According to McKinsey & Company,1 75% of consumers have tried a new shopping behavior since COVID-19 started. For marketers, such shifts, combined with having more ways to reach consumers, have also increased the number of measurement methods. But with so many methodologies available, how can marketers assess which campaigns actually drive impact? And with 84% of consumers surveyed recently saying that they care about privacy,2 which measurement approaches will also preserve customers' data privacy and control?
In an era of escalating choice, change and complexity in marketing, 3D measurement is an adaptive approach that incorporates multiple measurement tools and techniques that are privacy-conscious. It's also a new mindset that embraces change and continuous iteration of more than one method and ways of operating. 3D measurement adapts to emerging channels and constraints while remaining grounded in true business value.
I spoke with Jack Dempsey Southerland III, Facebook manager of client measurement for e-commerce. Here's what he had to say about 3D measurement and how it could help marketers scale measurement into a coordinated and deliberate strategy.
Omar Zayat: What's making 3D measurement particularly important these days?
Jack Dempsey Southerland III: One word: "fluidity.” Online is shifting toward offline and vice versa. Brand and direct response marketing strategies are trading places too, which is a trend we've been tracking for a while but that has been accelerating in the past year. Direct response marketers are thinking more about differentiating their brand experiences and keeping consumers engaged long-term. On the other hand, brand marketers are focusing more on direct response campaigns that highlight convenience, with offerings like buy online, pick up in store likely to become post-pandemic mainstays. Marketers need to be prepared to measure omnichannel activity now more than ever.
Zayat: For a CMO who wants a diverse portfolio and to reach consumers where they are, which measurement strategy should they use?
Southerland: All of them.
Relying on only one method introduces the risk of confirmation bias. Measuring results that support the incumbent approach often prohibits innovation in formats or touchpoints. Say a marketer is seeing tremendous results from last-click attribution measurement showing that one format works best. What might that marketer be missing out on by not challenging and ultimately validating this incumbent method?
Zayat: As the saying goes, "Trust, but validate.” How does that work when you're using 3D measurement?
Southerland: 3D measurement enables marketers to deploy multiple methods while anchoring results in true value. Your north star is the business outcomes that never change, even as the methods and metrics shift based on your measurement needs.
For example, a marketer used Facebook's conversion lift results to calibrate their internal click-based attribution model and marketing mix model (MMM). After comparing conversion lift and MMM data and finding that they point in the same strategic direction, the marketer increased investment in channels that deliver incremental sales. Not taking this validation step may have led to overinvestment in incumbent, nonincremental tactics, a potentially costly mistake for this performance-minded marketer.
Zayat: Does 3D measurement benefit both advertisers and consumers as the ads ecosystem evolves?
Southerland: Absolutely. Protecting people's privacy means giving them transparency and control over how their data is used. As a result, the data that advertisers leverage for their measurement systems is evolving. Overreliance on any one tool or method can create gaps in your measurement as this data landscape shifts. Having a diverse set of tools with different data dependencies creates more options for advertisers, reducing the risk of flawed decision-making.
Zayat: How can brands set themselves up for success down the road?
Southerland: Measuring your search and social campaigns may look different from evaluating your over-the-top TV or augmented reality and virtual reality campaigns — and that's a good thing. But by using multiple measurement methods and applying a standard agile testing practice, marketers can more quickly gauge the efficacy of emerging channels. In an ads ecosystem that's always shifting, 3D measurement helps marketers ground a fluid experimental process in true business value. Marketers are more likely to succeed in this new era if they prevent confirmation bias, measure impact while helping to preserve privacy, and conduct agile testing that's anchored in incrementality, which measures the conversion lift difference between consumers who see your ads versus those who don’t.
My conversation with Jack left me thinking that the changes we're seeing in digital advertising will be good for the industry, pushing both marketers and technology companies like Facebook to stay agile and innovative. At this point, getting out of incumbent ways of operating and gaining a holistic view of the customer are the only paths to exponential growth.
To learn more about how Facebook is helping marketers navigate this era of change with 3D measurement, click here.