Report: Lack of unified approach to media measurement linked to slow retail growth

New report from The CMO Club finds business growth in traditional bricks and mortar retail is hampered by a lack of combined digital and traditional media results

The disconnected view of the impact of both real-world and online media is preventing insight into key consumer behavioural drivers and hampering sales growth in retail, according to new research.

The report, The Real Drivers of Brand Growth in a Digital World, was released by US-based group, The CMO Club, in partnership with consumer insights business for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, Catalina. It found a unified approach which ties together multi-touch digital and traditional media results is missing, with 46 per cent of the 60 club members lacking a unified approach to measurement across offline and online media.

This disconnect in what marketing platforms and creative have the most impact in driving consumer behaviour makes it increasingly difficult for companies to achieve real growth, The CMO Club reported. As a consequence, nearly three in four (72 per cent) reported a business growth rate of up to 10 per cent last year.

In contrast, CMOs reporting a more unified measurement approach were more likely to record growth rates of more than 10 per cent.

"The biggest opportunity marketers can leverage when it comes to driving growth is effective data measurement," said The CMO Club CEO and founder, Pete Krainik.

The research included a discussion among senior marketing executives from US brands including Clearly Kombucha, Molson Coors Brewing Company, Daisy Brand, Illy Caffee, Mars Pet Nutrition and Pearle Vision. This found the brands forging a clearer path to growth are the ones disrupting the conventional wisdom of measurement and making serious changes in their marketing mix and attribution methodologies.

It’s not so much a failure to launch or a lack of data, which is in abundance, nor is it the wrong media. Instead, the biggest challenge being faced is joining the data dots. To achieve this, it’s necessary to close the attribution gaps between online and offline data and to measure across all types of digital media, Catalina CMO Marta Cyhan, said.

"Multi-touch attribution that's tied to a shopper ID's purchase history allows brands to build customer profiles that deliver hyper-targeted media – and even to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns inflight to optimise sales performance in a much more meaningful way,” she noted.

The report also detailed several findings around measuring the most efficient and effective marketing mix for optimal results. A key one is that marketing mix modelling is still the leading methodology for marketers. And while digital reins supreme, there’s still a place for offline media in the marketing mix. For example, while 76 per cent of respondents said they preferred online as a media type to drive growth, 59 per cent would use a mix of digital and traditional media if budget was not an issue.

The CMO Club described the findings as a wake-up call for traditional retail and explains why growth is so hard to come by in the industry.

“By getting a better handle on the results their online and offline marketing efforts achieve, they should be able to adjust their targeting and messaging accordingly to achieve stronger results," Krainik said.

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