Integrating Marketing Mix Modeling with Data-driven Attribution for Holistic Insights

Today’s marketers have more opportunities than ever to drive business success. They also face increasing pressure to prove, manage, and optimize marketing performance. 

A relentless push towards accountability has driven the adoption of ever-more-sophisticated measurement tools. Many marketers use marketing mix modeling (MMM), some use data-driven attribution, while others consult a separate solution for each. 

Tools continue to evolve. Now, solutions that merge and substantively improve both of these measurement best practices promise faster, more efficient, more holistic insights. To find out more, we commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey 150 companies in order to explore how marketers are evaluating, adopting, and using these emerging tools. Key learnings will be presented in our Dec 8th webinar hosted by Google and featuring Tina Moffett, Senior Analyst at Forrester along with Dave Barney, Product Manager, Adometry at Google. Sign up here.

Why consider a merger?
While separate MMM and data-driven attribution tools offer cross-channel measurement, each has limitations:
  • Speed and Granularity. Traditional MMM offers high-level analysis on a quarterly or yearly basis, which can limit more granular, or on-the-fly optimization
  • Data Limitations. Data-driven attribution requires a wealth of granular, user-level  data, which can limit offline channel visibility
When the two measurement practices are combined, however, they improve the outputs from each. Data-driven attribution informs MMM models. MMM data feeds attribution analysis. Resulting insights allow marketers to see the impact of each marketing element in near real-time.

Pending or trending?
Today, many marketers get the optimization benefit from separate MMM and data-driven attribution tools. Will merged tools become a new marketing performance measurement standard?

While it may be too early to tell, there is a growing desire for tools that help marketers move beyond channel-based optimization to larger strategic cross-channel planning. Forrester reports that many respondents have already moved, or plan to move, on the merged measurement trend and the most common approach has been to purchase a solution from a vendor, and to make use of the vendor’s implementation support. 

“There will be a paradigm shift in understanding for the marketing channels. I think it gives them an opportunity to think holistically rather than in a silo, like, ‘this is my world, this is my budget, as long as I get this much traffic in my channel, I am ok.’ It’s no longer the case. Getting that understanding is going to be key. It gives us better understanding of how our customers navigate through different touch-points.”

— Director of Marketing And Automation Systems at a major global retailer

Benefits and challenges
Integrated MMM and data-driven attribution tools are enabling marketers to make strategic planning decisions and precisely measure individual-level interactions in near real-time. Satisfaction with integrated tools is high among those who have implemented them.

Faster access to insights has more companies looping in more stakeholders from marketing execs and analysts to customer insights or analytics, brand managers, and eCommerce professionals. 

At the same time, early adopters report challenges. Integrating tools and data sources is a big ask, learning when to make changes based on new insights takes time, and setting expectations about timelines and results is paramount. 

Ensuring that the entire organization is on board with using a merged measurement platform is critical, as is supporting stakeholders in changing business practices as a result.

Proceed with insight
As merged tools come on strong, the experiences of early adopters may be instructive to those moving to embrace a merged solution. Recommendations on best practices, processes, and supports, are examined in the full whitepaper. 

Making the right move
While companies cite common barriers to adoption, respondents suggest that a number of challenges that are stopping them today would be resolved in the near future including, skills, understanding of benefits and technology blockers.  

As merged tools mature and become more commonplace, technology concerns will abate. More marketers will know about these solutions, and about how to use them to drive marketing optimization and strategy. Staying informed is the key to making the right call on whether, when, and how to adopt merged measurement tools for your business.

To learn more, sign up for our upcoming webinar with Forrester Research on December 8th.

 Google Analytics team