Each client has a different maturity level when it comes to data, technology and measurement.
However, ultimately all brands want to see their media efforts work, and this is where good and thoughtful measurement makes a difference.
Nowadays, more than ever, agencies and brands have many complex landscapes to navigate when it comes to measurement.
Constant change driven by technological advancements and the new privacy playbook do not make it easier. There is much pressure for brands to test, innovate and adopt “the new measurement” while delivering the desired outcomes.
It is messy, and it's tough to strike the right balance between measuring what matters, measuring too little or too much and being innovative at the same time.
Brands want agencies to be their partners and help them navigate a rapidly changing landscape, to strategize, identify and adopt best practices on all things measurement.
How do we do that? By going back to the basics and reaching a simple understanding of what is being measured, why it is being measured, how it is being measured, and ultimately how outcomes are actioned upon.
What is being measured? Aligning on what is being measured is winning almost half of the measurement battle.
It is key to understand if we are measuring brand or performance or full-funnel, digital-only or cross-channel. If we define and align ahead of time on what we measure, that will provide focus.
Why do we measure? Do we measure to monitor front-end metrics, or do we measure to inform in-market optimizations?
Do we measure to understand what success looks like and to quantify how results impact the business?
Or do we want to measure to simply test hypotheses as part of the test-and-learn agenda?
Understanding the why of measurement will help structure the metrics and define their role in the measurement journey.
How do we measure and how will outcomes be actioned upon? The how is the third basic building block to deliver measurement that matters.
Determining the best way to measure something is related to what we measure and why we measure.
For example, if we want to understand whether our media efforts raise familiarity for our brand and need to optimize both media and creative in market based on performance, we might want to look into a third-party measurement partner that has the experience to help us with the how vs. looking at a proxy metric that will not provide the desired outcomes (a lift in familiarity) or actionability (optimizing media tactics, audience or creative that show the strongest outcomes for familiarity).
Soon enough, we will be able to more easily reassemble the tech and data architecture to enable new experiences that most brands want, and ultimately test and adopt more new measurement techniques in addition to the existing ones.
In the near future, data clean rooms, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud data environments will better help set up and enable the measurement of the future.
While learning to navigate these complex technology landscapes, simplicity is golden.
Going back to the basics and asking simple questions -- and understanding the what, why, and how of measurement -- will keep us grounded, help us guide our clients and deliver for them a measurement that matters during these times of change.