Case Study Preview: Adopt Marketing Mix Modeling to Guide Future Investments

Consumers interact with brands across various mediums — their smartphones, computers, call center, in-store — just to name a few. Their interactions with brands — from viewing a TV ad to re-tweeting a promotion — are creating such a rich trove of data that marketers are left wondering: How do I glean relevant insights to optimize my marketing and media? Which channels should I optimize? How can I meet my growth goals while expanding into new, unfamiliar markets and channels? These questions keep marketers up at night; they are looking for best-in-class examples of measurement and analytics success. Well, look no further.

Our latest report, “Extract Business Value From Your Mix Model,” co-authored by Jim Nail, showcases USAA’s successful approach in leveraging marketing mix modeling to measure channel performance with greater precision and to identify and optimize future strategic investments, including marketing investments, product development, pricing structures, and organizational support. The report highlights USAA’s measurement and optimization challenges, how it used marketing mix to help refine metrics and identify the right levers to optimize business strategy and investments, and how it used the results to guide significant customer-driven changes at USAA. The case study is a good blueprint for firms that want to create a marketing mix model — and how to do it successfully!

We are thoroughly impressed by the analytics and marketing team at USAA; every decision made at the organization is driven by data and insights. Further, USAA is committed to using insights — including insights from its marketing mix model — to improve the overall customer experience.

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Announcing The 2013 Customer Analytics And Measurement Survey

Last year, my colleague Srividya Sridharan published The State Of Customer Analytics 2012 (subscription required). Using the results of her annual customer analytics adoption survey, she uncovered key trends of how customer analytics practitioners use and adopt various advanced analytics across the customer life cycle and highlighted challenges and drivers associated with customer analytics.

This year, I have the pleasure of teaming up with Sri on her yearly survey, to further explore the adoption of advanced analytics, measurement, and attribution. Please read her blog post to learn more about the survey.  This survey will explore the adoption and usage of measurement techniques, including attribution, and the adoption of advanced analytics methodologies. With this expanded survey we want to understand how you use and apply measurement and analytics in your organization to optimize both cross-channel marketing campaigns and customer programs.

In particular, we’re fielding questions to understand the goals and challenges associated with measurement and analytics, the adoption and application of measurement and advanced analytics methods, the use of several marketing and customer metrics, the customer insights process and workflow, and the organizational aspects that support measurement and analytics. We encourage you to participate in this survey, as this information will help you benchmark your measurement and analytics adoption efforts.

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Q3 2013 Takeaways: Advanced Measurement Continues To Be A Key Initiative

The end of a quarter forces me to reflect on what I learned in regards to my coverage area: measurement and attribution. From customer insights (CI) pros and marketers, I saw an increased interest in advancing their measurement approaches. On the attribution front, there is an appetite to learn about specific methodologies, use cases, ongoing attribution management strategies, and attribution applications to marketing/media buys. On the vendor side, I saw more advancement in tools, approaches, and offline and mobile data integration. I predict attribution — and general consumer and marketing measurement — will continue to be a hot topic for marketers and CI professionals well into 2014. Specifically, I expect to see more attribution adoption and usage of attribution to measure customer purchase paths and to learn more about customer behaviors and motivations.

In the meantime, let me recap the Q3 2013 measurement takeaways:

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Google Steps It Up With Data Driven Attribution

More news from Mountain View on Tuesday, where Internet powerhouse Google released the much-anticipated Data Driven Attribution (DDA) feature for its Premium users. The release of Google’s DDA approach comes as no surprise to the analytics and measurement community. The world of attribution measurement is constantly evolving and new attribution approaches, new players, and new tools regularly enter the market, enabling marketers to select the right attribution tool for their business needs. It was only a matter of time before Google released a persuasive, more advanced measurement offering.

First, the Data Driven Attribution feature is only available for Google Analytics Premium users. It has several notable features worth highlighting:

  • Google DDA’s approach is statistically driven methodology. Google’s DDA approach is a huge improvement over its rules-based Attribution Modeling tool (which is available for FREE for Google Analytics users). The DDA approach uses probability modeling to best estimate the values of each interaction. The approach itself is transparent, understandable, and Google is extremely open about how it calculates the value parameters.
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Key Findings From Forrester's EMEA Marketing Leadership Forum

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Forrester's Forum For Marketing Leaders in London and met some members of the Forrester Leadership Board (FLB) for Customer Insights (CI) professionals. I was eager to share my research on attribution measurement and (selfishly) get their point of view on measurement successes and challenges in Europe. Here are a few key takeaways from our CI colleagues across the pond:

  • Attribution measurement is a growing topic among European firms. When I met with the FLB members, I was delighted to learn that attribution is being widely adapted in most organizations, with the same challenges that we face in America. In fact, it seems that the firms I spoke with adapted attribution for quite a while, and they’re really looking to advance their attribution approach in the near future. Overall, they are making significant investments in the right data, resources, and tools to have a more sophisticated measurement approach.
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Just Published: The Forrester Wave Marketing Mix Modeling Providers Q2 2013

Marketing professionals are more and more accountable for proving value, and making investment recommendations and decisions, based on business and marketing performance. Marketing mix modeling is quickly being adopted across different industries as the preferred way to measure, forecast, optimize, and plan marketing budgets. 

