Tag Archives: metrics

Measuring sponsorship: From Lewis Carroll to Einstein

It’s with some trepidation that I write a piece on measuring sponsorship. Why?

For many years, finding a true standard measurement for sponsorship has challenged brands and agencies alike. The reality is that it doesn’t exist.

Don’t worry though, it is possible to measure sponsorship and in such a way it can prove its value to the business, but it can sometimes feel complex due to its multi-channel multi-discipline nature, so there is a fundamental need for flexibility. Sponsorship presents a unique opportunity for brands and businesses to connect with stakeholders drive growth and build their brand. Sponsorship provides an activation platform for many other marketing disciplines.

This can present complexity in terms of tracking and measuring success, but it is essential that brands do measure their sponsorship to track the sponsorship effectiveness, benefits to the business and ensure return on investment.

Proving the business value of sponsorship
The European Sponsorship Association (ESA) held its annual Sponsorship Summit last week, and ‘Proving the Business Value of Sponsorship’ was a hotly debated topic.

There was some great debate and I think it also was the death knell for the long over-used and often irrelevant media value metric. In addition, the discussion was nicely bookended with two insightful quotes.

The first quote is a salutary reminder of the need for clear objectives and KPIs:

Rob Mitchell 1

So, the usual rules of marketing apply to sponsorship. It is imperative to set clear objectives and KPIs, otherwise you will almost certainly deviate from your course, in terms of your strategy, activation, measurement and, ultimately, what success looks like.

Sponsorship can’t set one standardised measurement like the advertising world because it’s different. It tends to have a number of objectives and multiple stakeholders and audiences (often each audience will have different objectives set against them), is activated in a number of ways, and as such, one definitive measure does not and cannot exist.

Instead, brands need to focus on their sponsorship objectives and understand how they want to measure success in a way that will be meaningful to the business.

Measuring the wrong things
Quite often we see sponsors measuring too many of the wrong things, wasting time, money and effort. So we get confused. For example, campaigns that say they were successful because they achieved an equivalent advertising spend on the exposure achieved when they actually needed to measure brand awareness is wrong.

Brand exposure and brand awareness are fundamentally different. This mistake crops up in award entries all the time. And how many times have we seen the number of facebook likes and twitter re-tweets cited as a goal? Why? Unless you know the precise value of a ‘like’ to your business it’s meaningless.

Here are a few fundamental considerations:
1. Objectives: are they the right ones and meaningful to the business?
2. Measurement: are you measuring the right things?
3. Value: is your sponsorship adding value to your brand and business? (see 1)
4. Timing: measurement should not be pre- and post-campaign, but needs to monitor and track continually, so that plans can be updated and revised to ensure efficiency and effectiveness

Let’s remember that the purpose of measuring and valuing sponsorship is to help us make better decisions. As such, it’s alarming how little is invested in research and measurement in an overall sponsorship campaign, and yet this is very area that will help you achieve and prove success.

We can measure, track and count lots of different things:

Capturing the commercial results using existing corporate and brand measurement tools for:
• Sales: incremental and comparative sales results
• Event sales: incremental sales driven by created events
• Customer retention & loyalty: net value of customer acquisition and retention
• Promotions: redemption, sales uplift, product impact of promotions
• Value: cost per acquisition, customer value

Brand Health KPIs
Tracking impact and role of sponsorship on brand trust scores using continuous brand tracking surveys.
• Brand & sponsorship awareness, leading to consideration and commitment
• Brand trust
• Brand affinity
• Consumer advocacy
• Employer favourability scores

Exposure and Engagement
Measuring audience engagement and the brand activation programme efficacy:
• Brand exposure & audience analysis: monitor and valuation of brand exposure across media & PR, including reach, audience, equivalent advertising value (see above)
• Onsite & Experience: event attendees and participants; hospitality guests (numbers and stakeholder group); fan park attendees; sampling; number of gifts distributed

• Statistics & Web Analytics: tracking the number of people signing up online; data opt-ins; online traffic, likes, re-tweets, followers, frequency and conversion. [This data must be used for CRM purposes to affect the commercial measures.]

So what is important?
If you strip it all back, we must be more commercially focused. Focus on how many customers you acquire, retention rates, average cost per customer, sales and profit. “The rest is just fluff”, says Matt Rogan, managing director of Two Circles. Quite right! I would also incorporate brand health metrics such as awareness, consideration, advocacy, affinity and trust, but these are only important if you can link these brand metrics to the more commercial metrics above; and if you can’t, they’re just fluff.

So, it’s essential to keep asking the ‘why’ question. But don’t worry, if the flexibility is a concern, and you feel bogged down measuring, monitoring and counting everything. It’s just not necessary. I reckon Albert Einstein had the measure of sponsorship.

Rob Mitchell 2

This is an ongoing debate in the sponsorship industry, so it would be good to hear any thoughts you may have.

By DMA guest blogger Rob Mitchell, Sponsorship and Marketing consultant at RJM Consulting and member of the DMA Brand Activation Council


Data privacy is now a “critical brand differentiator”

Data privacy is now a “critical brand differentiator” for businesses looking to acquire new customers, with consumers’ decision to share information driven by the use of trusted channels and transparency, new DMA research has revealed.

