What if you knew in near-real time which marketing tactics were driving incremental in-store sales and which weren’t? You’d likely shift spending from what’s not working to what is working as quickly as you could. Historically, this Q&A was hypothetical. Measurement reporting was neither fast enough nor detailed enough to drive action. Times and marketing measurement tech have changed, creating new opportunity for retailers and restaurants.

This article outlines the sales growth opportunities created by modern marketing measurement and the underlying digital marketing realities that ensure these opportunities will continue to abound.

Typical Planning and Execution

Let’s assume that you excel at the hard work of marketing strategy. You’ve identified a meaningful, actionable consumer target. Your brand positioning is differentiated, relevant and compelling. You have a right to win.

So you shift from strategy to execution. The working media kicks in. Your media agency makes periodic adjustments based on engagement and click-through rates. You eagerly review the results of every sales and share report. You enjoy all the positives and prudently explain away negatives, that are hopefully blips, in many time tested ways (e.g. in-store execution, competitive activity, tough comp week, etc). Post campaign, you conduct a study to attribute sales to different marketing tactics and apply learning to future campaigns.

If this is still your process, you are missing a huge opportunity.

Post campaign reports such as MTA are great for macro adjustments and medium-to-long term planning. The new capability and opportunity for retailers is in mid-campaign, near-real time measurement. It enables you to see what’s working best right here and now so that you can choose to do more of it. When you have accurate and timely data, the decisions themselves are actually pretty easy.

A Real Example

A major retailer executed 10 different digital marketing tactics including programmatic and in-app display ads. We, Commerce Signals, measured the sales lift driven by each tactic in near real time. The results looked like this:


The ^s denote statistical significance. So if you were the marketer, the choice of how to maximize sales lift is pretty easy at this point, right? Reinvest as much as you can in tactic 4, followed by 8 and 3. Good choices. Doing so more than doubles the incremental in-store sales generated by this campaign.

Yes, there may be nuances. Tactic 2 could have been your point of entry consumer – a long term play – and you might be very happy with 0.8% sales lift in the short term. Consider the nuances your defense against AI taking marketing jobs. But to see how different the results would be vs letting your team optimize on click-through rate, download the rest of this case study here.

A New Capability

By performing near-real time, mid-campaign measurement, you can identify the variability in returns from each marketing tactic. Armed with these insights, you now have the ability to improve the outcome of every digital campaign by doing more of what’s working best.

The Ongoing Opportunity

Thinking of digital marketing campaigns in general, here is the best part: All digital campaigns have variability in the sales results they drive when you dive into the details. And variability in results, when you can quickly measure it, is a consistent opportunity to optimize for higher sales, better ROI, higher traffic and larger tickets – all measures tracked by my company, Commerce Signals.

The incremental sales results driven by marketing can and do vary by audience, by creative, by ad exchange, by publisher, by mobile vs. desktop, by geo-location, by onsite vs. in-app, and much more. Bots, fraud and viewability contribute to variability too. Some of the variability is noise, so we do the statistical testing for you to highlight the real differences. Then you chose the sales lifts and ROI where you want to double down. Or you empower your media agency to manage this on your behalf.

Near-real time measurement of marketing tactics using third party spend data opens a whole new door of opportunity for retail and restaurant marketers looking to maximize the in-store and online sales driven by each and every campaign.

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