It’s no secret that organizations that invest heavily in measurement and attribution technology tend to see better campaign results than those that don’t prioritize these areas. But a new study from marketing platform provider Neustar found that investing in measurement tools can also have an impact on the entire business. In fact, its study of 800 CMOs worldwide found that marketers that invest over 10% of their budgets on measurement are three times more likely to beat their sales targets by 25% or more. Julie Fleischer, vice president of product marketing at Neustar, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker to dig deeper into the results.
eMarketer: What stood out to you from the study’s findings?
Julie Fleischer: The study confirmed what most marketers know but seem to forget. It confirmed that an investment in marketing analytics, attribution and marketing performance measurement drives the business forward, and the organization typically gets back more than it pays.
The only way to improve is to learn, and the only way to learn is through measurement. What’s working? What’s not working? Investing in measurement drives better outcomes across every single strategy and every single tactic. The more you measure, the better you do.
eMarketer: When it comes to measurement, what kinds of attribution models work best for the marketers in Neustar’s research?
Fleischer: High-performing marketers have switched to multitouch attribution. The question is when will everyone else catch up? It’s surprising, but many companies are still relying on last- or first-click attribution. These approaches don’t paint a holistic picture of the customer journey, but more importantly they can often provide incorrect information. If marketers are attributing all of the effectiveness of a campaign to the last touchpoint, then that will completely distort the channel investments they make.
eMarketer: What are the biggest measurement challenges that remain today?
Fleischer: Marketers don’t want to talk to cookies. They don’t want to talk to identifiers or profiles. They want to talk to real people. The biggest challenge in measurement today is being able to move beyond cookies and cross-device identities into real identity resolution. To get to this level, marketers are interrogating their partners and reassessing their platforms and stacks to make sure that tools are integrated and are actually connecting them to people properly.
eMarketer: Marketers in Neustar’s study also said that investments in social media technology have been crucial. Why are these tools so important?
Fleischer: Social media technology is a part of the marketing technology ecosystem because it’s how marketers reach most of their customers in a highly targeted fashion. It’s where they’re able to get away from broad demographic data, and use critical behavioral and contextual insights to understand who they should be targeting. Social media campaigns are also more measurable than ever now, and marketers are recognizing the opportunity to be honest brokers of their performance.
eMarketer: What are some other key technology investments that organizations should be making right now?
Fleischer: In addition to investing in technology, organizations should be investing in closing the skill gaps that exist in measuring marketing performance and interpreting data. It is easy to model data and report things, but it’s more challenging to understand what it actually means in the context of a full business. As an industry, we need to invest more in talent, not just tools and technology.