Campaign measurement in the programmatic space has quickly evolved over the past few years. Last click as a primary metric has mostly given way to de-duped last touch. This in turn is giving way to multi-touch attribution among the more advanced.
These changes are being driven by two factors.
Firstly, marketers moving to a customer first approach. So, replacing channel-led metrics that compare channels together on a like for like basis (i.e which channel drives the lowest CPA), with questions on how customers interact with multiple channels on their way to making a purchase.
Secondly, there has been a democratisation of analytics. Google is a big driver of this, with Google Analytics 360 and Campaign Manager. These provide advertisers with comprehensive attribution model options and make it very easy to set them up and compare them with out-of-the-box AB testing.
However, this evolution of measurement is now being restricted by the on-going impact from both GDPR and the death of the third-party cookie. These are leading to a significant shake up of measurement practices.
It’s not that measurement can no longer be achieved, but it needs to be done differently. Marketers in 2020 will need to master the following changes to keep up.
Marketers will have an increasing number of touch-points to manage. This is being brought about by two shifts in the media landscape. The proliferation of digital channels and devices, and the trend for siloed, walled-garden ecosystems.
This will mean in 2020 measurement strategies will be multi-touch and cross-everything: cross-channel, cross-platform, cross-device, and eventually cross-media.
Measuring business impact
This year, we will see marketers focus on advertising metrics that are less of a proxy, and instead show direct impact on business outcomes. Developments in technology will provide measurement solutions that help marketers see this impact on revenue and margin.
Fewer people, more machines
Marketers will rely on automation to help them to drive growth. Machine learning will help manage the explosion of data signals available to measure. It will rationalise this data to identify specific, actionable insights that can be applied to improve campaigns.
What marketers need to do
So just as as measurement was improving, with marketers using increasingly sophisticated tools to get closer to business impact, macro factors of privacy and siloed channels have shifted the goal posts again. We now look to automation to bring the solution to the increasingly fractured measurement ecosystem. But with much still undecided, marketers who focus on this fundamental business question will get a vital jump-start on rivals.
James Coulson, Managing Partner, Strategy
This article is part of the Digital Media Trends 2020 series, read more trends here.