The Necessity of Unified Measurement
To succeed in today’s marketing world, marketers must MEASURE: (1) cross-channel effects of media and (2) detailed campaign activity and strategic planning—for the entire marketing budget. This pressure to prove the value and contribution of the spend has always driven this demand. Easy enough—except when you begin to layer in data-loss from privacy changes. Then, the solutions to accurately measure these data points are increasingly limited. Unified measurement, in particular, has emerged as a more popular measurement strategy as of late. But what is unified measurement, and is it reliable? Read on to find out.
What is Unified Measurement?
Simply put, traditional unified measurement (also known as unified marketing measurement or unified analytics) brings together two of the most common components of marketing analysis: Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) and Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA).
Does Traditional Unified Measurement Work?
Traditional Unified Measurement blends statistical techniques that assign business value to each element of the marketing mix at both a strategic and tactical level, combining a variety of data models and insights to provide marketers with a “holistic” view of their marketing efforts. This *should* allow marketers to look into more granular data and comprehensively track their campaign success. BUT…
Data Disruption Has Impacted Traditional Unified Measurement
When Unified Measurement became a concept in the marketplace, it was to solve a problem whereby no single measurement approach could cover the entire sphere of digital and traditional media across both online and offline converting outcomes. Digital attribution solutions fail to measure traditional media and offline conversions while traditional marketing mix modeling failed to deliver detailed measures at campaign levels. The answer? Merge the two. The market was left with a definition of Unified Measurement that includes two primary components:
- “Top Down” strategic marketing measurement and planning more commonly associated with Marketing Mix Modeling
- “Bottom UP” tactical marketing measurement at more detailed campaign levels— primarily in digital marketing channels— using Multi-Touch Attribution
The marketing industry, including industry analysts such as Forrester Research, were overly prescriptive about the combination of Marketing Mix Modeling and Multi-Touch Attribution as the only way to accomplish “Unified Measurement”, largely ignoring the fact that putting the two methods together produced conflicting answers and large gaps in measurement. Vendors came up with ways to paper over such conflicts and gaps by “merging” the answers into a “unified measurement framework”.
Fast forward to today— data disruption is hitting the marketing industry HARD:
- Impending Cookie Death
- Tracking restrictions – Apple’s ITP and IDFA block consumer tracking on nearly 50% of the US mobile devices and any Safari-based internet use
- Regulations such as CCPA and CPRA that foreshadow even more regulatory risks with consumer identity data AND widening gaps in data and identity matching
- Poor identity matching rates that drain attribution accuracy and confidence
- Tectonic consumer behavior shifts driven by the post-pandemic economy which curtail the use of non-relevant historical data in traditional marketing mix models
The Multi-Touch Attribution Part of Unified Measurement is Dead
The data disruptions now place at least half of the traditional Unified Measurement layer into serious jeopardy as multi-touch attribution solutions no longer provide accurate measures nor represent a long-term future-proof option for brands. Multi-Touch Attribution (“MTA”) is not an accurate, tactical guide especially for brands that have offline converting outcomes such as brick-and-mortar stores, sales agent channels, physical branches, call centers and other non-digital touchpoints. And, if we are being honest, MTA was never accurate anyway.
Unified Measurement Redefined
With all of the current challenges impacting marketing measurement, it is time to update the definition of Unified Measurement altogether. Marketers require flexibility, speed, and future-proofing against data disruption… in essence: agility. The new Unified Measurement must be agile enough to meet the business at the speed of the market and must be reliable now and also in the future when the consumer data sphere will be:
- More limited
- Less reliable
- And more risky
This new definition moves away from the “how” and focuses on “what” the marketer requires for measurement to provide value to the enterprise. Unified Measurement is now defined as:
Agile Strategic Planning:
- Forward-looking strategic marketing budget planning
- Highly-flexible what-if media spend allocation scenarios
- Advanced optimizations across the entire marketing portfolio that account for all cross-channel effects of advertising (not just the channel silos)
- Rapid-cycle playbooks to the marketing team and partners for the most impactful investment strategies
- Controls for non-marketing factors to properly identify the incremental impacts of marketing investments
Agile Tactical & Actionable Measurement:
- Detailed, tactical campaign-level measurement for BOTH digital and traditional media campaigns, and the cross-channel impacts of each effort
- Rapid identification of performance lift across any KPI of importance (ROAS, ROMI, CPA, etc.) for any critical value (Revenue, Margin, Traffic, Acquisition, Loyalty, LTV, etc.)
- Actionable data and decisioning across critical dimensions such as geography, product types & taxonomies, customer segments, device types, creative treatments, ad formats, etc.
- Measurement of the total impact of a campaign across all online & offline outcomes
- Future-proof tactical measurement that doesn’t rely on consumer and cross-device tracking data
Agile Continuous Test & Learn Capability:
- Rapid measurement refreshes to support new campaign tests, channels and spend changes
- Ongoing persistent measurement across all channels to guide to the latest changes in market conditions and the performance shifts they are driving
- Tools and interfaces to track changes made to enable continuous scoring of results
With the new definition of Unified Measurement, we move away from older, failing methodologies especially since tracking-based attribution will no longer be a future-proof option for more tactical marketing measurement. Instead, the new Unified Measurement moves its focus to what matters most: driving continuous marketing and business performance improvement with agile analytics.
OptiMine is today’s agile and accurate marketing measurement solution. Contact us to learn more!
- “Is Marketing Mix Modeling Still Relevant Today?” Blog Post
- “5 Marketing Attribution Tips to Protect Your Business” Blog Post
- “Selecting a Marketing Attribution Tool” Blog Post
- “Marketing Attribution FAQ” Blog Post
- “What is Multi-Touch Attribution?” Blog Post
- “Attribution vs. Marketing Mix Modeling” Blog Post
- “Multi-Touch Attribution is Dead” eBook
- “4 Ways to Future-Proof Your Marketing Measurement” eBook
- OptiMine On-Demand Webinar: “The Measurement Dilemma: Navigating Privacy Driven Disruption”
- OptiMine x TickPick On-Demand Presentation: “ARF Measurement Challenges Showcase”