CEO POV: It’s Our Job to Solve Marketing Measurement

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Pro-privacy changes forcing enterprises to rethink their approach to targeting, tracking, and measurement have led many to search for the “next cookie.” However, organizations’ and leaders’ time might be better spent leveraging first-party data and finding end-to-end measurements across channels and gardens. 

In 2022 and beyond, scalable and sustainable business strategy and data management have become one and the same. The groundwork for this modern data-is-business strategy is a clearly defined approach to metadata management across the whole data-driven organization. And that can only be effective with executive buy-in. Looking beyond tools and tech, as CEOs, we must make operational and cultural changes that permeate every team and partner.

Here are steps we can take to craft privacy-safe data strategies. 

Step 1: Organize the Data 

Data silos must be reconfigured from the top down. An inability to quickly find digital assets is preventing teams from leveraging data’s full potential. Enterprises have massive gaps in data and glaring process inefficiencies. These problems are apparent to people in day-to-day operations but not always understood at the executive level. Metadata management organizes all of a company’s data and ensures assets are discoverable, measurable, and shareable across an organization. 

If CEOs begin to dive into this kind of data “nitty-gritty,” prodigious business gains could be experienced. Think streamlined operations and increased revenue due to more effective marketing, advertising, creative, sales, and analytics. 

Learn to Love Metadata

A data strategy is broad and can be far-reaching, yet it’s rooted in something inherently specific and nuclear: metadata. 

Metadata gives context to a data point. It can be: 

  • Structural (explaining its organization and relationships)
  • Administrative (explaining its technical source, such as file type or creation date)
  • Descriptive (to aid discoverability, such as keywords or author)

Metadata management focuses on the inputs in the data models making decisions. By standardizing these, it won’t matter if or when measurement methods change — marketers can pivot quickly because they trust their data at its sources. Data standards within metadata management enable the move beyond channel-specific reporting and third-party attribution to instead compare campaigns and aggregate data across walled gardens. So, what’s lost in individual measurement can be recovered by enriched omnichannel perspectives.   

Become C-suite Data Champions

As brand marketers begin to streamline processes and leverage first-party data at scale, there’s also an opportunity to lay the groundwork for automation. Drastically reducing the time spent on manual processes frees up time to identify opportunities for artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance the organization even further, beyond the measurement challenge. The CEO’s push for metadata management addresses both an enterprise’s technological debt and its process debt.

While not historically under our executive jurisdiction, taking control of an enterprise’s metadata to get a handle on its data strategy is a massive undertaking that must be approached as a corporate-wide initiative with support, pressure, and genesis from the C-suite. 

A CEO must:

  • Understand the company’s current data strategy and “state of the data” 
  • Identify the silos that need to be interconnected
  • Work with leadership to deploy data standards and governance
  • Unlock a data democracy in which everyone can access and understand each other’s data

Doing so will create gains across business areas and shield a marketing team from the next policy change, as there most certainly will be more. But the data (and marketing teams) can be ready. 

Verl Allen is CEO of Claravine.