Multi-channel marketing. Cross channel marketing. Omnichannel marketing. Lots of buzzwords have emerged since the early 2000s to describe a basic concept – reaching customers and prospects where they are, through a variety of communication channels. Seems like common sense, right?
What’s not common sense, though, is measuring how these channels work together to influence the sales process. In fact, Nielsen found that “only one in four marketers reported high levels of confidence in the ability to measure the return-on-investment (ROI) of their media spend,” yet that same study found that 79% of marketers plan to increase their spends on analytics and attribution.
But investing wisely in multichannel marketing measurement tools is only part of the solution. Tech companies must also invest the time necessary to develop a customized measurement strategy or risk those tools providing data that doesn’t work. Here are five tips for getting started.
Know what you need to know.
It sounds simple, but companies often miss this step, realizing they have a problem with attribution and measurement and immediately jumping into finding a solution. Measurement tools are powerful, but also require a commitment to get them up and running. Investing in these resources without a clear end-game could mean you don’t get the answers you need.
Start by outlining what you need to know to make decisions. Make a list of questions that your attribution solution should answer, such as:
- How much of our net new revenue was influenced by solution media last quarter?
- Which of our blogs are most commonly read at the beginning of the sales process?
- How are in-person trade shows and events impacting online demo requests?
By knowing your pressing needs, and those that your team is prepared to act on, you’ll be ready to find a solution your team can and will actually use.
Determine the marketing measurement features you need.
Cross-channel marketing means people will be interacting with your brand in a myriad of ways – at home, at work and on the go; on their computers, on their phones and in person; via passive impressions, active browsing and actual conversations. That’s a lot to account for.
At the highest level, here are some capabilities to look for:
- Cross channel – does the solution provide visibility into all of the marketing channels you are currently using and those that you plan to expand to?
- Cross-device – does the solution provide visibility into customer journeys – even when they switch devices?
- Offline to online – does the solution integrate with your offline marketing strategies, such as tradeshows, speaking engagements and other events?
- Machine learning – can the solution provide recommendations on how to better optimize your marketing spend?
Several tools have deeper features like the ability to measure ABM efforts, customize customer journeys and more.
Use the tools you already have.
Your existing martech stack has likely come a long way in terms of attribution over the last few years. For example, Google Analytics has introduced cross-device tracking and a multi-channel funnel, and Facebook has followed suit with new attribution models that no longer assigns value based on a single action.
Here are a few useful Google Analytics tools that can get you started on the path toward multi-channel marketing measurement.
- Multi-channel funnels – by default, Google Analytics attributes conversions to the last touchpoint that brought a prospect to your site. This report expands that data for a broader look at the channels that influenced the conversion.
- Cross-device – this report connects data from multiple website sessions and multiple devices to create a more cohesive view of how visitors interact with your website.
- Model comparison – this tool lets your team see how different attribution models credit your marketing efforts. As you develop your measurement strategy, this tool is helpful in seeing how your reports would look when using different weighting algorithms to assign a value to each channel.
Beyond the basics – measure how marketing channels influence each other.
When companies typically look at multi-channel measurement, they look at the channels that directly influence prospects and sales. And that’s certainly where brands should start. But once that reporting is in place, it’s also important to look at how channels influence each other. Is social media a more active influence of conversions in months when more blogs are posted? That data could show how blogs feed social, and that the two may not be as effective without each other.
For example, for one client we found that decreasing Google ad spend not only impacted leads coming directly from that channel, but also the leads coming from organic search, indicating a direct relationship between the two.
Make it personal.
If you’re responsible for reporting the value of marketing to the C-suite, multichannel measurement is a must. But it can be difficult to concisely explain this data. We’ve found that showing a real prospect’s journey – from initial touchpoint, whether media, content or digital, all the way through the sale – can help bring to light the myriad of ways prospects interact with your brand, and showcase the importance of all of the tricks in your marketing playbook to the C-suite.
As tech companies adopt a Alloy Methodology to communications and marketing, it’s critical that they find new ways to measure the true impact of their efforts, and that all of their partners are aligned in this measurement – including those of their PR team. Our understanding of marketing measurement is just one of the capabilities that set Alloy apart. Contact us to learn more.