Marketing Evolution: Solving the Challenges of Modern Marketers

The most recent Marketing Intelligence Report by Salesforce Research reveals the world of over 2,500 global marketing professionals, including their business challenges and aspirations.  Marketers are most under pressure to prove and optimize marketing ROI in a tough environment of digital privacy policy changes combined with the constant operating challenge of organizing and accessing quality data.  

Their aspirations are to build a cross-channel view that provides the full picture while enabling speed to insight and rapid decisions at the pace of their business. In fact, marketers named ‘Marketing Spend Optimization’ their #1 desired improvement to their marketing performance this year. Into this world,  and to the rescue, now comes the ‘better together’ combination of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud Intelligence (MCI) and the Mevo app on AppExchange. In this blog, we dive deep into the key takeaways from the report and explore how marketers can navigate the current marketing landscape with the help of the Marketing Cloud Intelligence platform and Mevo. 


The Current Mandate in Marketing and the Role of Marketing Intelligence

Today’s Marketer Mandate drives growth with ROI accountability. Period. Salesforce Research says marketing’s top success metric is Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI), followed closely by its twin drivers of lower-funnel contribution to Customer Acquisition and simultaneous upper-funnel Brand Building.  

With that, winning marketers using Mevo proactively optimize their forward media spend by maximizing business KPI impact and the resulting return on their advertising spend. instance, Mevo customers have revealed media cost-per-acquisition improvements of 12% on average in the past year alone. 

Mevo and Marketing Cloud Intelligence: Twin Pillars of Marketing Greatness

Marketing Cloud Intelligence and Mevo do this best by providing Salesforce customers with a combined solution that gives them all the desired pillars for modern media mix and attribution. These pillars of attribution and media mix are as follows: 

  1. Unification across all channels & touchpoints, with full-funnel KPIs 
  2. Ensuring data quality by attaching to MCI’s trusted source-of-truth 
  3. Speed, both to value and in-use
  4. All-encompassing Privacy Compliance is solved by applying machine learning on top of classic marketing science

But how do these pillars hold up the foundation for a data-driven and effective modern marketing strategy? The answer lies in solving four key challenges of modern marketers, as we’ll see next. 

The Four Key Challenges of Modern Marketers and How to Solve Them

With the advent of MCI and Mevo together as an all-in-one marketing intelligence platform, marketers can now make more informed decisions and improve their marketing outcomes. Let’s explore these challenges that weigh so heavily on the minds of modern marketers and see how the right generative attribution strategy can help solve them:

Challenge #1: Cross-channel Views Are a Dream Under Construction

The Solution: MCI and Attribution Unified Across All Channels and Touchpoints

A total of 98% of marketers say they want a single place to access cross-channel marketing data, but fewer than 30% have such a system in place. Also, nearly 60% of those companies rely on some mix of manual data assembly to accomplish it. The MCI platform, in concern with Mevo, solves this important need for a comprehensive and automated ‘source-of-truth.’

MCI and Mevo partnership builds added value on that crucial automated data by leveraging it as a trusted single source to produce full comparative media performance reporting, plus forward-looking optimizations across all media types and detail.  Silos are therefore broken down, where every media type, publisher, or detailed touchpoint can be analyzed. 

The Mevo App yields a complete snapshot, both zooming in or panning out,  within and across all digital, offline, direct, emerging, and legacy channels. It also provides full-funnel throughput optimization and scenario trade-offs across brand and sales KPIs, linking upper funnel gains to downstream sales contributions. Mevo and MCI combine to make the marketer's dream a reality: a fully unified media planning & decision support system. 

Challenge #2: Success Means Data, and Data Means Success

The Solution: MCI and Mevo Better-Together Solve:  Ensuring Data Quality by Attaching to MCI’s Trusted Source-of-Truth 

Nearly four in five marketers globally say data quality is absolutely essential to marketing-led growth, which is, coincidentally, the #1 identified driver in Salesforce Research. To be optimally effective, this data is ideally automatically accessible, known to be accurate, and thoroughly validated. MCI provides a foundation on which all resulting media measurement, performance reporting, and optimization rest. Customer confidence in the foundational data is crucial, and that underlying confidence is assured because the customer’s established MCI's source-of-truth becomes the single source for the Mevo App.

The other important data backbone objective fulfilled by Salesforce is robust data feed scope, specifically, 360-degree depth, and breadth. In media delivery, that means the most granular ‘aggregate’ geo data possible, plus the cost and spend data per impression, ideally down to the specific tactic.

