By Chris Lee
According to ComScore, the UK total digital population is now 46.2 million users so why hasn’t the way we measure consumer interaction with brand advertising changed in ten years? Although marketing channels have evolved to now include tablets and smartphones, we’re still using dated measurement models that no longer serve today’s omni-channel environment, according to smart content platform Kiosked.
The company’s founder and CEO Micke Paqvalen believes that current metrics need to change to measure quality of engagement and personalisation, as opposed to quantity. Analyst group Forrester supports this argument saying that marketers who continue to rely on traditional metrics to demonstrate return on investment will be swept aside in the coming years.
NMK’s Chris Lee caught up with Paqvalen to get his take on what marketers should be measuring in 2013.
Making the most of digital footprints
Our online footprint speaks volumes about us, according to Paqvalen. It indicates our preferences, our likes, where we’ve been and where we’re likely to go. Digital marketers have a lot to gain from this information, he argues.
“In a world where marketing is fast-moving, personalised, delivered in real-time and more measurable than ever, the metrics we use must prove real insight based on the volumes of data available. So why are we still using outdated modes of measurement from yesteryear?” he asked.
Ten years on…
Attribution models based largely on volume have been the advertising standard, followed closely by cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-thousand (CPM) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) as mainstays of performance based marketing for over a decade, Paqvalen said. These metrics used by marketers rely on measuring the quantity and not quality of the engagement – a massive pitfall for brands, in Paqvalen’s view – it’s time for brands to reconsider their metrics and take digital engagement into account, he argued.
“In a market where consumers are constantly connected and in search of experiences that will provide something new and delightful, delivering effective marketing campaigns needs to encompass more than the bottom of the funnel,” he told NMK. “At Kiosked, we believe that performance doesn’t just mean sales; engagement should be tracked at every stage of the journey, not just the purchase stage. For brands, this means that the click-based business model is less relevant than studying performance at that consumer engagement level, where brand is paramount.”
Paqvalen cited Kiosked’s recent Smart Content Trends Report, which found a real move away from “dumb content” towards smart content. By offering highly targeted, smart content at this initial stage, engagement will be more meaningful and longer lasting, he added.
But how can you measure the quality of the engagement? In Paqvalen’s view, the industry needs a comprehensive solution that can be widely adopted and provide a basis of comparison, as well as evidence of real return on investment.
“This is where the importance of engagement as a metric in itself comes into play,” he said. “Factors such as time spent with the brand, fan profiles, most shared content, are all engagement metrics that should be considered when measuring the quality of engagement with the brand.”
Smarter tracking of content through tags, unique URLs and personalised offers will give brands power to remain front of mind among consumers, according to Paqvalen. As a result, their engagement can be measured and tracked through to sale, providing marketers with valuable insight into the level of engagement needed to achieve a holistic picture of the customer, increase loyalty and drive sales in the long-term.
“By looking at engagement from the beginning of the sales cycle and following it closely using engagement benchmarks, brands can build brand engagement into a valuable journey, measuring throughout all stages of the sales funnel,” Paqvalen concluded. “Measuring engagement will become a requirement as brands demand more quality insight. As data becomes more sophisticated brands will not only be able to deliver personalised and engaging campaigns, but build brand loyalty as a result. The engagement metric isn’t about making a one-off sale; it provides the information to ensure that consumers keep coming back to your brand. And that’s a long-term relationship worth measuring.”