Stop going around in circles | M&M Global

Stop going around in circles

It’s time to get off the hamster wheel of old data, bad data and silos in advertising measurement says Kantar Milward Brown’s Joline McGoldrick.

When asked for her impressions of Cannes, Joanna Coles, Hearst’s chief content officer, turned to the big digital stunt of the festival, Snap’s Ferris wheel. Speaking to Quartz Magazine, she said: “Everybody is being asked to talk about the future of media, and it’s not really clear anyone really knows…I’ve spent a lot of time riding around thinking about things. It’s quite a good metaphor for Cannes.”

For people in the trenches of day-to-day advertising effectiveness measurement, many would agree that the fast and unrelenting pace of a hamster wheel may more acutely reflect the ethos of today’s advertising measurement better than a gentile trip around the Snap Ferris wheel on the French Riviera.

The oppositional forces of so much new, (and big) data counterbalanced by legacy processes, reporting and silos has not only increased the pace but also created a myopia about other insights, making the effectiveness of creative, strategy, and media harder to discern.

So, how do we stop the wheel, how do we find and deliver insights that drive better marketing decisions and open the door to meaningful connections with our audiences?  In this sea of complexity, we should start with the simple and straightforward pillar of impact.

All data about the strength and effectiveness of our advertising must come down to impact. Put more simply, good advertising is seen by a receptive audience and it changes their attitudes and/or behavior. When data no longer provides those insights – we have to ask if we are advancing a campaign or simply taking another lap on the wheel?

It may sound simple but what we find is that marketers still struggle to translate big data into meaningful insights. Last year, in Kantar Millward Brown’s Getting Digital Right study, we asked marketers to rate their confidence in their organization’s use of big data — only 41% of marketers stated that they were confident in their organizations use of big data. And that same uncertainty, despite endless reports, models and protocols, also dimmed their confidence in their media mix, with only 32% of advertisers, stating that their organization had the optimal mix.

Impact requires laser-like precision on the target outcome and the data to answer the question of whether the outcome was achieved or missed.

Nowhere are marketers more eager to shift to measuring impact than in TV advertising. For years, TV has defended itself against ever larger, more encroaching digital spending by praising its broad reach or ability to better inspire through a bigger screen or a more relaxed mindset.

Nonetheless, marketers and insights professional have been stuck on the hamster wheel of delivery reports and TV has struggled to put data behind its salience or ability to advance the consumer journey.

At many companies, the silos of advertising persisted with digital insights teams focusing on their more granular behavioral and conversion metrics and TV insights teams focusing on their audience data. But in between both of these silos, exists the possibility to truly address advertising’s effectiveness and the creative and media strategies to make it better – impact.

Marketers can do this by converting big data, made possible by the digitization of television viewing via Smart TVs, into granular insights that address creative concepts, media strategies and audience targets.

At least, in regards to television effectiveness measurement, there has never been a better time to hop off of the hamster wheel and pause to reevaluate not only whether an ad campaign reached the right people but also whether it changed their attitudes and behaviors. Marketers can now pause and zero in on the outcomes that will have specific and lasting value for their brands.

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