Obsessed With ROI? There's an Apple Watch App for That

Apple Watch Can Help CMOs Monitor Brand Health

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Marketing Evolution's ROI app can essentially bring a small dashboard that tracks such things as net promoter score and returns for a total media plan or individual parts of the plan.
Marketing Evolution's ROI app can essentially bring a small dashboard that tracks such things as net promoter score and returns for a total media plan or individual parts of the plan.
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Return on investment has become an obsession for many marketers. Now some can check it as often as they check the time or anything else on their Apple Watch-and get instant notifications when things aren't going according to plan.

Rex Briggs
Rex Briggs

Analytics firm Marketing Evolution has developed an app for the Apple Watch that allows 24/7 monitoring and alerts triggered by everything it tracks, from profits driven by marketing to the weather in Denver. The firm began beta-testing it last month with 10 clients and expects to make it widely available by year-end, said CEO Rex Briggs.

"We wanted to show brand health the same way you might follow your personal health," he said-and for many people these days, that means a wearable device. The Watch app connects to what Marketing Evolution calls its ROI Brain computer system. It can be set to deliver an alert if data monitoring suggests a media plan or sales are coming up short, he said, "so you can quickly intervene to get the business back on track."

Not unlike meeting your goal for daily steps or calorie burn on an Apple Watch or other wearable fitness monitor, the app can show whether you've met your goal for daily (or more practically monthly or quarterly) profit attributable to marketing.
Not unlike meeting your goal for daily steps or calorie burn on an Apple Watch or other wearable fitness monitor, the app can show whether you've met your goal for daily (or more practically monthly or quarterly) profit attributable to marketing.

That could mean buying more-or less-digital, TV or outdoor media based on what the ROI Brain predicts will happen.

Otherwise, the app is just handy if someone asks, "Hey, how is your campaign going?" Mr. Briggs said. "You can glance at your Watch and say, 'It's doing really well. We're getting $1.85 ROI, which is 30% above average.'"

Well, marketers at least hope they can say that.

In early tests, clients are split between those who want to get alerts 24/7 and those who want them only during working hours. Some, said Mr. Briggs, are still awaiting delivery of Watches due to supply constraints-something that maybe should trigger an alert on the Watches over at Apple.

Yes, Marketing Evolution and the Apple Watch do grade on a curve. In this case, the marketer is rated in the 85th percentile for his or her industry based on sales attributed to marketing spending.
Yes, Marketing Evolution and the Apple Watch do grade on a curve. In this case, the marketer is rated in the 85th percentile for his or her industry based on sales attributed to marketing spending.

You can also simply use the Watch app to dig deeper into what's going on with a marketing plan in your spare time, the same way Apple Health might show how many steps you took or calories you burned. The same charts can be pushed to a big-screen TV dashboard in the marketing department or to a smartphone, Mr. Briggs said, which can be handy during meetings.

Among reports the Apple Watch can display are Marketing Evolution's curves projecting sales and profit impact from various ad spending levels, with running totals for sales and profits that can be attributed to marketing.
Among reports the Apple Watch can display are Marketing Evolution's curves projecting sales and profit impact from various ad spending levels, with running totals for sales and profits that can be attributed to marketing.

Financial services firms were heavy in the group of 10 with raised hands for the beta test, Mr. Briggs said.

Nathan West, marketing effectiveness manager at Regions Bank, hasn't decided yet on 24/7 notifications vs. working hours only. But, he said, "We liked the flexibility of having an always-on tool for assessing information for key marketers."