Key Takeaways from The AD Club’s Inaugural Measurement:NOW Conference

On January 29th at our first Measurement:NOW Conference, we learned a few things about how measurement is used now and how invaluable smart and addressable data is today for the brand and the consumer. Here are 5 key takeaways that we found that are important for the brand to consumer journey:

Focus on the customer journey

Measurement isn’t just about using numbers and figures to help brand marketers determine which demographic to target or where to sell to them – through television commercials, their mobile devices, or even RTB – but it’s instead about focusing on the customer journey. Kirk Thompson, VP Marketing and Head of Marketing & Culinary at IHOP, said that measurement is about the consumer’s lifestyle and their social behaviors which can be reached via traditional and digital advertising.

He said that different channels serve different purposes; using IHOP’s example of social sharing, Thompson said, “[We] have to engage in what’s going on organically, socially.”

“Menu items,” he said, “are shareable social items.” Walking in the customer’s shoes and seeing what they are doing really helps brands measure what really works and matters.

Don’t just have a scorecard, use your scorecard

According to Thompson, brands use measurement as a scorecard, but then nothing else after that. “If you don’t put it into action, it just lives as a scorecard,” he said. How you use that measurement what matters – a brand’s numbers can be high, but what happens next? Use those numbers to do even more and see where your customers are going, because as every great brand marketer knows, the high numbers rely on the happy customer.

That scorecard could also lead brands into continuing using old tactics and measurements that used to work but won’t work in a few years, even months, time. Thompson said that brands should not simply reapply TV commercials, but to be aware of the channels they’re advertising on. Television has a different purpose from Snapchat, and Snapchat has a different purpose from YouTube video content, etc., which doesn’t cost a lot to tailor per channel.

Consumers are the new brand ambassadors

Sarah Gleason, SVP, Shopper & Retail Strategy of GfK Custom Research LLC, moderated the first panel that discussed the path to purchase journey of the consumer. This panel included Natasha Hritzuk, Global Insights Director at Microsoft; Catherine Roe, Head of Strategic Accounts at Datalogix; and Shelley Zalis, CEO of IPSOS Open Thinking Exchange.

One of the most important things for brands to remember is that “consumers are the new brand ambassadors,” according to Shelley Zalis, who said it’s because the consumers are writing whatever they want on social media and it’s the brands that need to pay attention. Consumers, the panel said, know that you’re collecting data so they expect reciprocity. This ensures that customers see value in your brand and what your consumers have to say is one of the most important tools of measurement a brand can have.

Another thing is that marketers need to start listening to consumers by aligning their goals with them, according to Natasha Hritzuk; this way, they can change the notion of targeting certain demographics and focuses on what people really want since targeting hits too broad of a market, or none at all.

“When you’re targeting, you’re missing opportunity,” Zalis said.

Measurement now is sometimes no longer just numbers, but it’s also people and their journey. It’s all about forgetting the numbers and focusing on the stories behind the numbers instead.

Mobile is measurable

“People are shopping on their mobile phones increasingly,” said Deborah Marquardt, SVP, Managing Director at MediaVest. Also, according to Aaron Fetters, Director, Insights and Analytics Solutions Center at Kellogg Company, “mobile is the most measureable thing we’ve ever had.”

For brand marketers, this is key; the one thing that they can measure is connecting what users do on their mobile devices to their desktop platforms. Fetters says that this is one of the best ways to get the most out of every marketing dollar that is invested. He also says that there is a proven value of digital marketing to offline shopping without a doubt. “If it’s not viewable, it doesn’t drive sales,” he said.

With this comes addressable data and advanced analytics instead of RTB or programmatic ads, according to Kosta Skoulikaris,VP, Marketing Effectiveness Practice and Innovation Lab, Nielsen. “The problem is, data’s ugly,” said Skoulikaris, but turning data into a more specific and addressable use for marketers, they will be saving money and more importantly, they will be better aware of the needs of the customer.

Brand to consumer relationships create – and keep – fans

The last key takeaway from Measurement:NOW is from Audrey Hendley, Senior Vice President & GM, Acquisition & Prospect Engagement of American Express OPEN. She says that having a previous relationship with a brand is important to the consumer; if they aren’t familiar, brands must work harder to not only see their products, but also to be interested in their product.

This ties in with bettering the consumer journey by measuring specific things about their consumer like where they are, what technological devices they use, etc. This helps brands familiarize themselves with their true consumers: their fans. And because fans will probably write about it or share their experience with their friends and family, therein lies formed and kept relationships. “A fan is influenced, and influencing,” said Thompson.