Why Cross-Channel Performance Measurement is Critical for Brands

Editor's note: In our Open Ecosystem blog series, we’re highlighting how our partners complement our offerings to bring the best solutions to your needs. Today we feature Spredfast partner Origami Logic, a marketing analytics company. With the Spredfast + Origami Logic connection, joint customers can link their extensive social analytics to the rest of their marketing data, driving faster, more informed decision-making.

Digital marketing has transformed marketing. Marketers now have access to a variety of services like never before to engage with their target audience. In the days before digital you could count the number of channels on one hand (TV, radio, print, and outdoors) but today there are more channels than ever imagined—social, search, display, video, mobile; the list goes on and on.

And unlike the days before digital when marketers didn’t have access to data about the effectiveness of a campaign until after it was over, marketers today have the ability to access data whenever they want it. This enables them to monitor the performance of a campaign and make in-flight adjustments.

To monitor the performance of activities, a good starting point is to use the analytics capabilities offered by each individual service. However, it is wise to not get too dependent on that habit. The downside of being dependent on a service’s analytics is that the performance of activities are viewed in a silo. There is no perspective on how activities are performing within the context of activities in other services/channels.

Based on a recent survey we conducted with Brand Innovators, we found that companies innovative in the area of marketing performance measurement are striving to get a cross-channel perspective of campaign performance. They don’t just look at results of each channel on their own. They look at results across channels.

Innovative companies don’t just look at performance results of each channel on their own. They look at results across channels.

 

Looking at performance across channels has many benefits, including:

  • Understanding how different channels impact each other. There is the perception that social doesn’t have an impact on business results. If you measure social performance alongside other activities, you may learn the impact social has on other activities, which may in turn, affect the bottom line directly.
  • Learning what messages or creatives may -- or may not -- work for certain channels. It is easy to test messages in social channels and receive quick feedback. You can take high-performing messages on social and see if they perform as effectively on other channels.
  • Getting an overall perspective on how a campaign is performing across activities. Social activities for a campaign may be experiencing high levels of engagement but it may not be reflective of how activities in other channels are performing.

When organizations would like to get a perspective across multiple services/channels, they typically start by consolidating data into spreadsheets. This approach, however, is time consuming and error prone. Since it is time consuming, organizations don’t do it very often so as a result, it doesn’t support timely decision making.

After realizing the limitations of using spreadsheets, some organizations try to solve the problem by creating a data warehouse and giving users access to generic business intelligence (BI) or visualization tools. Soon enough, the difficulties of bringing marketing data together into a centralized store are realized:

  • There is so much volume and diversity of data from the different marketing channels and systems, where each system represents data in a different manner.
  • New data is being added at a fast pace and metrics related to the data need to be updated often. The best example of this is social media messages and the metrics associated with them.
  • The form and nature of the underlying data continuously changes as the marketing platforms keep evolving at a rapid pace. For example, the nature of ads data on Facebook, Twitter or DoubleClick continuously changes as new ad types are introduced.
  • Global organizations have many instances of the various marketing channels (e.g., hundreds of websites, Facebook pages, DoubleClick accounts, etc.), making it difficult to organize their assets in a meaningful way.
  • Marketers need to make decisions that span both the left (quantitative) and right (creative) sides of the brain and as such, they need both highly structured performance data and highly unstructured marketing asset/creative data at their fingertips.
  • The questions marketers ask of their data and the way the want to organize it, so it aligns with their changing business realities, constantly change.

As a result of the challenges, data warehouse/BI implementations typically take a lot of time and resources. And oftentimes, by the time they are “done,” the end result no longer addresses the needs of users since so much time has passed since the requirements were initially collected.

Fortunately, there are now solutions available in the market that help organizations automate the process of bringing data together, specifically from marketing sources, and give users access to the data. They deliver the following benefits:

  • Rapid implementation: A project can be implemented in weeks, versus the many months or years required to implement a data warehouse/BI system.
  • Successful rollout and marketer adoption: The simplicity and ease of use required by non-technical business users can be easily delivered.
  • True agility: Non-technical marketers can make adjustments that address their continuously changing needs — without involving IT or vendor resources.
  • Superior economics: Significantly better total cost of ownership can be experienced, as compared to a data warehouse/BI system.

Ultimately, these solutions typically provide a cheaper, faster, and more reliable approach than trying to build something in-house.

By bringing together data from various channels, an organization can give their marketers a valuable, broader perspective that will let them improve the performance of their campaigns in a timely manner and have a positive impact on business results.

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Steven Wastie is Origami Logic's Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer. He has over 20 years of experience leading global marketing, product management, and business development activities in highly competitive and high-growth markets.