To gain a deeper understanding of marketing’s impact, Gartner research shows there are four distinct methods that marketers can employ to gain deeper insights. 

Marketing mix modelling (MMM), Multitouch attribution (MTA), Holdout Testing and Unified Measurement Approaches (UMA) should be used to get a better understanding of the impact of marketing investments, Gartner says. 

“Competitive insights and analytics are what marketers need to progress to higher levels of maturity, understand ROI, inform investments and optimise campaigns in real time,” said Joseph Enever, senior research director, Gartner for Marketers. “And marketers are backing this view with resources.”

  1. Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM)

MMM is a top-down methodology that uses time series, aggregate data (such as historical sales), aggregate media spend by channel or geography, competitor promotional events, or pricing, and econometrics techniques (like multivariate regressions), to generate models. Gartner says, marketing leaders should use MMM to inform multichannel marketing investments as it can generate a broad range of insights, including the most prominent and sometimes elusive insight such as sales and revenue incrementality.

  1. Multitouch Attribution (MTA)

MTA is a bottom-up approach requiring user-level data to identify the relative contributions of consumer touchpoints along the path to a goal. Digitally focused, MTA is primarily a methodology for online marketing analysis, but it can also include multichannel events, depending on the available data and provider. It gives marketers the ability to track an individual’s path to conversion across multiple touchpoints, such as paid search, display and video.

  1. Holdout Testing

Holdout testing, often referred to as test and control, is a crucial method for testing hypotheses. When conducted properly, marketing leaders can utilise holdout testing to accurately quantify the incremental impact of marketing investments across channels and tactics, Gartner says. 

  1. Unified Measurement Approaches (UMA)

UMA answer questions that span both the tactical and strategic impacts of marketing. These approaches attempt to resolve the challenges of disparate, unlinked methodologies and insights. Marketing leaders looking to understand the impact of online and offline marketing should look to UMA.

“Successful marketers use several of these methods because each provides unique insights and addresses different challenges,” said Enever. “For example, building a measurement strategy that lays the data foundation effectively for MMM and MTA is essential for facilitating UMA. Whichever method a marketer chooses, it is best when used within a wider ecosystem of measurement — not in isolation.”

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