New marketing analytics for a new COVID-19 reality
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from the Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research Consulting blog.
It certainly isn’t business as usual for marketers navigating COVID-19, and it can’t be business as usual for marketing analytics teams either.
Here are three changes that analytics teams need to focus on:
- Reduce reliance on marketing mix models. No one can (or should) trust any updates to marketing mix models for at least a year. They model historical relationships that then rely on the principle that “the past is prologue” to apply their findings to future actions. But nothing could be further from the truth — not this year anyway. Marketers need to hit the pause button on new marketing mix modeling until 2021.
- Increase reliance on user level attribution modeling and experiments. On the other hand, marketers need more help when the past is not prologue. Fresh guidance for the next 12 months, especially as marketers open up advertising again, should come from multi-touch attribution (MTA) and controlled experiments. Both use data that are forward looking, not backward historical. MTA analyzes conversions vs. ad serving as data are unfolding going forward during campaigns and flights of advertising. The experiment is designed and executed in the future, not the past. The fresh results can be focused on the big questions, such as, “Should I start advertising again?” and “What mix of brand and performance marketing works best to balance brand needs and the need to show tangible results?”
- Proving and maximizing the value of targeting. “Reducing wasted ad impressions” or “addressing advertising to consumer targets producing 2X (or more) return” are two sides of the same coin. One is the sickness, the other the cure. Choosing the right segments can make your advertising self-funding and build your brand at the same time. Choose the wrong segment and you are back to ad waste. Either way, there will be financial pressure on marketing to prove that advertising is adding to the bottom line.
Coming out of COVID-19 lockdowns, as we reboot marketing, we must reboot marketing analytics. Don’t just do what you were doing before COVID-19 hit. Change practices in order to provide the right guidance.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How will marketing analytics have to be reassessed for COVID-19? Would you add any other suggestions to those presented in the article?