“Data-driven thinkingis written by members of the media community and contains fresh insights into the digital revolution in media. Today’s column is written by Peter Vandre, Chief Analytics Officer at dentu Media US.
If you’re planning for the cookie’s imminent death, that’s a productive goal – but also, think bigger. Those who wish to plan for the sequel should start preparing for the end of digital marketing measurement as we know it.
Changes in the marketing ecosystem are destroying the cornerstones of traditional digital marketing measurement. Policy changes announced by tech giants such as Apple and Google – as well as evolving privacy laws – are severely restricting how individual-level data is collected, integrated and used for measurement. This means we must immediately say goodbye to visualization-based KPIs, multi-touch attribution and our ambition for deduplicated reach and frequency between partners.
The browser changes mean that it will no longer be possible to use an ad server or pixel-based measurement to partner up to track a consumer across the internet. These seismic shifts threaten the foundations of measurement and will create a wave of disruption for marketing departments and analytics teams as they struggle to explain declining media performance or lost KPIs.
In this new situation, your usual plan A will no longer work. If brand leaders continue your default approach to the market, performance will seemingly decline because you are using old standards that don’t reflect new realities. We also know that in the world of marketing, brands can’t really activate a Plan A, so recognize major shifts to make it last.
Speed will be essential to leadership, so plan fast but smart.
Now is the time – not in 2022 – to revisit your measurement framework, key performance indicators, and benchmarks, because only organizations that are changing rapidly will have the best understanding of performance continuity in this changing landscape.
Your new Plan A should embody specific priorities to ensure you are nimble yet strategic. Here’s where to focus:
Remove your KPI biases
Tracking changes has already created a bias in some digital KPIs, such as view-based engagement and conversion rates. This measurement bias leads teams to optimize away from audiences where credit is lost for conversion. (Think, for example, of iOS and Firefox.)
The unintended consequence of this bias is a reduced reach of target consumers and higher frequencies. Unfortunately, these effects are masked by the fact that the same tracking issues inflate range and underestimate frequency.
When Chrome’s tracking changes take effect next year, less than 15% of our target audiences will likely be reachable using third-party cookies and device IDs, which will make the problem much worse. We need to identify the problematic KPIs now and decide how we need to move them. Solutions can put more emphasis on qualified click-through rates and modeled KPIs.
Get started today by analyzing the correlations between “qualified” post-click conversions and post-view conversions to understand how well clicks will drive views.
Deepen cross-channel modeling
Multi-touch attribution is dead. Cross-platform optimization needs to start moving even further towards marketing mix optimization to understand relative performance and ROI against business KPIs such as sales.
Big thinkers are rethinking cross-channel measurement methods and building competitive advantage through what they develop.
For example, time series modeling and machine learning techniques can also be geared towards intermediate KPIs, including cost per site visit or app download, once display tracking has disappeared. .
Get started now by organizing your clickstream ad data and modeling these mid-funnel KPIs to see how well your models predict key mid-funnel actions.
Plan publisher-specific optimizations
Forget about using your ad server’s reports to optimize publisher spend. Instead, it’s time to start bolstering measurement and testing programs in pubs.
These solutions are admittedly still emerging, with walled gardens such as Google, Facebook and Amazon being the most advanced in their offerings. But other major publishers and even retailers, such as Walmart and Kroger, are introducing solutions to help marketers close the loop on sales and other results, using data cleanrooms and bonding technologies. person-level or emergent algorithms.
More sophisticated companies work with partners to set up their own data clean rooms and deal with publishers to ensure they will have critical post-cookie exposure data to understand marketing performance.
Now determine which publisher and retail environments will be most important to your business and start testing. Also consider upgrading your enterprise analytics environment to a data clean room.
“Wait-and-see” will not work. Brand managers need to create a new Plan A now, before digital tracking as we know it is gone. Maximize your ability to successfully transition your key performance indicators and measurement methods to make smarter marketing decisions and ultimately gain competitive advantage.
Relying on a Plan B will not work when the foundations of digital measurement are irreparably cracked. Find new ground.