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Driving Value Across Channels Through Digital Measurement

October 19th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Analytics

84% of US retailers indicate that they have or plan to increase investments in online channels, according to a new report from APT, with research and analysis from The Economist Intelligence Unit. Findings also show that a majority of respondents aim to drive business across channels through online promotions of in-store sales, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, by 2025, traditional financial institutions (FIs) could see profits decline 20-60% if they fail to evolve digitally. And more generally, internet ad spending is forecasted to be the biggest ad medium in the US in 2017 – even topping television – with an expected investment of $69 billion.

It is likely not news to most organizations that digital channels are becoming increasingly critical, and that investments in this area are growing as well. Across industries, companies from retailers to banks and more are already aware that they need to grow their digital offerings to keep up with consumer demand. Their response is frequently to funnel more resources into mobile apps and online platforms; for example, 75% of APT report respondents say they have increased their investments in online channels.

The APT report findings also show that 40% of respondents have already merged their online and offline channels, while another 34% plan to do so. As organizations continue to focus on combating online-only players with this strategy, it will be critical that they adopt a unified omnichannel approach to make the decisions that are best for the business at large, rather than for sales in one channel alone.

With many organizations also planning to increase investments in mobile and online marketing efforts, they must carefully evaluate their digital measurement capabilities. For example, it is important to not only consider how online ads affect online sales, but also measure their cross-channel sales implications. By taking this approach, organizations can allocate investments to where they will have the greatest overall impact.

In many companies, there are separate teams for online and physical channels, or different data siloes for each channel. But this fragmented approach can have negative consequences. Consider the scenario in which a banking customer is exposed to a banner ad for a checking account signup promotion. She may not immediately sign up, but first research the promotion on a third-party website and compare it to other offers. From there, a week might go by before the customer goes to sign up for the account at a physical branch. Customer journeys like this, far from being as straightforward as seeing an ad and clicking to sign up for the product, are more common now than even before.

There are many touchpoints across channels in typical customer journeys: website interactions, inbound and outbound calls, mobile app activity, digital ad exposure, paid search, social media interactions, in-person interactions, and more. With cross-channel customer behavior the new norm, tracking purely online performance provides an incomplete picture of true marketing campaign effectiveness. In order to understand the incremental impact of campaigns across channels, and identify the types of campaigns that are most effective with different customer segments, firms need the ability to evaluate these metrics with an omnichannel lens.

The best way to measure the omnichannel impact of different campaigns is to take a test vs. control approach that incorporates data from across all channels, enabling organizations to unlock insights at the customer level to inform and optimize future outreach. This approach involves comparing the performance across channels of customers that receive a digital campaign to similar “control” customers that receive a placebo advertisement instead.

Overall, the organizations that are able to achieve a 360 degree-view of customer behavior across channels will be able to most effectively optimize their digital marketing investments. As companies channel more resources into digital marketing and other offerings, those that are able to refine their strategies for maximum impact will pull ahead of the pack.

 

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