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.
  • CI pros have a hard time obtaining organizational support for attribution measurement. This theme came up over and over again. For European-based firms, organizational support is a severe roadblock because of a lack of understanding of attribution — what it means and how it’s executed from a statistical perspective. Resources not familiar with attribution are often intimated by the complexity of attribution approaches. Therefore, the adaption of attribution is always a challenge. US-based firms have organizational challenges as they relate to attribution. However, US firms are more resistant to attribution because of the broader implications on marketing planning and optimization. European firms are educating their counterparts on attribution in a very detailed way, so the whole organization understands the details of attribution from what it means to how it's executed.
  • Attribution must also measure the impact of qualitative insights, such as NPS and brand perception. US marketers want to understand the impact of all tangible marketing activity on a customer action (which usually means conversion). However, European marketers want to also uncover the impact of qualitative information, like NPS or brand value, on a customer action. While we know that NPS and other qualitative insights play a role in a customer’s decision to purchase, measuring the impact of this is often done through specific brand studies and is usually not tied to marketing insights. In the end, European firms are trying to use attribution measurement in a more holistic way: to understand the behavioral and emotional impact on a customers' decision to purchase.

The key takeaway (from my small sample of European firms) is that attribution adaption is well underway, with even more complex layers of questions and roadblocks on the part of firms. I’m eager to see the development of attribution across Europe and other geographic areas, with greater investments in analytics and measurement to better understand marketing and consumer performance. I will continue to investigate measurement adaption across the globe to obtain a more comprehensive point of view on this topic.