Like Narcissus in the reflecting pool it’s virtually impossible for us marketers to turn our gaze away from our dashboards, clicking, whirring and blinking with impressions, clicks, shares, likes, reach, engagement, open rates and more.

We’ve gone from no metrics to a Pandora’s box of vanity metrics— full of sound and fury — but here’s the ugly truth: signifying nothing.

None of these metrics can be directly, positively or predictively correlated to top- or bottom-line improvement.


Big Data Is Our Nemesis

Years of investment in new consumer data sources has had the unintended consequence of driving the  marketing industry from too little data to too much, with little discernment about which data offers a reliable indicator of business lift.

Instead the focus recently has turned to how we organize and visualize data — the equivalent of giving Narcissus a mirror — this fails to address the core problem.

Finding True Value

In her report, “Marketers Stop Using Vanity Metrics to Value Your Business,” Forrester’s Tina Moffett outlines a playbook for measuring marketing using the “right data,” focused on metrics that improve business value.

Such metrics differ from how we traditionally look at marketing impact, but they are attractive to CFOs and others in the C-suite who view business through the lens of financial impact. Here are a few examples:

  • Mentos increased its sales volume contribution by 82 percent from 2017 to 2018.
  • Eckrich Meats doubled its return despite two years of marketing budget cuts.
  • Airheads uncovered a $27.4 million revenue opportunity in the second half of 2018.

These brands accomplished these results by embracing Keen’s new paradigm for marketing measurement, marketing decision support designed to help marketers understand and optimize performance in terms of financial contribution.

While we’re friendly people who would never call another marketer’s dashboard ugly, we know you’ll be captivated by this new view of your business:

  • A unified look across all channels; digital, traditional media and trade
  • ROI that measures short- and long-term profitability, so your plan delivers demonstrable brand value, not just a short-term ROI boost
  • Forecasting that helps you determine the optimal spend by channel with a prescriptive week-by-week plan; one you can update easily to continuously adapt and improve
  • Dynamic data; a plan built on the recent results measured in days rather than data that’s six months to two years old

Investing in measurement isn’t about looking back; it’s about looking forward and seeing clearly where to go next in order to grow and win. That’s a beautiful thing!