3 Principles to Build an Effective Measurement Strategy – Adweek

By Srishti Gupta, Director of Media Measurement

Many brands struggle with measurement—a challenge that brings with it very real costs. According to BCG, inaccurate measurement results in a 65% higher cost of acquisition. On the flip-side, brands with measurement maturity see a sales lift of as much as 60% and a 10-fold increase in return on ad spend (ROAS).
Far from a cliché, measurement actually matters. But to realize this opportunity, brands need a strategy built on three key principles: measurement that is unified, reliable and actionable. These are the principles that form the backbone of the Amazon Ads approach to measurement.
Marketing today is cross-channel and signal-intensive.
As Insider Intelligence notes, as brands communicate with customers, signals are captured in different formats, channels and systems, and are often stored in silos and analyzed in isolation.
By integrating—unifying—these signals, brands can bridge the gap between these various, disconnected sets of signals. In doing so, they can better understand the holistic impact of their marketing activities across different channels. Moreover, unified measurement can help brands understand the incremental impact of one channel in an overall campaign.

Shopping helps illustrate this principle. Today, many customers choose to shop across a variety of online and offline channels during their purchase journey. In fact, according to a study conducted by Shopify of global consumers, 54% of consumers like to learn about a product online and later buy it from a physical store. Effective measurement, therefore, means bringing together signals from across these channels.
One way to do this is by unifying signals across first- and third-party sources, which is what Amazon Ads does, for example. In addition to measurement across Amazon’s billions of first-party signals (based on interactions across Amazon properties), the company works with nearly 30 third-party measurement vendors—such as IRI, Nielsen and Kantar Millward Brown—to help advertisers understand off-Amazon impact on shopping activity.
For instance, if a brand runs an Amazon Ads campaign, that may generate an offline and/or off-Amazon lift in purchases. By incorporating those signals into Amazon Ads reporting, advertisers can have a better sense of the comprehensive impact of a campaign—as well as how they might optimize ad spend and drive performance.
Measurement is only as good as the quality of your signals.
Given the complexity of marketing today, advertisers are increasingly dependent on technology that can accurately capture and interpret signals. Advertisers should evaluate the reliability of a measurement solution based on a few criteria: solid methodology, transparency, objectivity and innovation.
Unified measurement can help brands understand the incremental impact of one channel in an overall campaign.
Measurement solutions anchored in rigorous scientific methodology, best practices and industry standards can give advertisers confidence that the results they’re seeing correspond to what’s actually happening. Good solutions will be transparent about their methodology.
Objectivity is also important. In addition to reporting performance, your solution should provide context—for example, in the form of industry benchmarks and norms—so that you can understand the effectiveness of your campaign through an objective and unbiased lens.
Of course, as the advertising industry evolves, measurement will too. Consequently, an important factor in the reliability of a measurement solution is innovation and building tools that can respond to and anticipate changes. For example, as the ad industry moves away from cookies and mobile ad identifiers (MAIDs), Amazon Ads is introducing solutions such as Modeled Conversions, which help advertisers account for conversions in cases where linking them with events on Amazon.com is not available.
Being proactive is essential in measurement.
While measurement shows you the results of your marketing activities, that is not the end of measurement—but the beginning. Advertisers should use reporting to constantly improve their effectiveness.
One way in which measurement can be actionable is in the planning phase of a campaign. Using relevant insights from your reporting, you can learn more about your audience and how to effectively reach them. Building on the principles above, unified and reliable measurement can provide vital cross-channel insights in order to drive efficiency and performance throughout the customer journey.
For example, Amazon Ads provides a media planning suite based on first- and third-party measurement sources. That includes working with third-party providers on solutions like marketing mix modeling studies, which help advertisers plan for an optimal marketing mix before they kick off a campaign.
Once a campaign is in flight, actionable measurement means providing solutions that provide mid-flight or near real-time reporting and insights that allow for timely modification and optimization during the campaign. Providing the right metrics as well as the ability to take action on the basis of those metrics—before, during and after a campaign—is how advertisers can derive value from a good measurement strategy.
As marketing grows more complex, advertisers’ measurement strategy must keep up. While strategies may vary depending on industry, company size, maturity, business objectives and more, the principles above represent the parameters of effective measurement for the marketing of today.
To drive business growth, marketers need holistic measurement across channels, based on accurate inputs and oriented toward action.

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