Besides internal teams dragging their feet about having to learn a new, complicated methodology (“And a lot of that is holding hands, telling people, 'This isn’t about cutting your budget,'” said Schmitt), brands are finding that, like a sword that’s too heavy to pick up, their greatest strength is also their greatest obstacle.
Forrester analyst Tina Moffett said that based on her research, internal organization is an oft-cited problem, but not the most pressing. “The biggest challenge in embracing measurement analytics is a few things: sourcing the right data, managing different data sources, and then organization,” she said.
Marketers rely on partners for more common challenges, Moffett added. “But once they go down the path of doing advanced attribution, they realize, ‘Wow, we have a lot of different data sources … and we don’t know how they’re different or what the anomalies in the data mean.’”
Mathew compounds that, pointing out that 35% of the brands who work with Visual IQ aren’t just on the online or addressable side, but they have to process data from “things like direct mail and call centers [which] can be used like digital, with identifiers.”
For IHG, a global company with multiple agency and technology partners, regional vendors and information coming in through disparate channels around the world, it’s like trying to put a new nozzle on a streaming fire hose. “Data is rarely clean, rarely centralized. Part of the challenge is to … reorganize that flow of information.”
The heavy lifting can pay off big, though, as Schmitt is quick to note that many of the internal issues crumble when people familiarize with the technology and, most importantly, as results come in.
“We discovered that 20% of our conversions came from users who had gone through nine or more touchpoints,” he said. This is a little more than half of the number that came from a single touchpoint (such as a direct email or click-through), but “All of a sudden, we have these two distinct consumer segments that we hadn’t even been thinking about and may require completely different approaches.”
As always, it comes down to efficiency and effects. “This was a test program,” said Schmitt, “but we saw a 5.5% increase in the efficiency of our advertising.” While the test applied to only one channel, that’s still a significant boost.
“And if we can build this out across channels, and we’re getting 5.5% better efficiency….wow, that’s a home run,” he added.