By: Jason Kepsel, Marketing Intelligence Manager, Valassis
Published Friday, Feb 3, 2017
As data and technology evolve, marketers are increasingly challenged with figuring out which media channel or type of promotion is most effective for growing their brand. Determining the most impactful and efficient “marketing mix” is essential as today’s technology allows consumers more touch points than ever before. This growth in technology has also led to an increase in available data. We can now access a plethora of information related to how products are selling, who’s buying them and where they’re buying them. In addition, we have visibility into who’s viewing a campaign and how consumers are responding to that campaign. So, which data should we look at? Do we need to wait until a campaign is over before looking at the data? Before these questions can be answered we first need to determine the campaign’s objectives.
Clearly Define Objectives
Most marketing campaigns involve the input of multiple people. While one individual might set up and execute the campaign, the product, marketing, sales and finance teams are likely all invested in the campaign’s performance. Before the campaign is designed, all teams should agree on what the campaign will achieve, making sure the objective works toward an agreed upon KPI. Is the objective to drive brand awareness, attract new buyers or move volume? In the end, determining the objective should be a collaborative effort.
Careful Data Selection
Once the objective has been set, data needs to be carefully chosen to ensure proper measurement. There is a wealth of information out there -- make sure to focus on the data best suited for measuring the objective. For example, if the objective is to drive volume, don’t focus strictly on viewability metrics or whether the campaign attracted new brand buyers. Don’t be afraid to gather data from multiple sources to paint a more complete picture. A higher click-through rate or redemption rate might not always translate into higher sales. Also, if you can gather data on what competitors were doing during the same time period and compare results, there will be a better understanding of how the campaign stacked up against the competition. Willingness to explore various forms of data will lead to a more thorough interpretation of campaign success.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize!
The beauty of having a tremendous amount of data at our fingertips means not having to wait months after a campaign ends to understand performance. Some data sources are updated daily, allowing decisions to be made quickly. If a marketing campaign runs over the course of several weeks, generate a quick analysis after the first few weeks to understand how the campaign is performing. This could potentially shed light on a specific ad creative or targeting tactic that’s significantly out-performing others. If so, feel free to shift away from lower performing tactics or creative to get the best campaign performance as soon as possible.
Shorter campaigns may limit the ability to optimize within the actual campaign time period, but measurement is still just as important. Leverage the data after the fact, to understand campaign performance and whether there was room for improvement. You can then use these insights to optimize future marketing campaigns and improve performance.
As we continue to see advancements in technology and data collection, it’s imperative that marketers plan their campaigns carefully, take advantage of all the data available and optimize quickly. Following these steps will help keep your brand on the cutting edge and stay a step ahead of the competition.