Standardization: A Must Have for Better Measurement

Volume 6, Issue 9 - September, 2016

Ashton Howe, Sr. Analyst, Solution Architecture, Visual IQ

​Making the transition from last-ad attribution to a cross channel view is an exciting step toward realizing the full potential of your marketing mix. However, this evolution in technique requires an evolution in perspective, in relation to both the impact of media interdependency and the untapped potential of data centralization. Onboarding a cross channel marketing attribution platform provides the perfect opportunity to review and improve the quality of your data standardization practices and business processes. With data consistency comes data legibility, and legible data improves the efficiency with which media optimization recommendations can be executed. Here are a few ways to employ standardization during the onboarding of your attribution solution to ensure timesaving insights and streamlined results:

Standardize Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

​When viewing marketing performance using a legacy last-ad approach, metrics and KPIs often fall victim to the “silo” effect, which results in disparate measurement tactics across individual channels. Examples include optimizing affiliate media to the click while optimizing display media to the view, or optimizing paid search to sales while measuring email efficacy by leads. Though channel strategy can differ, it is important to remember that all channels nonetheless work cohesively to affect the bottom line. Accordingly, recognizing the most influential metrics and KPIs from a full-channel view, and measuring all channels against the performance of this integrated perspective, is an important predecessor to leveraging cross channel insight.

Standardize Naming Conventions

​It can be difficult to wrangle data management into a consolidated methodology, especially when channels are managed by different departments or agencies. However, the benefits of conquering this challenge outweigh the detriments of convenience, as standardized naming conventions create a foundation of data integrity. The old principle of “garbage in, garbage out” rings especially true when implementing an attribution platform to centralize and examine disparate marketing sources, and the quality of the algorithmic output depends intimately on the quality of the data input. By regulating naming conventions up front, your business moves one step closer to comprehensible results.

Standardize Taxonomy

​Never does the difference in channel structure become so apparent as when a standardized view of some shared metric is required as a consistent input elsewhere. For example, providing cost from each channel seems like a straightforward task, until a consolidated view of that cost is required not only at the aggregate channel level, but also at the additional granularity of your publisher, ad group, placement and creative dimensions. While not all dimensions remain applicable across each channel in your marketing mix, it is important to retain as much similarity as possible in order to preserve the flexibility of “slicing and dicing” performance across uniform views. Standardized taxonomy normalizes channel differences and provides the objective perspective required for impactful cross channel optimization.

Standardize Expectations Across Departments

​The move to cross channel measurement is nothing short of a marketing paradigm shift, and requires a mental swing from a last-ad mentality to an accepted view of media interdependency. As such, the success of a marketing attribution platform within your company depends significantly on level-setting expectations across all key stakeholders. This new view of marketing performance may be surprising at first – particularly in comparison to the previous measurements of each channel in isolation – but with ample education, consistent use and an open mind, the profit of cross channel attribution will win over even the most skeptical.

​Without standardization across data and departments, marketers are left with inefficient processes, and insufficient results. By laying down the right foundation for your attribution solution, you’ll be well on your way to better measurement, and a better return on your marketing investment.

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