All The Things You Need To Know About Data For 2022 (But Were Too Afraid To Ask)

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Data and measurement are definitely not on the sexy side of marketing, but they’ve never been more important to understand if you want to grow your business. Here, Annalect’s head of marketing technology and analytics, Gavin Lockhart (pictured below), unpacks a few key concepts marketers need to know for the year ahead…

If you work in marketing, you probably feel like every time you get your house in order, the sands shift beneath the foundations. Each year brings with it a raft of new policy and regulatory changes. Staying ahead of the game is a never-ending challenge.

Once derided as leading the ‘colouring-in department’, today’s marketer has a tough job. The well-documented cookie apocalypse only makes things harder, with the world of data acquisition soon to change fundamentally. That’s why the need to measure effectively is now of paramount importance.

Those who hesitate in the data-based stakes will find themselves in the rear-view mirror of the innovators, while those who take the initiative will be in the driver’s seat.

Annalect is one business that has measurement coursing through its DNA. As part of its roadmap forward, it’s well understood that there’s no single solution to determine the effectiveness of marketing.

Instead, the secret to success lies within a unified approach, as well as partnerships with businesses that put measurement at the heart of what they do.

So, how do you get ahead of the game? Here are four key areas marketers should look into to augment their measurement strategy.

Future-proofing with partnerships

If you’ve seen the Terminator movies, you could be forgiven for thinking the future is a mighty scary place. But, there are ways to prepare.

With the digital landscape changing so quickly, one thing businesses can do is form meaningful partnerships that deliver mutual benefit. Annalect’s work with Meta (formerly Facebook) is an excellent example here.

We are currently testing Advanced Analytics, a custom measurement product that offers a trusted server environment for our clients to better understand their advertising data under strict privacy control.

This allows Annalect to look at the incremental uplift in sales by segment thanks to Meta exposure, and offers the potential to focus on true value which can be used to calibrate attribution models that otherwise would miss this opportunity.

Overall, clients gain by being able to run custom measurement to understand their own first-party customer data in relation to Meta exposure, in a privacy-compliant environment.

This is part of Annalect’s broader work in ensuring brands can benefit from sharper insights as the cookie begins to crumble.

Conversions API

Conversions API (CAPI) is one of the most important tools at a marketer’s disposal today. The reason: it’s essential that businesses in the years ahead retain the level of signal or event data they currently capture.

But what exactly is it? In brief, Meta’s Conversions API (CAPI) creates a direct and reliable connection between marketing data (such as website events and offline conversions) from a server, website platform or CRM to Meta. It helps power ad personalisation and measurement on Facebook, so ads are shown to people who are more likely to be interested in them.

From a measurement perspective, CAPI also helps in running conversion lift studies. For brands that genuinely want to understand their performance – and how to improve it over time – undertaking these studies is a must.

Annalect provides CAPI integration in a number of ways to support its clients: either directly for clients through certified teams, or with partners. Existing partnerships have been struck with vendors like Tealium as well as with Meta itself on a global Annalect solution (CAPI Gateway). After all, you can’t underestimate the power of partnerships.

Marketing mix modelling

Marketing mix modelling (MMM) is a deep dive into industries or segments that uses meta-analysis to extract robust, signal-proof insights.

Of course, such a large undertaking doesn’t come without a moderate investment, which is beyond many businesses. That’s why Annalect serves as a repository of vertical level meta-studies. In recent years, the business has conducted wide-ranging studies into the auto and retail industries, enabling the sharing of insights with clients.

And here’s another advantage of Annalect’s partnership with Meta: shared open-source code. This validates MMM findings and points to ways businesses can steadily improve their results.

Privacy-enhancing technologies

One area Annalect and countless other businesses will be directing their attention to is privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs).

Through innovation, these PETs will deepen the insights advertisers can gain, whilst remaining privacy-compliant with new regulations. These technologies will unlock vast troves of useful information and, ultimately, growth for businesses.

Annalect is firmly motivated to ensure its clients are conducting alpha and beta testing around these emerging PETs to stay one step ahead of the game.

As 2022 nears, how your business approaches measurement will play a big hand in its future success. Now is the ideal time to reach out to partners in this space who have moved beyond testing their measurement systems and into a business-as-usual position with them.

CMOs are currently under a lot of pressure to show value in this rapidly changing regulatory landscape. By adopting best practice measurement strategies, an opportunity exists to genuinely tie spend back to business outcomes. And who could say no to that?

Featured image source: iStock/Suppachok Nuthep

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