Today, a marketer’s landscape is nuanced, sophisticated and has been greatly transformed by the chaos of Covid, with the massive social and behavioural shifts we’ve collectively experienced. Scientific, data-rich and capable of producing ever-evolving, clear insights, the information we can now glean about customers and brand drives both effectiveness and creativity.
In previous articles, I’ve looked at zero-waste approaches to marketing and how to prove the value of marketing activities, especially in an uncertain climate. As we settle into this new normal, it’s more critical than ever for brands to unify behind one data-informed approach to marketing strategy; one that’s determined by customer actions and measured using the right framework.
1. Introduce a strategy that allows human agility in the approach to channel measurement
It’s important that there is a consistency in how channels are tied back to revenue. However, measuring one revenue metric alone means that not all channels across the funnel are given an equal chance to shine, especially when reporting on a frequent basis. While channels further up the funnel will be influencing sales (and advanced attribution approaches can tie these together), they are also playing different roles in the journey, and their impact will take longer to show itself compared to demand-harvesting channels such as paid search, where there is a more immediate outcome.
We must become more agile with our thinking – taking multiple metrics, from reach to engagement to conversions, and then forming a sensible and coherent story as to the impact those channels are having. The importance of creating an overarching strategy helps with this. This allows brands to set both a more appropriate individual goal for each channel based on its role, while also implementing a better measurement framework for reviewing the overall joined up contribution of the marketing mix.
Being more specific and setting a certain goal makes measurement easier. It allows you to experiment with individual channels in your marketing mix and judge them for their individual attributes, while also looking at all channels on a total level, and ensuring your total media spend doesn’t take the brand beyond its total target KPI threshold for all activity.
For example, in practice, if your overall ROI target is 7x, and this is achieved when looking at your total channel mix, when some of your programmatic activity then has a lower ROI of 3x it shouldn’t cause immediate concern, as it can be judged against its own reach objectives while not having a detrimental impact on the overall outcome.
2. Take the next step beyond multichannel marketing
Introducing a joined-up media strategy underpinned by channel learnings naturally means considering the relevant roles of the full and wider marketing mix. Often, when a brand employs multiple channels to reach its overall objective, each channel is managed separately with its own individual strategy. To be fully seamless, it’s important to take this one step further, towards a customer journey centred on an individual’s behaviour and choice in how they interact with your brand.
This should be frictionless across platforms under one joint content and targeting strategy, where the prospect experiences the same and relevant messaging at any touchpoint, personalised to their individual needs and triggered by their specific engagement. This can reap huge rewards when employed successfully. Research by Omnisend reports that using three or more channels together in any one campaign drove a 287% higher conversion rate than purely relying on siloed single channel efforts.
Properly personalising this journey goes beyond simplistic retargeting and lookalike segmentation; it focuses on more specific customer attributes, their individual actions and potentially even bespoke customer value groups. However, this relies on an enhanced application of data and integrated cross-channel activity, flexible infrastructure and a tech stack that enables personalisation. For speed of implementation, this is often something that brands choose to outsource to agencies like Jaywing, while building up internal capability and infrastructure over the long term.
3. A flexible data infrastructure must be prioritised as an inevitable necessity
Customer data is a strategic asset to increasingly data-rich businesses, and so it is key to prioritise data infrastructure as inevitable necessity, investing in building the right data and technology foundation to support customers through their journey and using internal business insights to meet growth ambitions. As we discussed with Studio Retail in our latest webinar, this also means that data shouldn’t be a team that is tapped into on an ad-hoc basis, it should be a function that is accessible and informative, providing the evidence for every decision made.
Data must be used to drive solutions and strategic planning. To employ such a strategy can feel overwhelming but it all fundamentally starts here. Data-driven media plans covering all channels must be embedded, providing consumer insights across multiple business areas such as product categories, purchase behaviour, profitability, value and engagement. And this better use of data allows the optimisation of marketing budgets through understanding customer behaviour.
In summary, being clear with target setting and constantly evaluating success – together with having a joined-up, fully integrated and personalised campaign strategy that leverages data to its maximum potential – is the name of the game in 2022. Every action should be driven by insight and, if something isn’t working, it should and can be changed rapidly, to keep pace with an ever accelerating market where having an agile mindset and agile infrastructure will inevitably always win out.
Hanna Wade is marketing effectiveness director at Jaywing.