Marketers: Measure right to revenue for best results

John Koetsier

Forrester says that marketers are going to spend $120B on marketing technology by 2021. But they’re only spending on things that work.

How do you make that happen?

The answer is simple, but not easy.

You measure right to revenue.

That means you don’t focus on rear-view metrics like views, clicks, taps, or viewability, as important as each of those might be. The fact is that any of those measurements can be gamed.

And — as we see in the ad fraud debate — they often are.

Measuring right to revenue, on the other hand, ensures that you’re focusing on things that demonstrate value, are known to work, and have real, hard, provable ROI. And it’s pretty difficult for the actions of scammers, bad actors — or even incorrectly measured and valued data — to result in money in your pocket.

(Note: one possible exception to that rule is click injection fraud, where the marketing goal is mobile app installs, and unsavory ad networks falsely claim credit for organic installs. Talk to TUNE about how to solve those specific issues.)

Does everything need to be measured?

That doesn’t mean that everything you can do can be measured in every way. It doesn’t mean the end of creativity, or of doing some things that don’t scale. And it doesn’t mean you abandon brand marketing in favor of performance, 100% of the time.

It does mean that you adopt technologies and techniques that allow you to measure impact in as much as possible. And it does mean that you cohort and segment customers and mobile users so that you can determine what actions you’re taking are resulting in revenue opportunities.

In a 4,000-product marketing technology ecosystem, only this discipline will save marketers from shiny new object syndrome, in which they run from marketing technology to marketing technology too quickly, trying to find the silver bullet that will deliver results, and chasing flashy metrics that don’t ultimately deliver ROI or ROAS.

John Koetsier

Before acting as a mobile economist for TUNE, John built the VB Insight research team at VentureBeat and managed teams creating software for partners like Intel and Disney. In addition, he led technical teams, built social sites and mobile apps, and consulted on mobile, social, and IoT. In 2014, he was named to Folio's top 100 of the media industry's "most innovative entrepreneurs and market shaker-uppers." John lives in British Columbia, Canada with his family, where he coaches baseball and hockey, though not at the same time.

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