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Forrester weighs in on marketing measurement and optimization

October 16, 2019

Sam Richardson

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We were eager to see Forrester’s latest Now Tech: Marketing Measurement and Optimization Solutions, Q3 2019 report that was released last month. In part because we were hoping to see Nepa included in the vendor list (Spoiler Alert, we were!) but also because the report helps to increase understanding of the business impact of marketing with measurement and optimization tools – a topic that we care a lot about at Nepa.

Here are a few things that jumped out to us from the report and our take on them:

“21% of B2C marketing decision makers say that their firm is lacking the capability to measure marketing results”

It’s paradoxical that at a time when marketing activity generates more data than ever, marketers struggle more than ever to understand what is most effective to separate the signal from the noise.

Marketing measurement and optimization solutions such as Attribution Modeling, Marketing Mix Modeling, Path to Purchase, and Campaign Measurement all provide marketers with an understanding of what works best.

“A marketing measurement and optimization platform enables marketers to:
• Understand the business impact of marketing budgets;
• Determine the optimal mix of channels; and,
• Forecast results of alternative marketing plans.”

Today’s C-level executives expect all functions to be accountable for contribution to the firm’s financial performance. In response to this trend Marketing needs to go beyond “soft metrics” like impressions and communicate the business value of its efforts.
This type of analysis goes well beyond reporting up the chain – by connecting activity to financial performance through statistical techniques marketers also gain valuable simulation tools to optimize the media mix and predict the results of different tactics.

“Modernize Your Marketing Measurement Strategy”

In addition to providing a list of marketing measurement and optimization vendors, the report suggests all marketers and analytics professionals take a fresh look at their measurement approaches. Here’s the gist:

Experienced measurement users – seek out new approaches to unify siloed measurement approaches.

Measurement holdouts – Choose a partner now, predictive analytics are especially useful during economic slowdowns.

Smaller brands – The cost-benefit analysis of marketing measurement investments have shifted to favor adoption, even for marketers with smaller budgets.

All marketing teams – include “analytics literacy” on the team to utilize measurement and optimization tools to be more effectively and support the missionary aspect of marketing – communicating the benefits of the measurement program up and down the organization.

Technology is evolving rapidly as senior management becomes more and more insistent on understanding marketing ROI. It’s no longer enough to have a vague sense that on some level marketing drives sale. You have to know when, where, how, and how much. And you need to be constantly improving, based on incoming data and changes in the marketplace and shopper behavior.

At Nepa, we recognize that Forrester is highly influential across multiple industries and are pleased to have been included in their analytical coverage. This report serves to further confirm the growing maturity of the marketing measurement and optimization technologies, as well as an overview of vendors in the space, including Nepa.

Blog Posts

Successful Programs: Services & Insights from Forrester VoC Report

July 12, 2019

Sam Richardson

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Is your Voice of the Customer program speaking to you? Or are you spending more and getting less than you expected?

In a recent report advising CX leaders on when and how to transition Voice of Customer (VoC) vendors, Forrester CX Analyst, Faith Adams, suggested starting with a services partner to make the most of the technologies already in place. We were thrilled that Faith mentioned Nepa as one such services partner. While coverage of the CX measurement space has focused on shiny new tech offerings in recent years, we’re proud to be recognized for what we believe is our willingness to challenge conventional thinking with flexible technology infrastructure and services to build on what works.

Humble brag over – read on for our brief summary of the 3 Key Takeaways from the June 2019 Forrester report, How To Transition Your Voice-Of-The-Customer Vendor

Takeaway 1 – “Failure is not always the vendor’s fault”

Forrester notes that the complex intertwinement of client and vendor can make it difficult to make a change, so some caution is warranted. There will be implementations that come up short. There will be a need to continually fine-tune programs and, sometimes, to find new vendors. Whoever the vendor, organizations will have to change, too, if they want to maximize value.  This includes how they conduct surveys, share data and communicate internally, and, importantly, how they manage the balance between technology and services.

Takeaway 2 – “Consider the reimplementation option”

Noting the cost in time and money, Forrester suggests that companies first consider a reimplementation of an existing program before moving to a new vendor.  It’s at this point that bringing in a new (or a first-time) service provider makes sense.  An outside point of view can bring fresh perspective, and the provider may be able to introduce ideas that head off the need for a wholesale change in technology.  Nepa works with many clients in this way, optimizing existing VoC capabilities and working to identify and capture more incisive insights from existing infrastructure.

But if the VoC program is too deeply flawed, and the level of management frustration has reached a point of no return, then there may be no other choice than to make a change.  When that becomes necessary, it’s important that you approach the process in a systematic way.  An entire post could be written about that – but with an increasingly complex set of VoC technologies, it’s best to take your time and engage help in the process.

Takeaway 3 – “Successful VoC programs balance technology and services”

In recent years, there was a tendency to look for tech-only, DIY, solutions. As CX metrics remain below expectation and flat, companies recognize a need to do something different to address their current challenges, which include data formatting and siloing, failure to fully exploit the insights available from the data, an inability to incorporate unstructured and unsolicited data, failure to track and report ROI, and many more. In another post, we’ve shared more thoughts on ways a services provider can help companies identify and address these weaknesses. 

As Forrester notes in its report, VoC is still at an “immature” point in its development in spite of all the tools and talent available to improve the platforms.  That means mistakes will be made.  At the same time, new technologies will be introduced that will move the state of the art forward.  Some vendors will keep pace, others will fall behind.

Whether you’re changing vendors, doing a reimplementation, or looking at VoC for the first time, it’s important to have a resource available who understands the technology and can guide you along.  If you’re there, start with a call to Nepa.

Blog Posts

CX’s second act – Value Creation

June 18, 2019

Karen Chandler

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If you want to know where the CX industry is headed, there is no place better than Forrester’s CX conference! #CXNYC was no exception. It was great to learn from CX practitioners and heartening to see everyone talking about, and getting ready for, CX’s second act. Here are three themes that really stood out for me from all the engaging conversations I had at #CXNYC.

1. Tech alone is not enough

Technology is a great tool that has helped us launch faster, bolder and bigger CX programs, but we must remember that it is a tool, not a strategy. Technology enables CX initiatives that in turn help us connect with our customers’ feedback. But technology alone doesn’t solve problems, you do! Measuring and understanding Customer Experience (CX) is as much of an art as a science, something lost with a “tech-only” approach. For more on tech’s role in CX, read this blog post. 

2. CX data is happier when it has company

CX programs by themselves only go so far. They allow you to talk to your current customers and solve their problems. They allow you to identify opportunities to deliver better on customers’ expectations. But they offer little or no insight into the company’s potential customers and their movement along the customer journey. CX data is most effective when combined with other business data – integrating Business and Brand data with CX feedback creates powerful strategic insights that help create business value.

3. Make your CX program yours

Your CX journey is uniquely yours. Make sure your CX program is tailored for your business and for your individual CX journey. The design and delivery of your CX programs can make or break your CX initiatives – but you don’t have to do it alone. Work with experts who will help you design a CX program that works for you.