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Knowing the levers to pull to measure and optimise digital marketing performance

Emma Lo Russo
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Emma Lo Russo: Chief executive officer, Digivizer Pty Ltd, Australia

Applied Marketing Analytics: The Peer-Reviewed Journal, 2023, vol. 8, issue 3, 271-282

Abstract: Digital marketing is now pre-eminent across brand building, business development, marketing and selling. Today's digital natives are researching, engaging and buying online, in business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C), across every vertical market. This creates new opportunities for marketers. But to maximise the returns on their efforts and investment, they need to understand and optimise the performance of their digital marketing programmes in the face of fierce competition for the eyes and attention of customers and prospects, and for the best possible position in search returns. This effort starts with knowing where customers and prospects are to be found, in the sense of understanding whether a cohort of names are real prospects or simply people being targeted by marketing programmes. This may seem a statement of the obvious, but work with clients and research indicate that it is less common than might at first be expected. There are also new challenges in being accountable for the results. Chief executive officers (CEOs), chief marketing officers (CMOs) and boards now understand that the data are there to be analysed at each level of investment across content, campaigns and targeting. They expect more from the budgets they spend on their marketing, and they expect everyone involved, not just a favoured few, to know what is going on. Marketers and business owners know they need to make sense of millions of pieces of data and do so without undue expense or delay. This can maximise the value of the data they have to hand. And to achieve this means they need to know which levers to pull in time to make a difference. This paper discusses techniques and approaches to measuring the performance of digital marketing programmes across multiple channels, addresses the dilemma of ever-increasing complexity and ever-increasing expectations, and presents possible solutions to the challenges around the accountability increasingly placed on marketers to prove their worth. It addresses the challenge of data biases and distinguishes between data — the raw material of digital marketing — and insights — what make the data useful. Case studies show how organisations use real-time data to test and experiment and to understand which levers to pull.

Keywords: marketing; digital; attribution; social media; search; data-driven; content marketing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: M3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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