When digital ad measurement company Moat was acquired by Oracle in April, everyone in adtech started to see clearly a change that was happening.
“OK, this market is now starting to move,” says Neil Sweeney, founder and CEO of beacon network company Freckle IoT, in an interview with Street Fight. “Everyone is realizing they need measurement, they need attribution. This is the next stage.”
For several years, marketing executives have used analytics to measure marketing campaign returns. Now, brands don’t just want their names in front of people – they want and they need measurable data about who sees their ads, how did they see them, how long did they look at them, and where was the ad on the path to purchase.
In a 2017 prediction report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), more than half of marketers were planning to spend a significant amount of time and resources on cross-channel measurement and attribution throughout the year. New technologies that can link consumers’ online behavior with related in-store purchases were indicated to be a high priority for budgeting, as well.
Data-based software is offering individualized information about individual customers, and the locations those customers are in.
In June, Snapchat acquired Placed, a six-year-old online-to-offline attribution software startup. That was another indication, Sweeney says, of how incredibly important measurement is in branding strategies.
“Also, Facebook and Twitter misreported numbers last year, and that spooked advertisers to be not as trusting of the numbers,” he says.
Brand visibility, a well-known and helpful component to local marketing, is great, but without more data, the views that a brand receives might not really do anything.
“One hundred percent of viewable ads that don’t drive an action are one hundred percent [a] waste of time,” Sweeney wrote in an email. “Attribution, in my opinion, is the metric that all brands and media verticals are moving to as it solves a number of gaps in the market.”
Measuring how branding strategy is working is becoming just as important – if not more important – as brand visibility. The change is happening in two parallels, Sweeney says. One is with companies such as Oracle in the data management platform sphere, where the decision to purchase Placed moved the company closer to the level of Google and Facebook. The second is in social media, where Google and Facebook have set the bar for measurement and attribution.
Some solutions might not work as well as others, depending on how exactly they work and in what direction they are pivoted – if they need to. And another side to getting the balance right between brand visibility and attribution is serving the customer in the most effective way.
“[They’re asking,] who can be that company that is not going to force-feed us a certain platform or media, but can work with us and see how effective we’ve actually been at driving customers to a location?” Sweeney says. “People want to give companies the benefit of the doubt, [they’re saying,] ‘we want to buy media from you, but we need to be sure we’re measuring at the same time.’”
April Nowicki is a contributor at Street Fight.