New research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and Warc has highlighted the changes
that brands face in dealing with the torrent of data being generated by digital channels.
A survey of senior marketers with global or regional responsibilities at major multinational brands found that many fear they will drown in data and as a result are looking for ways to simplify the number of key performance indicators they monitor. This is partly driven by the understanding that as new platforms, such as mobile, become more important, it will greatly increase the number of data points being generated by their marketing. 50% cited the number of data sources as a barrier to successful online measurement.
The Digital KPIs Research was based on responses from 25 companies across 11 categories including food, pharma and toys. Respondents had responsibility for approximately US$35bn in total marketing spend.
Critical to the success of the process of managing digital investment is to ensure that in identifying measures of success, marketers do not create silos. All KPIs must be driven by the brand’s overall marketing and business objectives. This is reflected in the largest percentage, 82%, of respondents citing brand strategy as the driver of their KPIs for digital platforms.
Social media is being tracked differently to other online activity – the same is also true of mobile – with greater emphasis on targeting fans and followers, tracking engagement (including NPS) and analysing sentiment compared to a focus on requests, registrations, clicks and traffic for other online activity. 75% of respondents use specific tools for measuring social media but a shortage of resources as well as a lack of clarity about what vendors offer are seen as barriers to success.
Standardising digital Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across markets, linking KPIs to sales and creating aggregated dashboards for online metrics are the main priorities for marketers in this area over the next 12 months.
Said Stephan Loerke, WFA Managing Director, comments: “Measuring marketing performance is very often the first step to improving outcomes and setting clear, relevant KPIs are essential to this process. Managing the data that these KPIs create is a challenge but one that in most cases has to be tackled internally and marketers need to resource this area. The challenge of managing and creating business opportunity from big data has really only just started and it will be critical to business success in the future.”Global Desk Editor