Forrester Research recently published its NowTech report on marketing measurement and optimization solutions, intended to help marketers evaluate current vendors in this burgeoning sector. According to Forrester, “With the changes that technology has brought to the marketing measurement space, all B2C marketers and analytics professionals should plan to take a fresh look at and update their approaches to measurement.”

The Unified Measurement Sector Take Shape

Among Forrester’s key takeaways are that more sophisticated marketing measurement teams can benefit by upgrading to a unified approach, while smaller brand marketers (many of whom have been “flying blind”), can now access solutions via new partners to bring “rigor and analytics behind marketing measurement.” Here’s how Forrester defines “unified measurement and optimization” solution providers:

Gather data about marketing spending, campaign tactics, consumer engagement and sales, and apply statistical analytic techniques to quantify the financial impact of these activities.

Unified measurement and optimization tools empower marketers to accomplish three important objectives:

  1. Understand the business impact of marketing budgets. In short, if marketers want to be taken seriously by the C-suite, then it’s time to set aside soft metrics in favor of financially grounded KPIs.
  2. Determine your optimal channel mix. Marketers are all too familiar with the shortcomings of approaches like “last-click measurement.” Today’s technology-driven solutions enable marketers to more fully account for the interplay between short-term and long-term tactics in discerning the most profitable channel mix.
  3. Forecast results of alternative marketing plans. Forrester makes it clear that using the past to plan the future is obsolete. Today’s modern marketing measurement approaches “enable marketing to predict the financial results of different budget levels and channel mixes.”

Keen 1 of 2 Pure Unified Solution Providers

Keen Decision Systems is one of just two pure “unified marketing performance measurement” solutions featured in report and the only SaaS-based solution. The other is Marketing Evolution. Other vendors include “unified marketing performance” among myriad functionality segments.

Forrester’s ranking of functionality segments puts unified marketing performance measurement at the top, as the only one to deliver “high functionality” in five key areas:

  1. Data collection and aggregation
  2. Data management and quality
  3. Business strategy/investing
  4. Advanced marketing analytics support
  5. Scenario planning.

The other categories include, in order of ranked functionality, marketing-mix modeling, marketing-performance monitors, multi-touch attribution and television attribution.

Take Action: 4 Steps to Update Your Measurement Strategy

Forrester recommends marketers update their measurement strategies; we’ve recapped them here:

  1. Large Players: Upgrade to unified measurement. If you’re still using channel-specific measurements, now is the time to chart a course toward a unified strategy. Forrester’s NowTech report may offer helpful insights to help you get started.
  2. Small Players: You’re not too small to start. Typically larger brands have enjoyed access to marketing mix modeling, while smaller brands have had to rely on past performance or gut instinct. According to Forrester, the growth in the segment in bringing greater affordability. Forrester says marketers should expect to commit 1-2 percent of their marketing budgets to measurement, but the good news is that historically considered “nonworking investment,” today’s measurement tools deliver improvement in financial performance of 15 percent or more.
  3. Don’t be caught empty-handed. If your marketing organization isn’t using any data-driven decision support, now is the right time to do so. Rather than stalling over the working vs. non-working capital dilemma, recognize that when the next economic downturn happens the first place senior management looks to cut is marketing…unless you can show how your investments are driving growth and can forecast what return leadership can expect from continued investment.
  4. Improve your analytics literacy. During a recent webinar [The CMO’s Identity Crisis], someone asked Keen CEO Greg Dolan what the future marketer’s profile would look like: revenue generation, data science or creative? His answer, “All three.” While many marketers are passionate about creative, they now have to ground those ideas in data. While you don’t have to become a data wonk, you should know enough to apply insights to inform your investment levels and timing.

Forrester’s NowTech report is available to Forrester subscribers as part of its Marketing Measurement and Insights Playbook 2019.