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Cutting-Edge Technology or Outdated Modeling? 5 Questions You Need to Ask When Selecting a Measurement Vendor

Last updated: December 11, 2018


questions-to-ask-a-marketing-analytics-software-vendorToday, marketing across multiple channels requires unified marketing measurement (UMM) to actually achieve campaign success and maximum returns on your marketing investments. However, the market is saturated with providers and services claiming their analytics platforms offer the capabilities to effectively integrate big data into quality unified marketing measurements.

With this in mind, how can marketers decipher which providers offer the right UMM tools for their specific needs? And how can they tell the difference between cutting-edge technology and outdated modeling techniques?

Before settling on a UMM service, marketers need to know what questions to ask vendors in order to select the tool that will best meet their business needs. Here’s a quick guide to finding which solutions truly align with your business goals.

The Importance of Unified Marketing Measurement Today

To properly understand the success of existing marketing efforts and identify opportunities for campaign optimization, marketers need to merge a variety of data sources into one cohesive view of campaign performance across the entire marketing mix. In this effort, marketing analytics platforms have begun to adopt unified marketing measurement as a means to link disparate analytics insights.

Unified marketing measurement enables marketers to gain one integrated view into their marketing effectiveness. By combining historically outdated measurement models like media mix modeling and multi-touch attribution, and consumer analysis, UMM provides a combination of aggregate, top-down insights and granular, bottom-up insights for a total view into marketing effectiveness from market-level to person-level.

This revelation, in combination with the surplus of big data available to marketing analytics platforms, has ushered in a new generation of modern analytics insights. However, just like any other B2B services or specialties, the core focus of UMM vendors typically differs—some have the capability to recognize smaller, rapid trends, while others focus on specific insights like creative messaging impact.

However, in our experience, we’ve noticed that throughout the marketing mix, if a consumer trend impacts one specific channel, it almost always impacts others.

For example: if your UMM vendor provides insights into peak traffic times for TV advertising, and you include display ads to coincide with those TV ad times to further drive engagement, any shift in peak TV traffic will have a direct impact on the efficiency of your display ads.  

In order to get the most out of a unified marketing measurement tool, marketers need to choose the platform that not only fits their needs, but also measures offline and online media accurately. Without this capability, marketers will be unable to maintain campaign optimization as consumer trends impact various media channels.    

Questions to Ask UMM Vendors Before Purchasing a Service

In order to help marketers balance the benefits and pitfalls of specific UMM providers, it helps to focus questions on the key areas of UMM that have the greatest potential for ROI optimization or subsequent wasted opportunity. Specifically, marketers should ask a potential unified marketing measurement vendor:

“Can you explain how your modeling formula functions?” 

Like any marketing optimization measurement, the modeling—or math involved in organizing the raw data—makes or breaks marketing success. Think of it this way: if your math is wrong, then your analytics are wrong. If your analytics are wrong, your attribution is wrong. If your attribution is wrong, your optimization efforts are wrong. If your optimization is wrong, your marketing budget will suffer. Simply put, marketers need to choose a UMM service with a proven history of success that demonstrates their model is effective.

“Does your UMM service specialize in any key insights?”

Certain vendors focus on different performance indicators within unified marketing measurement (mobile impact, creative messaging impact on media mix, etc.), providing unique insights that appeal to marketers. It’s critical that marketers understand these specialty areas/focus points in order to best match the marketing performance measurements with the needs of the marketing team.

“How granular are the insights provided?”

Consumers today expect the marketing they receive to be personalized, catering to their individual consumer histories, interests, and needs (think of how frustrating it is seeing an ad for a product you’ve already bought). Modern consumers are very receptive to the notion that their data will be used for advertising. However, they want that advertising to be relevant. To provide this, UMM vendors need to deliver insights on the person-level that allow for highly specific and targeted marketing efforts.  

“What kind of consumer data do you leverage for your insights?”

Marketers today need insights from a variety of different data sources in order to properly measure their online to offline, offline to online, and offline and online to online marketing efforts. However, to gain insight into those specific marketing mix metrics, a UMM tool needs to have access to a large variety of consumer data like broadcast media, mobile interactions, print subscription lists, etc. Simply put, if your UMM vendor doesn’t have the ability to synthesize data into actionable insights from a wide scope of consumer data, then it will struggle to provide the analytics needed for campaign optimization across the media mix.

"Does your software take branding into account?”

Marketers understand that a business’s brand can have a serious impact on the success of marketing efforts—impacting purchase decisions and shortening longer sales cycles. To that end, it’s important to have the capability to gain clear insights into where brand authority plays a major role in facilitating ROI across the marketing mix. Additionally, when branding is taken into consideration, marketers can better understand which messages and channels provide value to the brand itself, improving industry authority.

Final Thoughts

Marketers understand the need for granular, person-level insights into campaign effectiveness that consider both the marketing mix as well as outside sources. In this effort, marketing analytics vendors have begun to offer a variety of services that tie in UMM to address this need. However, given the high number of vendors offering UMM services, it’s paramount that marketers address the vendor options with the insights that meet the specific needs of the business and marketing team.

Written by Marketing Evolution