What are the challenges of measuring marketing effectiveness?

There are many challenges to measuring marketing effectiveness.

  • Types of data available: The type, richness and quality of data vary widely from channel to channel. For example, on programmatic display, marketers can get user-level, impression-level data, and track the user all way to a conversion if that user converts. However, on TV, marketers would only get reporting of when their ads were flighted on air. On Facebook, marketers can rich aggregate data reporting about their targeted audience, but almost no user-level data.
  • Frequency of data: Some media channels offer data on a real-time basis, whereas others only offer data post-campaign.

The types and frequency of data available limits the universe of advanced measurement techniques that can be used to measure a specific media tactic.

Types of decisions: The types of decisions that the measurement informs also plays a big role in how useful marketing measurement itself is. Marketers looking to make limited tactical decisions, like optimizing between creative A vs creative B running on a specific audience within a specific media channel, can use data made available by that channel. However, more advanced decisions like balancing budgets across media tactics based on incremental sales and incremental ROI would have to use advanced marketing measurement techniques to get to an answer. Other more strategic questions, like the impact of weather or interest rates or government policy on sales would need to use specific marketing measurement technique that can answer those questions.