For CDP-sourced feeds, that means data breadth at the individual level, such as direct marketing touches, other attached first-party data, 2nd party data attachments from clean rooms, and potentially purchased 3rd party audience or exposure sources.  For KPI data, it means the most granularity possible, such as brand sentiment data detail at the geo level or individual-level sales.  

Collectively exhaustive scope cannot be attained for every source, nor is it necessary. Still, the Mevo App solves the full media mix puzzle better and faster, where the most robust data possible is presented to it. Salesforce systems are known to provide that robustness and designed to do so.

As the tech business analogy goes, such established and extensive data is the modern enterprise’s new “oil”; the commodity that makes the world go ‘round. The Mevo and MCI platform combination then turns this refined marketing “oil” into the marketing “energy” that quickly motivates ROI-producing decisions across the organization.

Challenge #3:  Data-Driven Marketing Requires Speed to Insight

The Solution: MCI and Mevo Better-Together Solve:  Speed, Both to Value and In-Use

The implementation of automation and its standard procedures is a solution that addresses a critical need for marketers, which is speed. Marketing decisions must be fact-based and happen fast. Yet, Salesforce Research shows 2 out of 3 marketers say they can’t get insights fast enough for impactful decision-making. Marketers simply cannot afford to wait 6-12 months for typical mix modeling and attribution implementations. Legacy Solutions' current speed-to-value track record is a cautionary tale for buyers.

A fundamental problem with legacy marketing mix and media attribution is that it has been speed-burdened by a lack of automation across the full scope of its necessary inputs. The Marketing Cloud Intelligence and Mevo combination rejects this flawed labor-based delivery model, often fraught with error and rework, and instead redesigns it for speed and accuracy using end-to-end tech. The multi-stage Mevo App consists of software to ingest varied data automatically feeds from MCI, then offers it to automated modeling using machine learning, and then renders it automatically to a well-designed UI, plus a comprehensive consumer-level outcome data set for further analysis and mining.

Recent Salesforce MCI customers have witnessed jaw-dropping throughput results as a benefit of this data mastery. One major agency complex using the Mevo App alongside MCI on behalf of its end customers updated its Marketing Intelligence base data on April 8th.  By April 10th, modeled media optimization and ROI-producing reallocation recommendations appeared in the UI. We believe that set a speed record in our sector of Martech. This astounding speed means marketers can now finally adjust and act across the entire media mix in near real-time rather than waiting months for actionable insights to emerge.

Automation and the standard implementation procedures to stand it up also solve a second marketer speed need for more rapid onboarding.

The past decade or more of mix modeling and attribution have been a buyer’s cautionary tale of typical 6-12 implementations, a speed-to-value track record by current legacy solutions that no modern marketer can afford to absorb. The Marketing Cloud and Mevo combination is the solution here by providing the built-in foundations for more standardized and rapid implementation. As an example, the same agency mentioned above went from a contract signed to the first use of the App in less than two months because data standards and formats from MCI to Mevo were already set.

Challenge #4:  Data Privacy Changes Inspire Strategic Shifts

The Solution: MCI and Mevo Better-Together Solve: Privacy-compliance Solved by Applying Machine Learning on Top of Classic Marketing Science

Data privacy regulations have rocked marketers’ worlds, whether jurisdiction-based in the case of GPPR or CCPA or from big tech recoilings, such as Google’s third-party cookie deprecation or Apple’s privacy protection moves in its latest iOS releases.

According to Salesforce Research, fewer than 40% of global marketers are now very confident they can target audiences, compare performance across channels, or measure their ROI given such fundamental disruption.  The #1 area of investment in response, according to Salesforce Research, is in Marketing Analytics and Measurement Technology, where over half of marketers are increasing investment versus a mere 8% decrease. The question for the stressed marketer has become this: which new tech can get us where we need to be while still meeting full privacy compliance?

The dirty little secret of legacy unified attribution solutions (well before privacy changes, but certainly exacerbated by them)was their attempt to connect (i.e., identity match) large and heterogenous data sets of individuals’ deterministic touchpoint data across all media channels.  It was noble but foolish, given low match rates, match errors, combined media exposure, and consumer sample selection biases. In English: missing, spotty, and unrepresentative data had been the ‘garbage in’ to old school pre-privacy attribution systems.

Unified attribution is not dead; however, it just needs to be done in the opposite direction.  Instead of patching together and then inputting a bad consumer-level data set, use all the good and known base input data at hand, whatever its level of detail (the more and deeper, the better), to then let the machines run on all of it to fully predict and completely reconstruct the touchpoint exposure across a very large resulting representative sample of consumers. To get that done, enter machine learning, generative attribution, and Mevo.

