A scant ten years ago, the biggest global brands spoke at conferences about integrated marketing and eliminating silos. And yet at the time, no one knew the surge of control consumers would grab away from CMOs, not to mention the intensity and velocity at which it would happen, nor had anyone experienced the burden of the new accountabilities and challenges we face today.
The walls are coming down, and once disparate pathways are converging. But defining this new reality often produces more questions than answers.
Everywhere they are, consumers are now industries in their own right, powered by their mobility. Movement and technology are no longer obstacles. Consumers are creating their own new ecosystems, enablers of access and influence, and that will only continue.
What hasn’t changed is that a brand’s value is inextricably linked to its delivery of expectations. This truth is more relevant than ever, and is now as applicable to performance as it is to brand. Brand marketing and performance marketing are no longer diametrically opposed ideas. They have been replaced by the new paradigm of brand performance. It’s fundamentally changing what’s important to marketers and how it drives their decisions.
Data and its band of scientists, researchers and consultants are not merely interpreters or enablers. In fact, they’re now quantifying the very things—intrigue, love, crave, need—that brands built their foundations for connection on. Today, these insights and interpretations are the keys to driving business growth.
With so much firepower and data, the expectations shouldn’t be such a mystery. Yet, they mostly still are. As consumers, we are disappointed every day. In our minds, we play a movie with an unspoken, constantly edited script. Our lives and interests change by the minute. Marketers are building new models to solve for this disconnection. Disruptors are experimenting at a pace their traditional counterparts never have. But even the disruptors are getting caught playing catch-up to the speed and sophistication of the people they’re engaging with.
The impact of the right metrics and how they change businesses
What, then, is the path forward? Determining the essential metric(s) that both delivers on expectations and incites growth is fundamental to a business’ viability. Because once that solution is determined, the inevitable new pathways and constant change might test progress, but they’ll have more trouble deterring it.
Traditional performance-oriented measurement like ROAS (return on advertising spend), impression share growth, or other one-dimensional metrics won’t capture how consumers really behave, or what they’re demanding. Brand-based emotion, alone, won’t either. Brands must be vigilant to the change happening around—and to—them. They must be willing to constantly seek out new metrics in order to restart or accelerate growth, and to uncover the new delivery of expectations in ways that meaningfully drive both connection and performance.