In today’s marketing landscape, campaigns are only as good as the data used to justify them. Marketers are privy to an exhaustive amount of data – some that is worthwhile and some that is used to sell a story, rather than affect the bottom line.

Data exhaustion doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem for marketers. The key is having a clear purpose and knowing which metrics matter. Brands and agencies need to be held accountable to how marketing initiatives impact business.

Measuring The Bottom Line

To prove value at the core, it is imperative to know what revenues are being driven as a result of campaigns. While some metrics may show correlation or causation to revenue, we must start with the bottom line. Creating a measurement framework that can point to short and long-term revenue generation allows brands to immediately see the effect of their marketing efforts.

Key takeaway: While brands have varying goals, the most important metric is how an initiative impacts a bottom line.

Mixing Quants & Quals

Understanding the why behind bottom line measurements — through a mixture of quantitative and qualitative metrics — provides insights that should lead strategy. Quantitative metrics can show us statistically based correlations, while qualitative information provides deeper context.

For example, social media used to have limited quantitative value. Aside from share of voice, engagement and sentiment, social only provided qualitative feedback from the customer. Analysts then parsed through to decipher meaning, but the ability to see differences between variables was more of an art than a science.

Today, companies are quantifying posts based on a series of attributes. A high-end water brand used this approach, finding that it outperformed competitors in overall satisfaction and quality, but fell short in source influence and NPS. With that understanding, tactics shifted, leading to a 25% increase in sales.

Key takeaway: Using quantitative measures makes findings more objective.

Standardization & Relative Metrics

Various marketing channels offer different data points, making it critical to measure for apples to apples comparisons across channels – from traditional to digital to experiential. It’s also more important to be consistent in your approach than to gather flawless data. There is likely going to be a margin of error.

A state government entity wanted to measure the efficiency of visibility and engagement with its brand to generate better ROI. After modeling an equation using a series of costs and return metrics, the brand asked to simplify its equation – the cost of the sponsorship divided by the key metric. While not fully accurate, the equation still allowed the brand to define the right channels to go down, and in doing so, how to better negotiate the top performing ones.

Key takeaway: Consistency of measurement outweighs exactness.  

While there is an extraordinary amount of data out there, marketers should always aim to prove bottom-line business value. Starting with the end in mind helps to keep brands and agencies centered on this important metric.

Be as scientific as possible, but don’t fret if data points aren’t precise, so long as they are formulated consistently.  With the right approach, you should welcome the accountability of your marketing campaigns’ performance.

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