Did you miss our webinar with Hearts & Science Director Peter Loell about the importance of audience measurement and brand tracking? Don’t worry, we have gathered all the highlights for you – and if you want the full experience, you can watch the recording of the webinar at the end of this post.

In the shadow of COVID-19, many advertisers are wondering how they are doing. Is the brand okay? Who thinks what? Which audiences are active? What should we do?

In the webinar “The Immeasurable Business Value of Audience Measurement”, Peter Loell, Director at Hearts & Science, gave his perspective on this by addressing the importance of audience measurement and brand tracking.

Measurement today

With the COVID-19 crisis, we are suddenly facing a reality where marketing KPIs that previously were considered very important may not be as important anymore. We are, in other words, looking into a future where marketing KPIs need to be changed.

So, with no travel plans for the summer (or the entire year), we should exploit the time to reflect on what we measure in our marketing departments. What are our KPIs right now, and how can we change them for the better?

In the last decade, we have been in hyper-targeting and micro-measurement mode. The audience has become a sideshow, and the focus has been on converters and algorithms.

The reason for this has been the financial crisis, where marketers started focusing on marketing efficiency rather than marketing effectiveness. A short-term approach on bringing down costs and doing automation has been prioritised over a long-term approach looking holistically at the brand. This needs to be fixed.

The root cause of the problem is our creation of an over-simplified, short-term correlation between people who click on something and people who buy something, which means that we are creating blind spots in the marketing value chain. We have simply lost the understanding of the importance of the audience and the brand (and everything in-between).

Instead of planning against a specific audience or type of measurement, we have become platform DJs, who are using many different types of siloed platforms to optimise conversions and algo-holics who are just letting the algorithmically optimised conversions do the talking.

Getting back

To get back on the right track, we need to (re)install a new and better measurement culture.

Today, we don’t measure what we do almost every day. We just briefly look at the marketing dashboard we have created and see if the number of conversions is looking good.

However, we need to broaden the understanding of the marketing value chain and what works within it. We need to listen to the audience, deduplicate reported conversions and get better at attributing the effect to where it is truly to be credited. And we need to repeat this over time and do experiments and measurements to see what works and what could work. Measurement is what separates the amateur from the professional athlete.

Listed below are some of the easy wins to get back into the long-term game with measurement:

  • (Re)Focus on the demo: We need to get demo back in the game. Are we actually reaching the right demo with our advertising? We need to get a better understanding of the performance of our campaigns by looking at the demo.
  • A broader understanding of an audience: We need to broaden the understanding of our audiences. There are many customised audience solutions that we could work with that may be more relevant for our campaigns. If we sell Ketchup, it might be a good idea to build an audience of those that actually buy/influence the category.
  • Multi-screen optimisation: We need to get an overview of the incremental reach that we can get from adding extra channels to the media mix. When it comes to video, we have so many media options – understanding the right balance between TV and online video is crucial, but also how effective each channel is.
  • Cross-media / cross-platform reach: We need to have insights on how much of the audience we are reaching across media and platforms so that the next campaigns can be even better.

In general, we need to measure more and more often. And like the car industry, we need to go hybrid. We need to work with panels, actual observations and bespoke surveys, perhaps even dip our toes into measuring emotional impact.

The future

First and foremost, we must understand that we cannot expect marketing to work right away. We cannot expect people to convert just because they saw our ad. Marketing is a weak force that works over time. It is the slow, consistent run, the brand-building over time, that drives the consideration and makes consumers buy something in the end.

Right now, we are looking into a year with less personalisation and data gathering as people may be more reluctant to give away their data. New regulations and legislation mean that there is not much data to be collected on an individual level, meaning that measurement and panels will become more important than ever.

Get the full experience

If you want to get all the details from Peter Loell’s presentation and learn more about the importance of audience measurement and brand tracking, you can watch the webinar in its full length below. Enjoy!