Cookies! Bad! Beacons! Spying! Tracking! Data! Evil! Seven words summarize the thesis from the Wall Street Journal's sensationalist article from a few weeks ago. You know, the one about how audience tracking tools are spying on and victimizing unsuspecting consumers via targeted advertisements. As a proponent of consumer awareness, I appreciated the Wall Street Journal's prerogative, but the entire story was not told.
While the economy may be improving, CFOs will be cautious not to spend too far in advance of strong demand. This will continue to fan the flames under the question of the expected payback on marketing investments, and expose cracks in your measurement foundation. So now more than ever before it's critically important to improve your ability to measure and improve your marketing ROI, and your credibility in explaining it. But most marketers can't spread their resources too thin, so what will really make the most difference to elevate your measurement game?
Which of the following is the biggest obstacle to better measurement of the payback on marketing investments: Lack of data; low measurement skills; drowning in a thousand metrics; or low credibility in the eyes of key stakeholders? While data and skills are critically important components of measurement success, there is no single obstacle more formidable than lack of credibility. Data, after all, can be estimated within reason. Skills can be "rented" while they are being developed. But credibility either exists or it doesn't. And if it doesn't, the road back can be long and winding.