According to new research from Accenture Strategy, the majority of CEO's hold their CMO's most responsible for business growth, and CMO's are first in the firing line if growth targets are not met.
So, needless to say, the fourth quarter of the calendar year is the make-it-or-break-it time for CMO's to get that business growth, particularly for retailers and the brands that supply them. The National Retail Federation (NRF) projects that 2016 will be a record year for holiday sales, with a total of $655.8 billion, an increase of 3.6% over 2015. With so much at stake, you need to know how well your advertising is performing in delivering real business outcomes and driving the bottom line.
Using an advertising campaign to increase sales has long been the marketer's holy grail, but today, with programmatic technology powered by data and optimized by human experts, this is finally possible. By focusing on outcomes, you can use programmatic advertising to drive actions that relate directly to your business goals—app downloads, registrations, phone calls, subscriptions, appointments for face-to-face meetings, online purchases or increased sales in brick-and-mortar stores.
The last two metrics above are key in Q4 because holiday shoppers have become fully channel-agnostic. NRF's annual consumer spending survey found that gift givers are almost equally likely to shop in department stores (57%), online (57%) and in discount stores (56%).
Know Your KPI
As a marketer, you must start by specifying KPIs, or business outcomes, that can be driven through digital advertising. A simple example is to increase the percentage of online shopping cart abandoners who return to your site to complete a sale. In more complex buying journeys, you might want to see and track actions that lead toward a sale, such as signups for a test drive at your car dealership.
For programmatic companies, the starting point is audience intelligence. Which audiences are most likely to deliver the specified action—at what time, with what content and on which device? Being able to deliver a seamless experience across devices is critical to the consumer experience, and being able to redirect media to the devices with the best performance is critical to producing outcomes.