Proving ROI: approach to meaningful measurement

We believe that there is a dark side of data that is plaguing the industry. The proliferation of data has left many agencies and marketers overwhelmed by how to define success in a meaningful way. And too often we see brands focusing on the wrong data. This puts them at risk of letting tactics drive their marketing decisions versus staying true to a meaningful point of view. This can be especially challenging when it comes to brand-building efforts.

While standard measurement practices have evolved over the years, we see some room for improvement. Today, the traditional agency measurement model typically incorporates three key areas, all of which are important, but don’t tell the whole story:

  • Business KPIs: What are marketing efforts doing to move the needle and deliver on the bottom line? From sales to customer acquisition, how are specific tactics driving real results? Unfortunately, it can sometimes be challenging to specifically isolate results that prove a true cause and effect relationship.
  • Brand Health Studies: These studies can be incredibly helpful in gaining a better understanding of how campaigns are affecting things like brand awareness, perception, affinity, etc. And while these studies are valuable, they often fall short on addressing other factors in the market that could be at play, such as competitive advertising, industry trends, etc.
  • Digital Analytics: We are big believers in testing, learning, optimizing and scaling. And digital analytics allow us to do just that on an ongoing basis. However, the real purpose of these analytics is to gain a better understanding of what creative, partners and placements are over-performing or under-performing relative to other partners and industry benchmarks. In fact, unless there is a click-to-buy opportunity, there tends to be a black hole when it comes to identifying how digital marketing has driven business results.

So what’s missing?

: the ability to evoke images, memories and emotions

: a quality of evoking response

At the end of the day, when we strip away the strategy, the big idea, the tactical connection plan – what we’re actually tasked with is creating an emotionally driven response. This is the foundation of any brand/consumer relationship, and therefore plays a critical role in how we define success.

We have the ability, through a customized longitudinal study, to measure ad engagement and brand linkage across all advertising, both online and offline. We can measure creative AND media efficacy, and can isolate each element of a campaign to determine what is affecting our audience in a meaningful way. We are also able to truly isolate campaign impact versus other market factors like competitive advertising. From this research, we can glean valuable insights, such as:

  • How are brand equities changing over time?
  • What would happen with no advertising in market? Remember, marketing isn’t just about offense – we need to think in terms of defense.
  • What has advertising contributed to changing brand equities?

Ultimately, our measurement approach gives us the learnings we need to refine, optimize and scale in smarter ways. We believe in leveraging data for good. We want to make sure that everything we measure is actionable, rather than simply measuring for measurement’s sake. We strongly feel that by measuring the right type of data, we can uncover opportunities to connect with our target audience in ways that drive real business results and ultimately make the case for an investment in marketing.

For more information on how to solve the measurement conundrum for your brand, please contact Laura Wiering at


Jessica Garrett

VP, Director of Media

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