Leveraging Big Data to Make Cross-Channel Value Measurement a Reality
Big data has the power to lead marketers to more effective cross-channel value measurement. Today, online advertisers have the ability to track endless amounts of information, from impression data to click and "Like" numbers to time spent on sites and beyond. Despite, or perhaps because of, the mass quantity of data collected, marketers are still unable to reliably measure the value of their digital advertising.
Analysis becomes even more challenging as digital touchpoints proliferate and the ability to gather and measure data at a more granular level grows. In other words, while access to more granular "bigger" data holds promise, marketers are challenged to unlock it.
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to measuring digital return on investment is measuring cross-channel ad value — i.e., understanding the relationship between what happens in one channel and another. The digital advertising industry is at a crossroads as it deals with numerous challenges around the de facto (and ill-suited) standard for measuring cross-channel value: cookies. Mozilla's announcement this year to block third-party cookies, followed by a heated debate around cookies and privacy, reinforces the risk in relying on cookies to value the impact of attention-based, or brand, advertising.
Aside from the privacy debate, cookies fall apart when it comes to tracking across multiple devices, a fatal flaw in today's evermore mobile, multidevice world. As the industry looks for new ways to measure efficacy and assist advertisers in accomplishing their financial goals, marketers must look for new ways to mine the data they already have at their fingertips. In doing so, digital advertisers will move through this crossroads into meaningful cross-channel measurement that leads to optimized ROI across channels and, ultimately, comprehensive bottoms-up digital media mix optimization.
Advertising's big data is the product of tracking the impressions, clicks and conversions happening all the time in an advertiser's digital campaigns across a growing number of touchpoints, from paid search to Twitter to an advertiser's own website. Since most advertisers already have access to this data, it's "just" a matter of mining it properly. So how does one mine it properly?