4 reasons why it’s important to rethink your marketing measurement in 2024

Increased digital marketing costs

The first big reason to look at measurement again this year is that search and online display ad spends are predicted to increase by 5.2% and 6.6% respectively in 2024 vs 2023 according to the latest UK AA/ WARC expenditure report. A further 9.4% increase is predicted in 2024 for “pure-play” digital media spending according to ad agency Magna Global especially in ecommerce and retail media channels. 

These increases are likely to lead to media cost inflation if the ad platforms do not expand their user base or inventory to the same degree. Pure play digital media channels are the mainstay of many retail and ecommerce advertisers and media inflation causes ‘real’ marketing budgets to shrink in line, with more advertising budgets chasing the same inventory. 

Too many companies reach the realisation that their marketing costs are rising faster than their revenues, and they need to find efficiencies, far too late, and so are forced to cut marketing spend blindly in a self-defeating process. 

Changes to the way Google measures advertising

2024 also heralds the time when Google Analytics moves fully over to GA4 (reason no 2). Google is also enforcing a new standard for cookie acceptance, “Cookie Consent Mode V2″, in Q1 2024 which changes how advertisers can track website users (reason no 3) whilst also progressively switching off more third party cookies for advertisers in the so called “Cookiepocalyse” (reason no 4!).  That’s 3 major changes to how your customers are tracked, increasing their privacy protection in all good ways, but at the price of making measurement more complicated for brands to get right.  

These factors will increase the levels of murkiness and confusion in the world of digital measurement as advertisers find they are even more in the dark than they were before. 

2024: time to grab the digital measurement bull by the horns?

It’s now time to lean into the challenge of digital measurement and rethink old practices. In truth, most digital advertisers knew that Universal Analytics and third party cookies gave answers about digital media performance that were only partially right, but at least they worked as a universally accepted language that enabled marketers and businesses to move in the same direction. 

In this new world, first party data becomes the key for advertisers to unlock better measurement practices and come closer to the truth of marketing measurement than ever before. 

Metageni have been pioneering new ways of unlocking the full potential of GA4 in 2023 and are already building global customer journey data models on first party data for our customers. GA4 offers new capabilities for marketing teams to harmonise their data across markets and brands and for UK advertisers to upgrade their data approach to deliver for the future. 

This first party data approach enables models built day by day, channel by channel, customer by customer and unlocks both the tactical levels of marketing optimisation and overarching strategic insights to apply to the annual marketing plan. 

Solutions: good models have become more important than ever

With all the changes in tracking technology, and the move to first party consented data, it has become far less straightforward to simply trust that the digital marketing numbers you are looking at represent a true picture of how ads drive sales. Therefore brands will have rely increasingly on modelling the full picture, extrapolating from the visible part of their marketing attribution to the invisible part.  In other words, you need a model!

We have developed a custom predictive Multi Touch Attribution approach using first party data supplemented by Market Mix Modelling and Econometric modeling techniques to build out some channels that rely more on impressions than clicks. Using a hybrid approach customised and adapted to each brand, has enabled us to create rich, unified data models across channels and markets which help our customers make key decisions such as:

  • How much revenue will be generated if I increase/ decrease my marketing budget by 10%? ..or 20%?
  • What is the Marketing Cost of Sale for new customers compared to existing customers?
  • Which geographies give me the best ROAS?
  • Which media channels could be upweighted to increase overall ROAS and which are at their maximum spend? 

Our data engineering team build live business intelligence reports based on these advanced attribution models and link real time marketing and sales data together through API’s so our customer’s always have the latest data to hand and can make decisions at a tactical level; e.g which keywords to upweight in core markets and a strategic level e.g how to divide 2024 marketing budgets by geo by brand; and so on. We also link the analysis to live bidding. 

Once we’ve built our core models and platform, we then work with our customers to establish a road map of ongoing testing and learning to further calibrate both the attribution and MMM models and continue to get closer and closer to the truth of marketing measurement. This can be extremely helpful for teams embarking on becoming more data centric as our experts can guide teams to the right tests that are likely to drive the highest ROAS first. 

Read more about developing a test and learn culture in your business.

Too many brands treat accurate measurement as a luxury which can be easily substituted for crude blended ROI based on guesswork and spreadsheet fudges. It takes time and effort to build a truly robust measurement capability for the whole marketing funnel and turn data analytics insights into daily actions. 

It is far better to proactively engage with the size of the challenge before the impending crisis of falling ROAS takes hold, and set a budget for measurement and optimisation that is in proportion to your marketing spend and then plan a series of ongoing projects to refine the analytics throughout the time.

Is 2024 the time your business will grab the digital measurement bull by the horns? We love to talk all things marketing measurement and analytics so please reach out for a chat and some advice hello@metageni.com