Data & Analytics

New Study: State of People-Based Measurement

October 10, 2017  |   Darren Moore

Marketing has seen a rapid transformation in the past several years with the introduction of new channels, technologies, and data sources. While marketers increase their investments into these new capabilities, they are looking for ways to effectively measure the impact their efforts are having on their business in the form of sales or brand lift. Meanwhile, consumer media fragmentation makes it increasingly difficult to do so.

As more marketers embrace a people-based approach to solve their data fragmentation problem, it’s becoming clear that people-based measurement is central to truly measuring marketing’s ROI.

In order to better understand current adoption of the measurement practice and its likely trajectory, LiveRamp commissioned Wakefield Research to conduct a survey of 500 marketing and advertising professionals. The purpose was to collect data on their perspectives on what people-based measurement is, the challenges and opportunities inherent in this practice, and how it can advance the insight and effectiveness of marketing.

Today we announced the findings of that study. What we found is that marketers see “people-based measurement” and the capability that underpins it—identity resolution—as the potential starting point for not only measuring the impact of their advertising, but also understanding the omnichannel consumer journey.

The Mixed State of People-Based Measurement

People-based measurement is the natural progression of a people-based marketing strategy. It takes a person-based approach to attribute the impact of omnichannel marketing on both offline and online sales.

People-based measurement refers to the use of de-duplicated, person-level data—as opposed to the multitude of digital identifiers associated with any one individual—to measure the impact of marketing, tying brand exposure (for example, display ads, social media, call center interactions, store visits) to sales, branding, or customer success metrics.

Central to this marketing measurement approach is the ability to resolve online and offline identities back to an individual: identity resolution.

Ninety-four percent of marketing professionals agree that without people-based measurement, you cannot accurately measure ROI. And while 96% report that identity resolution will be their company’s most important asset in the next three years, for the vast majority of respondents, embarking on the road to this form of marketing measurement is a challenge.

In fact, almost 80% of executives surveyed are not yet ready to get started. Some of the biggest reasons include the inability to bring data together for analysis (49%), missing identity resolution capabilities (48%), limitations with regards to online sales data (42%), and simply not knowing how to get started (42%).

Learn From Marketing’s Trailblazers

Still, one in five respondents were already well on their way with implementing people-based measurement. With 21% of marketing teams/seniors/leaders already in the game, the trail may not be fully paved, but it’s definitely being blazed.

So we looked to these trailblazers to provide a roadmap for others about to get started on the on their marketing measurement journey.

First, there are a number of technology investments that early adopters have made. They have access to/use/own/possess a DMP (Data Management Platform), data analytics and visualizations tools, ad verification and viewability technology, and an identity resolution solution.

In fact, investing in technology and channels seems to be fundamental to people-based measurement. And this makes sense: identity resolution, for example, is a fundamental building block for people-based marketing (Forrester Research recently singled out identity resolution as the strategic imperative for modern marketers).

Access to a DMP makes organizing data much easier, and investing in data analytics and visualization tools suggests a deep commitment to high-quality attribution.

Moreover, these trailblazers’ companies are focused on growing sales, online and offline. They are more likely to be measuring the impact of digital marketing across multiple channels, and seeing this contribute value to their business.

They understand that identity resolution will not only improve targeting and real-time optimization, but also customer insight, customer experience, and ultimately help them understand the customer journey.

Where To Go From Here

While there are many challenges that must be addressed to reap the full value of people-based measurement, new technologies such as identity resolution are making it easier for marketers to get started down this path, and join those who are already realizing the benefits. Not surprisingly, many more plan to follow in the next few years (69% to be exact).

To learn more about the state of people-based measurement and what makes the early adopters different from other marketers, read our study findings here.