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January 19, 2018

Why a Customer Data Platform is Key for Effective Marketing Measurement

By Sam Carter, Fospha

“One of the biggest pitfalls for performance measurement is to measure the ‘part’ with ignorance of the ‘whole,’” wrote Pearl Zhu, author of the Digital Master book series. Her quote perfectly reflects the growing need for businesses to understand marketing effectiveness across the ‘whole’ customer journey – rather than the individual value of a conversion from a single touchpoint (the ‘part).

But whilst the need for end-to-end marketing measurement is not a secret – with a survey by BrightFunnel (2017) finding that a whopping 91% of marketers agree that measurement of their efforts is a top priority -  few find themselves able to achieve this goal, with only 13% of respondents ranking their measurement abilities as ‘excellent’ in this same survey.

Having the right tools in place is undeniably key to helping marketers accurately measure the impact of their work, yet 51% of marketers only use Excel spreadsheets and haven’t yet implemented CRM, marketing automation tools, or a dedicated attribution platform.

Multi-touch attribution modelling accurately assigns value to a marketing touchpoint based on its position in the entire customer journey, rather than based on an arbitrary metric such as first or last click. For this reason, it is the pinnacle of effective marketing measurement.

Underpinning multi-touch attribution modelling is a clean, single source of data. And for this, a Customer Data Platform is key.

Here are Fospha’s top three reasons why a Customer Data Platform is key for effective marketing measurement.

1. Single Customer View

Marketing measurement is contingent upon every step in the customer journey being measured. A Customer Data Platform gathers, integrates and centralises customer data from various sources to provide a single source of truth of what steps a customer has taken on their path to purchase. Data sources are uniquely tagged in order to ensure that customer data is being captured at every possible stage of the customer journey. With this single customer view, marketers can ensure that every interaction, across multiple channels and devices, has been taken into consideration when measuring the effectiveness of their marketing mix. Multi-touch attribution modelling is similarly contingent upon the data source being as rich as possible, and the Customer Data Platform’s single customer view therefore easily acts as the single, accurate source that should be input into the attribution modelling algorithm.

2. Integrate Online and Offline Data Sources

A Customer Data Platform also possesses the capability to integrate both online and offline data sources; an act that is often over looked by rudimentary measurement systems such as first or last click attribution. Without measuring both sources of data, marketers will never be able to fully understand how their marketing activities relate to customer conversions. Much like the single customer view acts as the single source of accurate data across the entire customer journey, a Customer Data Platform will easily integrate and stitch online and offline data points in order to enrich the customer view – whereas other integration tools do not necessarily possess this capability.

3. Connect Multi-Device Data

Shoppers use an average of 5 connected devices in their purchase process (CampaignLive, 2015) – an increase from 2.8 devices from the previous year. Clearly, the customer path the purchase is becoming increasingly complex, and marketers need to be able to take this into account when understanding how their marketing activities relate to conversions. For instance, are customers more likely to convert when they browse on a mobile and buy online, or is mobile advertising sufficient to induce a purchase? A Customer Data Platform easily accounts for this complex customer journey, by bringing together multi-device data so multi-touch attribution modelling can take into account the relationship between marketing activities and customer browsing devices to provide the most accurate measurement of value.

In summary, marketers know that accurate marketing measurement is key to effective marketing. But, in order to do this, they need to ensure they have an accurate source of data from which to carry out measurement techniques – such as multi-touch attribution modelling. The result of using a Customer Data Platform – with its ability to integrate and stitch various data sources – is an accurate display of a customer’s path to purchase across a myriad of marketing channels, devices and sessions. 

The CDP Institute educates marketers about the issues, methods, and technology used to manage customer data, with a special focus on Customer Data Platforms. Join the CDP Institute for free access to valuable information and insights.

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