CIMM Report Finds Work Needed on Cross-Platform

A new report says the industry still needs to do a lot more work on being able to attribute sales and calculate return on investment for cross-platform campaigns.

The report, commissioned by the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement in collaboration with the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Media Measurement Task Force, was written by Sequent Partners.

Designed to determine best practices in cross-platform attribution and ROI analysis, the report was set to be presented during CIMM’s 6th annual Cross-Platform Media Measurement & Data Summit on Thursday.

The report says that the gap between marketing mix models, used for media and marketing budget allocation, and attribution models, which are purely focused on digital paths and allocation, is narrowing. But the lack of an integrated cross-platform solution is causing confusion.

"As in any early stage market, users are confused by conflicting terminology and skeptical due to the degree of overpromising from vendors,” said Jim Spaeth, cofounder of Sequent Partners. “What buyers need at this stage is to make sure they fully understand exactly what is being offered and ask smart questions to ensure the results will meet their business needs. The industry is on the right development path, and it’s too early to lock-in to one solution, which actually might thwart development.”

Sequent says that a good cross-platform solution would:

  • Provide sufficiently granular and timely detail to enable marketing plans to be optimized mid-course
  • Employ a statistical model that can infer causality for all the elements of a marketing plan
  • Incorporate a baseline, as well as all the drivers of consumer purchase behavior that could account for any variance in sales or other outcome variables
  • Employ data for all variables that is truly representative of the brand’s business

Sequent added some questions users of cross-platform campaigns should ask about measurement:

  • How is attribution and marketing mix modeling being defined and how are they being used?
  • Define every step of the process, from data inputs to modeling and model outputs.
  • How are macro level mix models and micro level attribution models being linked?
  • Does the data being used accurately reflect your business? Are the geographies covered representative of the brand’s business situations?
  • How are online and offline data being matched and potential distortions being identified?
  • What are the modeling techniques being used and how do they reflect the way in which consumers respond to advertising?
  • Does the media data in the model match currency levels? How are the data for each of the media linked together? Are individual ads and media placements identified in the data?
  • Does the model being used include all of the marketing drivers known to be important to the business?

“What we are seeing is that simply taking the best of both marketing mix and attribution modeling and marrying the two has led to varying degrees of success,” said Jane Clarke, managing director and CEO of CIMM. “What’s needed are significant advancements in the area of integration of data, modeling techniques and organizational best practices. The analysis presented through the white paper presents a clear path for how to achieve that moving forward.”

(Photo via FamZoo Staff's Flickr. Image taken on May 25, 2016 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.