Commentary

Marketing Is A Journey, Not A Destination: Here Are Some Roadmaps

The biggest negative I’ve observed in the rapid progression of real-time media and data is that it has also accelerated the shift toward performance and sales conversion logic and away from branding and consumer experience. Yes, I know, there is also plenty of data available on those softer attributes, but when push comes to shove, many of the brands and agency folks I speak to are increasingly giving it lip service relative to real-time value of selling things.

Fundamentally, that is the goal of marketing, right? So if we can cut to the chase, who cares what leads up to those consumer behaviors? Well, to paraphrase, Emerson, marketing should be viewed as a journey, not a destination.

In the past week, I’ve seen signs that the industry is beginning to think this way. First was an immersion I got from ad server Flashtalking on its “fractional attribution” system Encore, which is capable of analyzing explicitly what consumer experiences lead to which consumer actions. The beauty of Encore is the ability to ingest log-level data from any ad server without redundant tagging. Flashtalking is also close to announcing deals that integrate industry-leading cross-device and verification data, as well a cutting edge creative analytics solution. Stay tuned.

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And just today, one of those firms, Tapad, announced a deal with marketing analytics platform Conversion Logic that seems to do something similar. The approach works by unifying Tapad’s cross-screen data to at least show what consumers were exposed to on their “path to conversion.”

Again, that path is as important as the conversion -- because, without understanding it, no brand or agent can understand how to repeat or improve on success. Or, for that matter, no brand can be prepared when behaviors change and are no longer repeatable the way they were in the past.

Just last week, GroupM’s MEC unit unveiled a platform -- MEC Touchpoints -- that seems set up to do exactly that. The platform fuses MEC’s proprietary knowledge of a consumer’s purchase journey with media usage data derived from its parent’s recently launched “GroupM Live Panel.”

The result is a new proprietary tool enabling MEC and its clients to understand the media path that ultimately leads consumers to make purchase decisions. While common sense and rules of thumb may have been sufficient in the past, MEC says the world has grown too fractionalized to make such assumptions.

“Even within a single category, touchpoints play different roles for the same consumer, depending on where they are on the purchase journey,” explains MEC Chief Analytics and Insight Officer Stephan Bruneau.
1 comment about "Marketing Is A Journey, Not A Destination: Here Are Some Roadmaps".
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  1. Neil Mahoney from Mahoney/Marketing, July 12, 2016 at 3:12 p.m.

    Marketing isn't a journey.  Properly managed and executed, it's a process that truly aligns the Social Media-Marketing-Sales functions so that they become an integrated whole.  One that operates seamlessly. 

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