The Solution: The Mevo App, An All-In-One Marketing Cloud Intelligence Platform

Mevo can operate with any level of post-privacy media delivery and exposure data, whether it be broad and shallow, deep but narrow, or new forms in between. For example, the Mevo App can easily parse:

  •  Media impression data across geographies (a typical input to legacy time-series-based mix modeling), often referred to as ‘aggregate data,’
  •  Narrow audience cohort extracts from major advertising platforms’ clean rooms (currently siloed), which we refer to as privacy-compliant ‘micro-aggregate’ consumer exposure data, and

Individual level 1st party CDP customer/prospect data or 3rd party anonymized data where it exists, regardless of its ‘missingness,’ as it can still add important signal to complete the noisy puzzle. Modern machine learning applications are pattern-recognizing systems that complete puzzles very rapidly by generating their own predictions and resulting data.

For instance, winning games against humans in chess or, more challenging still, in Go. Most recently, we all know about the anticipated broad impact of generative AI in natural language processing with chatbots attached to generative pre-trained transformers to yield ChatGPT and others.

In marketing attribution with Mevo, machine learning generates the predicted touchpoints across a broad and demographically diverse set of individual consumers in the marketplace. It then further estimates the amount each media touchpoint contributed to the individual’s KPI ‘conversion’ – or not (e.g., changed their mind or motivated a purchase).  

By analogy, think about Mevo as an individual-level media touchpoint and KPI impact puzzle solver using the best available multi-source/level input data to fill in the detailed missing data - akin to any of us completing a Sudoku or crossword puzzle.

The output result is stunning: a big data set of anonymized representative consumers, with their attached demo and geo profile data (i.e., fields from a major consumer population source like Equifax), all of their time-stamped media exposure at the most granular level, and the specific contribution of each exposure to their KPI conversion.  

From that base generated data on each ML run, the marketer can see the KPI contribution of marketing spend, attribution of conversion across any spending item and, therefore, its ROI yield across time, the typical consumer journey to conversion, frequency of exposure effects, etc. - all able to be sliced and diced by media, audience, and geolocation. Mevo, therefore, provides complete atomic performance data, which can be rolled up/down to any level (e.g., publisher or channel) by time, place, and people, all without any need for cookies and in a completely privacy-compliant manner.

Mevo uses ML-generated marketing response results to optimize plans offered to its Scenario Planner module. A marketer stated in Salesforce Research that using data to make informed decisions is challenging. Too often, data is only used for reporting and not pushed back into the channels to make decisions. However, Mevo solves this issue. The Scenario Planner is a fast and easy-to-use decision support tool that builds on a solid foundation of marketing intelligence data and Mevo's generative AI media measurement system.

More important still, Mevo takes the same ML-generated marketing response results and uses them prescriptively to optimize future plans that are offered to its Scenario Planner module.  One marketer said in the Salesforce Research, “A challenge always is using data to make informed decisions. Too often, we use it for reporting but do not push it back into the channels to make decisions.”  Mevo is the solution.  Scenario Planner is a fast and easy-to-use decision support tool that rests on a sturdy foundation of MCI data and Mevo’s generative AI media measurement system.

The Science of Making Marketing Attribution Work

We live in a probabilistic world, even if we might not always like to admit it, as we more naturally gravitate toward the comfort of deterministic drivers and explanations. But every modern decision support system built on machine learning is a “prediction machine” that estimates probabilities to make recommendations, to which humans can then apply their judgment.  The marketing science inside Mevo’s ML-based prediction machine is deep, well-documented, and classic, and certainly not originated by us as we instead stand on the shoulders of intellectual giants (we could not have possibly made this stuff up even if we had to).

And so Mevo’s ML is not an unsupervised ‘black box,’ but instead, pulls from and brings together four venerable streams of statistical economics and marketing science thought that operate inside its engine.

Mastering the Marketing Landscape with Mevo and Marketing Cloud Intelligence

Marketing has evolved rapidly over the past few years, and businesses must adapt to keep up. Traditional marketing methods are no longer as effective, and new digital channels have emerged. This has resulted in a complex marketing landscape that can be challenging to navigate.

To succeed in this brave new marketing world, businesses must have a clear strategy and the right tools. The joint forces of Mevo and Marketing Cloud Intelligence are two powerful tools that can help businesses master the marketing landscape. Request a demo today, and let's collaborate on fine-tuning your landscape and achieving ultimate success.