According to the findings of the Customer Acquisition Barometer 2014, 43 per cent of consumers prefer email as their most trusted channels for sharing information, closely followed by 42 per cent who rated brands’ own website as their favoured route. More than four in five (85 per cent) now will only share their information if it’s made clear that it will be used only by the company that collects it; 32 per cent say they expect a clearly worded privacy policy before they share.

The findings follow remarks made by deputy Information Commissioner David Smith, who earlier this month told delegates at the DMA’s annual data summit that brands which make “a feature of [their] privacy approach” and are “getting in tune” with customers are to be admired.

The report also found that only one in two UK consumers (52%) claim to have willingly shared their personal information with a company in the past 12 months, in spite of marketers saying more than half of their budgets (59 per cent) is being dedicated to customer acquisition activities – compared to just 20 per cent on retention.

While email and brands’ website dominate in the trust stakes, social is failing to win consumers’ approval – despite marketers’ commitment to it. Four in five (77 per cent) of marketers said they use it for acquisition purposes, but only 16 per cent rate it as ‘effective’. This is perhaps because 54 per cent of consumers rate it as their least trusted channel for sharing their information.

The report, which was produced by DMA in partnership with McDowall, surveyed 1,509 UK consumers and interviewed 116 senior marketers as the first annual benchmark of current trends in and critical issues brands face in acquiring new customers.

The DMA’s executive director Chris Combemale says that marketers must quickly adapt to the new expectations of consumers:

“Effective customer acquisition relies on trust and transparency which is undermined by some companies, organisations and institutions misusing, abusing and exploiting people’s information against their expectations and wishes.

“The most successful companies are respecting their customer’s attitudes to privacy and making trust a critical brand differentiator.”

The report also reveals that marketers are anticipating a shift in focus on their performance targets. Currently, 41 per cent report cost-per-acquisition as their primary measurement, compared to 37 per cent on quality of leads and 21 per cent on quantity of leads. However, over the next 12 months 35 per cent of marketers expect quantity of leads will rise to become their number one target.

Read the Customer Acquisition Barometer 2014 report

Read the Customer Acquisition Barometer 2014 infographic

By Tristan Garrick, the DMA’s Head of PR & Content

Why data is the key to cross-channel success

Interactions between today’s consumer and their favoured brands have undergone a significant shift. Whereas once an equilibrium between customer expectations and brand fulfilment existed, the balance of power has tipped to the extent that customer expectations outweigh what most businesses can deliver. Continue reading

All TV ads are response ads

In the old days, there were two main types of TV advertising: brand and response. ‘Response’ campaigns set out single-mindedly to get you to call a number and typically took place during the week, in the daytime, in lower interest programmes and on smaller channels. It was all about efficient cost per response and acquisition. Brand campaigns were about creating long-term fame for the brand, reaching mass audiences and staying in their minds. Continue reading

Worried about sending too much email? Don’t be, says the latest Email tracking report

Two weeks ago in this blog we revealed that email marketing volumes in the UK hit an all-time high in November 2012 (with the release of the National email benchmarking report). Continue reading

Marketing to oldsters. 5 reasons why old age ain’t what it used to be

To be over 45 (or 50, or whatever artificial age barrier we choose) is to be increasingly hard to stereotype. What it means to be older has changed, for all sorts of reasons. Complexity and diversity rule. We call this ‘age disruption’.

1. New ideas of age and ageing
Age lines are blurring: consider acronyms such as ASYL (adults staying younger longer). It’s not just Mick Jagger and David Bowie. The period when we consider individuals to be ‘active consumers’ has expanded. People stay active longer, with improved lifestyles and medical care. We age at different rates. Many people do not behave their age, look their age, or admit to their age (even to themselves).

2.  Family disruption
The nature of the family has changed. Some people have children later in life, sometimes into their forties, fifties and later. People marry or re-marry people much older or younger than themselves, often creating complex extended family networks, and continue to do so well past their 50s. Many adults of all ages live in single-person households (25% for all adults, rising to over 33% for the over-75s – the majority of whom are female).

3.  Extended family disruption
The so-called ‘sandwich generation’ (or ‘baby gloomers’) is estimated to include up to 40% of parents and 55% of children (Nielsen / Age Lessons May 2007).  With increased longevity, more middle-aged parents are caring for their own elderly parents. They may also have children living at home into their late twenties and beyond (unable or unwilling to assume economic independence). A new group – Yuckies (Young Unwilling Costly Kids) is funded into their 30s by 90% of parents.

4.  Family disruption on a grand scale
With longevity, grandparents are increasingly prevalent. And they’re not grey haired little old ladies any more. Many look after and often fund their grandchildren (ILC-UK 2010). 50% of grandparents are aged under 65, 10% are under 50. 50% of working class parents will become grandparents before they are 60. And 62% of grandparents are not even the most senior generation in their family – four-generation families are now common.

