined to create revenue. And that my friends, will become the only story that matters to CMO’s. If you don’t have a part in the revenue creation story, you may very well find your job on the cutting room floor.
What predictions do you have for measurement in 2014? Are you already measuring this way? Do you see any of these measurement initiatives starting to take center stage? If you are a CMO, what is your one measurement wish from marketers in 2014?