The 3 pillars to achieve REAL Marketing ROI

Neil Pursey

“Hey! We just activated data literacy at your workplace.” Feels good reading that, right? The truth is that the journey to mROI lies in data literacy. Here’s our approach to bringing that sentence to life...

In this era of high engagement, data-driven marketing, and hyper-transparency it’s more important than ever that marketers and business leaders understand and articulate the business value of marketing.

Imagine a world where you can on a daily basis be clear on your objectives, see which metrics impact business growth, manage your team's inputs based on key metrics that aren't performing and simplify the process of finding and actioning insights. 

The problem is there's too little focus on what matters for business growth, too many unimportant metrics are being reported on and this is completely frustrating.

Industry needs to get clear on how to calculate marketing ROI.

At Measurebyte, we use the 3 pillars to guide the ROI process:

1. Business Leadership 
2. Marketing Operations 
3. Data Science

Business Leadership

The key to getting leadership involved in the mROI journey is to ensure the business decision makers understand how brands grow. If you can't change their mindset, the probability of failure will increase. This is a pivotal step that can't be ignored. I rely heavily on Byron Sharp's research. His message: It all comes down to Mental and Physical Availability of a brand.

Recently, I explained this to the CFO of a national electrics company. This new idea of measuring mental and physical availability had a profound impact on how he views sustainable business growth and how he and his team could make future decisions.

We can’t “boil the ocean” but we do need to start somewhere.

​​To enhance our leadership engagement, we can look at a framework that Avinash Kaushik has evangelised the digital analytics community: the Impact Matrix. Why does this framework make sense?

People need clarity on what is important to them. By aligning Metrics that Matter to your leaders' Key Performance Indicators, you then bring clarity to individuals and to the business. This makes people confident and transparent, so everyone knows where they stand. This is the catalyst for digital transformation.

Once you're able to merge leadership's KPIs onto brand growth metrics, then you start to blend business and human needs together. Our MeasureBrand® Playbook guides the Metrics That Matter conversation with leadership across critical customer buyer stages, 1) Awareness, 2) Consideration, 3) Acquisition and 4) Advocacy.

You've now achieved clarity on how to measure the Metrics That Matter using a theoretical measurement framework. Next, you need to convert this into something that is tangible and usable for leadership.

Key outcomes from the leadership pillar:

  1. Take time to understand metrics for each level of seniority.
  2. Leadership understands how brands really grow
  3. Understand the process of target setting and what good looks like
  4. Improved visual reporting that is driven by RAG (red, amber and green)
  5. Data literacy is activated by having an awareness of the Metrics that Matter

Marketing Operations

I've found that the weekly cadence of analysing data as a team is the best way to start forming new habits. Again, it's the awareness it creates among team members, sparking a variety of conversations because everyone views the exact same data set through different lenses i.e. a paid search specialist may have a different point of view compared to a social media manager.

These weekly meetings become our Insight Committee meetings.

By increasing awareness of data across marketing teams, we can begin to make better decisions.

To find really good observations from the data, which lead to insights, we recommend going through the "5 Whys" process... every week.

Unlearning and building ‘data elasticity’

The challenge at a certain moment in our data projects is that things may get a bit messy. Why? 1) the unlearning of old habits creates friction, people don't trust the process, the new seems strange and 2) some feel threatened because we're finding insights while looking at data that they are managing. This tension is natural and is ok. We teach them through it.

In the operational pillar, we're building in "data elasticity" capabilities. We're taking specialists in SEO, paid search, social media, digital strategists, creatives etc. out of their silo and helping them think about the Metrics that Matter.

Key outcomes from the operations pillar:

  1. Changing siloed habits and developing collaborative ones
  2. Find value in quick observations and unlock real brand growth through insights
  3. Turning insights into action
  4. Increased accountability within your team to act on the ideas
  5. Awareness of data quality (or lack thereof) and therefore improving taxonomy of campaigns to better measure performance

Data Science

Our data approach is built off the understanding that Mental and Physical Availability is how a brand grows. If this mindset isn't realised, the probability of failure dramatically increases. We can group our approach into three types of metrics:

  1. Leadership metrics aligned to their KPIs
  2. Audience and customer metrics across the buying journey
  3. Media metrics across owned, paid and earned media

What's important to note is that Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) does not have a big impact on the above metrics. The biggest challenge when it comes to MTA is time lag. It's impossible to track a user's interaction with a brand based on time lag.

What’s the solution to mROI? A new version of Marketing Mix Modelling (MMM) that uses the Metrics that Matter, which are aligned to Mental and Physical Availability.

MMM has traditionally been expensive to set up, but it doesn’t have to be. By focusing on a few metrics that you know matter to brand growth and by automating data collection and processing, we can start building your analytical and predictive models.

Key outcomes from the data pillar:

  1. Business confidence in marketing decisions
  2. A framework for curiosity and growth culture
  3. Improved collaboration across leadership levels and within departments
  4. Better understanding and decision making ability from data
  5. High levels of data literacy across C-Suite and management

Marketing Mix Modelling is the holy grail of measurement but we need to bear in mind that pillars 1 (Leadership) and 2 (Operations) are critical to get full backing from business. Chat to our team if you'd like further details on how to implement this process into your business.

The Marketing ROI Pyramid

How the 3 pillars come together to form the Marketing ROI Pyramid.

Marketing ROI Pyramid