5.  Economic disruption
The days of a guaranteed retirement, funded by a state and/or private pension are numbered. Many people aged 45-64 face economic uncertainty: for example, involuntary unemployment, long-term unemployment and inadequate pension provision. This may involve delaying their retirement age and continuing to work – if they can find a job. Around two million people aged over statutory retirement age are said to live in poverty by the DWP and Age UK. Even previously well-off retirees have seen the value of their investments and income decline sharply.

It’s all bad news for anyone who still thinks that the ‘over-50s’ is a viable single consumer segment, or even that age has any merit as a primary targeting factor. In fact, the irony is that some of the oldest marketing paradigms of all – like segmentation, targeting and positioning – have never been more relevant.

Mark Beasley, Managing Director, rhc advantage

6 mobile metrics you should be using to increase ROI

UK mobile marketing spending is set to double in 2013 – hitting the £1bn mark for the first time – and revenue will rise by 90% compared to 2012. This is a momentous landmark in short history of mobile marketing. However, while brands’ confidence in the channel is growing such huge investment demands effective ROI metrics.

Until now, lack of effective metrics has disadvantaged mobile against other digital channels. Different channels should have different measurements of success and this is paralleled in online vs mobile metrics. Mobile is used in very different ways to online. Therefore, the ROI should be predicated upon different metrics specific to mobile. We’ve explored these in our new Mobile Whitebook 2013 that we’ve produced in conjunction with Econsultancy.

The six steps below cover some things you should be thinking about when it comes to mobile measurement and improvement.

1. Create mobile-specific goals
With so much data generated by each customer touch point, understanding where to look can be a challenge. It’s all too easy to spend hours in front of an analytics tool and achieving very little. Therefore, the first step in effective mobile measurement is to understand what goals you have and why you wish to track them. These goals are the first step in identifying which metrics and KPIs you will be monitoring to track your efforts. Mobile response and CTAs are notably different to online behaviour of dwell times and page views. Make sure you adapt your KPIs accordingly.

2. Have in place a suitable analytics solution and dedicate resources to it
While this may seem obvious, it is not unusual for marketers to have ineffective analytics solutions deployed which will prevent true insight being developed. This is particularly acute for app usage. Make sure you have the right tools in place and, crucially, someone with the time to get insights out of the data.

3. Make sure your analytics are correctly tagged
On campaigns you run, make sure any links you share or use in a campaign (eg in paid search, on social or email marketing) have correct tagging on them to allow you to understand the sources and media that are contributing to your efforts and build them into your big data strategies.

4. Look at landing pages, exit pages and keywords to identify user intent
Seeing what the most frequent first and last pages of a customer visit are and the keywords they use to reach your site will provide an indication of the key tasks that your users are trying to achieve through your site. Make a case for your customers to buy on mobile devices using ‘nudge’ principles. Mobile customers use their smart devices to search for your store locations, compare products/prices or research features, and finally head into store. Econsultancy’s Multichannel Retail Survey found that 32% of consumers in the UK and 41% in the US had used a mobile device to find a retailer’s nearest store and opening times. Find out what pages and keywords are being used on these customer journeys.

5. Reassess your KPIs frequently
As mobile is such a fast-moving field, KPIs that you had last year may not be relevant today. Keep an eye on how useful they are and be prepared to change them, but retain the mainstays as you can track growth on the mobile channel.

6. Use your insight to drive change
One significant problem with web analytics and measurement is that, although companies produce a glut of reports, little action is taken to make best use of the data collected and improve the processes through which the company operates.

Download the free Mobile Whitebook 2013

By DMA guest blogger, Renaye Edwards, European Marketing Director, Velti

Integration disintegration

Taking an integrated approach to relationship marketing is now de rigueur across the industry. However, while many organisations claim to deliver fully integrated campaigns, in reality they are no more integrated than they were 30 years ago.  They simply exploit more channels than had previously existed.

The battle over what should lead marketing has long raged and I have a good many friendly ding-dongs with creative luminaries such as David Poole and John Watson who argue vehemently that creative execution can make the difference between a campaign’s success or failure.  In my view, the quality of the creative means diddly-squat if you send it to your best friend’s dog.

Today, in this new channel-abundant world, life should be so much simpler. To me, more channels means more choice, more refinement, more precision and an increased ROI – job done. Well not quite!! With so much choice before us, capturing and exploiting these new channels can be a minefield and getting them to integrate smoothly with your in-house technology can send your systems into a tailspin.

To achieve marketing nirvana and avoid total disintegration of your systems and protocols,  exploit the knowledge that lies in the data to deliver your campaigns through the channels that will illicit a response. And that’s the crux of it really, true integration isn’t just about the channel or the creative, it’s about making informed choices and starting that all important conversation.

So the next time someone says they are running an integrated campaign, ask them what they mean.  In most cases they just mean that they are going to send out an attractive piece of creative across a wide selection of channels. To ensure success, interrogate your data, take a long term view when defining your data capture strategy, treat your targets as individuals and use their preferred channels in your communications. Then (and only then) are you getting close to ‘integrated’.

By DMA guest blogger Mark Roy, Chief Executive at The REaD Group and Chair of the DMA Data Council