Why Measurement is the Secret to Agency Success

nielsen logoFor agencies, it is increasingly mission-critical to measure the outcomes that media investments are generating for clients with precision and credibility. This not only proves the value the agency is generating but also empowers it to maximize the impact of the marketing and advertising campaigns that are planned and executed on clients’ behalf. Existing clients won’t stay on – and new clients won’t buy in – if an agency can’t prove it’s delivering measurable results and show improvement over time.

So, how can agencies build trust and deliver recurring value? Better measurement is key. By embracing advanced measurement approaches, agencies can back up their creative with data that proves the impact of their efforts.

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Driving Efficiency and Top-Line Growth

The best agencies help clients achieve their revenue and efficiency goals, managing creative and media spend across multiple channels. Success depends on their ability to identify which publishers, placements, creative strategies, keywords, and other tactics are influencing key audiences and driving the desired response. It also means quickly identifying the things that aren’t working and shifting spend to more effective campaigns.

Yet many agencies are still basing their decisions on siloed measurement models, such as last touch. This siloed approach leads agencies to double-count success metrics because multiple channels take credit for the same conversion, such as a lead or sale. Eliminating this duplication often requires hours of manual data collection, consolidation and normalization. Moreover, last touch neglects the contribution of supporting channels and touchpoints earlier in the consumer journey that played a role in influencing the desired action, so agencies end up spending more than they should on the wrong channels.

Multi-touch attribution is an advanced method of measuring performance that addresses these issues. It uses person-level data to measure the impact of each touchpoint in the consumer journey in near-real time. With a granular understanding of how channels, tactics and budgets are performing on a daily basis and across different audience types, agencies can optimize faster and more effectively to make better use of client funds. And since multi-touch attribution accounts for the full cross-channel consumer journey, agencies can see which channels gain or lose credit compared to last touch and automatically deduplicate conversions for an accurate view of performance.

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Building Transparency and Accountability

Building trust with clients not only requires transparency, but accountability as well. Agencies create transparency when they provide clients with a clear picture of the channels and tactics that are most effective for each audience segment they target. And when agencies bolster their creative ideas with measurable data, they enhance their accountability by proving their work is having a big impact on the business.

For example, consider two agencies that are both using cost per action (CPA) metrics as a baseline for assessing the efficiency of a company’s digital advertising. One agency is using last touch to report client results; the other is using multi-touch attribution. Since last touch measurement gives all the credit to the last touchpoint prior to conversion, it typically under credits upper-funnel tactics such as display, and over credits lower-funnel tactics like paid search. An agency that’s basing its decisions on last-touch metrics would recommend the client move spend away from display to paid search, which it believes are performing better with a lower CPA.

The agency using multi-touch attribution, on the other hand, would know the true value of search, display, and other channels. By identifying and reallocating budget away from low-performing, high-CPA channels, it could potentially save its client millions of dollars in wasted spend. By shifting spend, the agency will produce better results and prove its long-term value to the client.

Empowering Agencies to Compete

All agencies want to spend more on what’s working, and spend efficiently for the best outcomes. With multi-touch attribution, agencies will have a newfound ability to accurately assess and improve the performance of their campaigns and deliver meaningful results to their clients. In a competitive environment where clients are looking for more than just great creative, but bottom-line business results to boot, better measurement is the best way for agencies to get ahead—and stay ahead.

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