What is the need for analytics measurement metrics?
Marketers today face a very unique challenge. The ways to understand the customer have never been more robust or complicated. A brand’s touchpoints with its customers have rapidly increased in previous years as customers interact online as well as offline through multiple channels with the brand. In addition to multiple channel touchpoints, customers also interact through multiple devices on these multiple channels. As Forrester study describes it, consumers now rely heavily on their mobile devices in most situations, they call them ‘mobile moments’. However, these ‘mobile moments’ are getting shorter (now called ‘micro-moments’) in duration which further complicates the task of the marketers to curate, implement and appraise their engagement strategies very differently than they did in the past. Consequently, marketers are exposed to a plethora of information. This has led to the need for not just measuring and evaluating the information but doing them in the right way. Further stressing the point, another Forrester study also concurs with me that using wrong measurement metrics can lead to bigger problems than not measuring it at all.
Data gathered from various customer touchpoints is not just used to study the historical consumer behavior. Such data, when linked with past history, can also be used to understand the context, predict likely behavior, personalize content, aid behavioral targeting and deliver desired content in real time. In order to do this effectively, marketers need to successfully integrate their multiple data sources as well as different measurement metrics. Measurement metrics are critical to the success of marketing department, it is crucial for marketers to show the bottom-line value of their marketing activities because failure to link marketing activities with business results will result in reduced future budgets or termination of specific marketing activities. Also, 53% of successful senior marketers believe that it is critical to establish and adhere to right marketing metrics in order to be successful.
So, where is the problem? What are we measuring incorrectly? How to rectify it?
As marketers get information on usage data of consumers from each device and channel, traditional analytics when recorded in a conventional way can not only be misleading but completely wrong. According to a Comscore study, few key metrics that marketers are measuring incorrectly are:
- Unique Visitors – Multi-device usage is the new reality and if anything, it is only going to grow. As consumers visit brand touchpoints through various devices and in the failure of unique identification, each of their visit is termed as a unique visit thus making them a unique visitor. Therefore, all consequent analysis based on this number would turn out to be incorrect. It is imperative to link multi-platform engagement to make sense of usage patterns and predict likely behavior.
- Conversion Rates – The key KPI for any marketer, is often tied to the end transaction thus making the number look very minuscule than it should be. If we cannot link users from multiple devices and count their every visit as a unique visit then conversion rate to total visits would look rather discouraging. Conversion rates should be tied to the user and not the platform/device which makes data duplication a far lesser probability. All usage data from a single user can then be clubbed together, this would give a much more accurate conversion rate than the former method.
- Engagement Metrics – A study by Comscore and Arbitron concluded that consumers engaging with brands on multiple platforms are far more valuable compared to a single platform user. In the event of non-collaboration of multi-platform data, marketers would not be in a position to distinguish more valuable consumer than a lesser valuable one. This would make targeting and promotional activities ill-directed as marketers do not know their most profitable users and have an incorrect customer segment hierarchy based on inaccurate data.
Why fix this?
Why do marketers need to correct their mistake? What are the tangible benefits out of it? Here are some of the positives of using right measurement metrics and having successful multi-channel, multi-platform data integration. Forrester study shows that successful marketing organizations have an integrated marketing analytics measurement metrics. About 47% of organizations who follow this practice claim that their marketing activities are a success. A measurement system where customer data across various touchpoints is integrated completely provides a centralized platform from which marketers can draw actionable insights. Based on such insights marketer can increase the relevancy of their messages for their (potential) customers, get a better view of which is their most profitable segment of customers and improve the efficiency of their targeted ads. By using all this error-free data, marketers can also drive real-time actions such as making suggestions (up-selling and cross-selling), personalizing offers and improving behavioral targeting. All of these finally help device more effective marketing programs which show a better return on investment than campaigns based on fragmented data.
Do you see any other benefit from multi-device, multi-platform data integration? Would you still adhere to traditional analytics measurement metrics? Are you also making the common mistakes that most marketers are making?