Today, I am pleased to announce the publication of The Forrester Wave™: Marketing Mix Modeling, Q2 2013. This evaluation is a result of countless hours of vendor reviews and assessments, in-person briefing reviews, customer calls, fact-checking, and intensive research work. This Forrester Wave will help firms create a shortlist of providers, based on their unique business needs.

After long days and nights, I am glad to share with you the key takeaways that emerged from the Forrester Marketing Mix Modeling Wave:

  • Wide arrays of firms are adapting marketing mix modeling. Marketing mix modeling is the traditional approach to uncover value and build a marketing plan for consumer packaged goods companies. However, other industries, including financial services and retail, are quickly taking an interest in adopting this approach because they need a more scientific, holistic way to understand marketing and business performance. As a result, we see an upsurge in adoption across different industries.
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Now Live: The Cross-Channel Attribution Playbook

Cross-channel attribution. For customer insights and marketing practitioners, attribution is a white hot measurement topic. It’s viewed as the best way to measure effectiveness of marketing and media campaigns; a way for firms to assess…truly assess… the value of the customer journey.  For the past 18 months, I have been living and breathing this topic and today I am happy….no, I’m elated…to announce the official publication of the Cross-Channel Attribution Playbook.

What’s a playbook, you ask?  Well, a playbook is a framework to help organizations develop expertise around a specific business topic.  The Cross-Channel Attribution Playbook helps marketers and customer insights professionals to take strategic steps in building an attribution strategy within their organization.  It includes 12 chapters, including an executive overview, which covers different aspects of developing and managing a cross-channel attribution measurement framework.  The four “chapters” specifically help organizations:

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Cross-Channel Measurement to Assess the Perpetually Connected Customer

The analytics community is experiencing a rebirth. A renewal. A renaissance. Why? Data is bursting from every corner, from every device, allowing brands to deliver relevant messages and offers to its customers. So, being an analytics connoisseur is important now more than ever. I mean, who else is going to play with all this data . . . and actually enjoy it?

Organizations must develop relevant marketing strategies across devices -- to different customers -- and have the advanced measurement and analytic frameworks to fuel decisions. And the perpetually connected customer is forcing organizations to act quickly, so near-real-time insights are paramount. My past research addresses this, specifically, how analytics professionals can use attribution as a way to understand the true value of each interaction point. This is even more complex because of the increase in cross-device usage.  As a result,analytic pros are using savvy ways to connect information and to measure cross-device impact and incremental value.

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Is Your Organization Ready For Cross-Channel Attribution?

I am a measurement geek. I get great joy from analyzing data, measuring customer behavior, and assessing marketing campaigns. It’s something that I’ve done for years, across different organizations, agencies, and service providers. And that’s why I’m so interested in attribution measurement — it’s a data geek’s dream. Connecting data and unveiling the dimensions of customer behavior and interaction paths is fascinating; it provides an enormous amount of information about customers and prospects, their preferences, and how they want to interact with a brand.

However, attribution measurement requires more than just analyzing data. It requires coordination of lots of moving parts. Data needs to be connected; technologies need to communicate with each other; resources need to work together; and organizations need to agree on metrics and analysis standards. It’s not an easy task. And speaking from experience, attribution measurement is a long, complex journey.
 
My most recent report, “Are You Ready For Cross-Channel Attribution?,” enables organizations to score their attribution maturity across six core component areas: strategy, organization and resources, technology, data, analytics, and optimization. Once an organization tallies up its scores in each area, it can determine where it falls on the attribution maturity spectrum: novice, intermediate, proficient, or expert. This framework allows organizations to pinpoint their attribution strengths and determine attribution gaps. Also, the framework provides organizations with specific recommendations on what attribution-related tasks they need to focus on to become experts.
 
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Google Rolls Out Its Attribution Modeling Tool To A Wider Audience

Google recently announced, on Tuesday, plans to offer its Attribution Modeling Tool through Google Analytics via a public white list. The Attribution Modeling Tool was previously offered through the Google Analytics Premium product at an additional cost. The move to make its Attribution Modeling Tool available through Google Analytics for free indicates that Google is aggressively looking to extend its current analytics and measurement capabilities. Specifically, Google’s Attribution Modeling Tool allows users to:

  • Work with data they’re already tracking in Google Analytics. That means no additional setup or work for your IT department, marketing, or analytics groups. Flip the switch and you’re on. You can input and view values across channels, including affiliates, display ads, paid and organic search, and email.
  • Customize the attribution model. Google Attribution Modeling Tool provides either last-click or rules-based attribution models to their users. Google allows the user to have control of their attribution model, allowing the user to compare various models to each other, including the contributed value of channels, campaigns, and various other dimensions.  
  • Access the Attribution Modeling Tool for FREE. We all love free things. All users have to do is sign up for the tool and the tool is available through the Google Analytics product. If you want more information about the tool, Google is hosting a webinar, which will give an overview of the capabilities.
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