When it comes to paid media, tracking and improving return on ad spend (ROAS) is #GOALS. Over 50% of marketing professionals agree that metrics such as conversion rates and ROAS are the most effective when evaluating campaign success. Improving ROAS for your paid media is extremely important, but as always, easier said than done.

In-Flight Campaign Optimization

Perhaps the biggest issue that limits increased ROAS is the lack of in-flight campaign optimization. While postmortems are necessary to summarize campaign learnings, today’s marketers should be making strategic decisions by looking through their front windshield and side view mirrors, and not their rear view mirror. Acting on findings after the fact just drains your ROAS by either wasting a valuable opportunity to scale-up something that is working well mid-campaign or wasting valuable advertising dollars if an activation is not working in favor of your goals.

Measuring campaign effectiveness frequently is a helpful way to increase ROAS. In order to make the in-flight shift, organizations need to automate the measurement of their marketing activities and have a timely, consolidated view that shows the effectiveness of their campaigns. But watch out, the siloed nature of marketing data makes creating a consolidated view difficult.

In-flight campaign optimization is so important to increase ROAS that our next blog post will be completely dedicated to the topic and will give you tactical steps to get started. Stay tuned!

Transparency

Another hot topic in paid media currently is achieving transparency. In a recent survey, marketers claimed that the biggest barrier to increasing programmatic spend is the lack of transparency of financials. It’s hard to calculate return on ad spend for your paid media when granular fees and financial data are not completely transparent.

transparency survey

We’ve been following and covering the transparency topic since 2016. With billions of dollars at stake for brands with massive paid media budgets, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and progressive brands like P&G, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Chase and Bank of America, are raising the wide-ranging importance of addressing media transparency and providing leadership by example for the advertiser and agency communities. In order to have the visibility to calculate ROAS, brands need to be prepared to skill up in areas that they may have previously not paid attention to, or have outsourced. It’s clear that with media transparency now as a business mandate for many brands, organization’s capabilities are maturing and those that make the investments are seeing the business impact and payoff in how they are driving efficiencies and effectiveness from their marketing budgets.

Tying Marketing to Business Objectives

Attributing your paid media to business success is the holy grail for a marketer; proving that your campaigns are worth the investment. However, Gartner presents a serious roadblock in their Use Brand Strategy to Guide Advertising Planning Report.

“When business goals are ‘tossed over the wall’ from finance or senior management, and are not framed in terms marketers understand, deft translation is required. For consumer brands, digital channels often get less attention and resources than TV campaigns, sales or CRM programs, and marketing planning ends up isolated or outsourced to agencies far from the heart of the business.”

While marketers might be able to understand company-wide goals for success, translating business goals into actionable marketing goals and KPIs is the tricky part – especially when the goals can be more qualitative than quantitative. Here’s a prime example:

Many brands set goals to convince consumers that their product or service is superior to alternatives. This targets emotion and brand perception, which is difficult to measure. Connecting the dots between your paid media activities and these more nebulous goals is a challenge for marketers.

What Next?

Being aware of these three challenges when approaching your paid media measurement is the first step to overcoming them. Stay tuned for our next post where we dig into increasing ROAS through implementing in-flight campaign optimization.