Gaining Visibility into Past and Future Performance is Crucial
It’s that time of year again - time to analyze your annual marketing performance, evaluate your spend versus return on investment (ROI) and plan for 2019. But, these tasks are easier said than done. According to a 2018 CMO Survey*:
- Only 37 percent of American CMOs feel they can prove the short-term impact of their marketing spend*
- Only 31 percent are confident they can prove the long-term impacts*
Yet, the ability to accurately analyze and measure the impact of marketing efforts throughout the customer journey—from online advertising through branded loyalty programs—is more critical today than ever. Given the abundance of marketing channels and the often-limited resources available to marketing, it’s important to know which ones are most productive. Here are a few ideas to help.
1. Compare and rank marketing performance
You may think you know which strategies, programs and campaigns were successful throughout the year, but it’s important to accurately measure and compare all customer touchpoints against each other. The results might surprise you. Your referral program might be outperforming your online ads, or vice versa. But the point is you won’t know until you rank everything, side by side. When you know what’s working well, you can dedicate more dollars to that area next year. This involves documenting all online and offline touchpoints with your prospects and customers over the course of the year. Once you’ve compiled the data, work with your internal analytics team, data scientists or a third-party provider to build an analytics model to show you how much each touchpoint helped drive a final sale.
2. Modify or eliminate what’s not working
This may seem obvious, but some marketing programs remain in place for the wrong reasons, or because marketing simply can’t quantify their performance. A good example might be automatically mailing customers a “welcome packet” when they sign up for a new account. You might find that it’s not only ineffective, but many customers might prefer to access information online. Without eliminating the program, you could, instead, provide a digital welcome packet with links to account information, coupons and other details. This could save big money which can then be reallocated to revenue-generating programs. The good news is, the same analytics model built to identify what’s working, can also reveal what’s not working. The model should provide a clear map of which touchpoints:
- Aren’t effective
- Are negatively impacting the customer experience
- Are causing lost sales
3. Forecast and plan ad spend
You’re probably saying, “Wait, we already do this.” But are you creating advertising scenarios that can help predict likely outcomes? If not, consider trying it and factoring the resulting insights into your 2019 budget. Advanced analytics tools are available through third-party providers that can combine powerful Hidden Markov Models, Multi-Touch Attribution and Media Mix Modeling with proprietary third-party data to help simulate advertising scenarios. Additionally, they can enable more strategic planning and budget allocation across channels.
As you prepare for 2019 and look for ways to optimize your marketing spend in the year ahead, Equifax is here to help. OptimaHub™ from Equifax delivers the customer journey analytics and marketing measurement tools needed to assess and value every moment of the customer journey.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you analyze, visualize and optimize your current and future marketing budget for stronger performance and ROI. *CMO Survey Deloitte, AMA and Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, February 2018