Why the Performance Scoring Model is the Future of Marketing Measurement

/ Thoughtspace - Advanced Measurement, General, Strategy

 

Is your marketing measurement strategy founded in business intelligence or in media metrics? 

No single marketing metric can equate to business success. Likewise, no single marketing measurement strategy can translate success for all brands. You need a custom solution to accurately track and measure holistic brand health – based on your unique definition of success. 

This is why we believe every brand needs a performance scoring model. 

What is a performance scoring model?

A performance scoring model uses multiple, weighted data sources to define your media’s impact on business goals. This model should combine media data, business data, and advanced measurement studies, weighting each of the data points per their significance. 

Then, you can use this custom formula to create an overall brand performance score. By standardizing reporting and insights from both the granular campaign level to a broader business strategy perspective, this will allow you to make smarter, and more results-based marketing decisions.

Here is a simple example of how this formula can look:

Lift in Unaided Brand Awareness (45%) + Location Visits (20%) + Clicks (10%) + Sales (25%) = Performance Score

Performance Scoring Model

Using the Performance Scoring Model to Measure True Marketing Success

Advertising needs to be held more closely accountable to business outcomes. Marketing leaders are feeling this pressure more intensely now than ever. It’s uncomfortable and challenging – but these are necessary growing pains. As the industry navigates increasing consumer data privacy regulations, marketing plans require more complex planning and measurement. 

Simply put – today’s business challenges require more than basic in-platform forecasting and metrics. Media data – impressions, reach, cost-per-click – are too in the weeds to illuminate the full landscape. A performance scoring model incorporates both media and non-media data enabling marketers to make smart business decisions and more accurate predictions. 

It is simply a living, breathing business dashboard that allows marketers to accomplish three key things: 

  1. Unify disparate data sets to better contextualize and assess data analytics
  2. Clearly communicate the impact of marketing on business outcomes 
  3. Predict and inform smart campaign optimizations and strategic decision-making

3 Key Benefits of the Performance Scoring Model

1. Unify disparate marketing data sets

Data aggregation is at the core of this marketing measurement strategy. You may already be using measurement tools to combine media channels in one dashboard. But, business challenges require taking that a step further to reveal brand insights. 

The scoring model gives you a new understanding of marketing performance across the business using both conventional, and unconventional, metrics. This levels up your data analysis to go beyond engagement rates or a cost per action. You can add context by bringing in factors such as economic indicators, health trends, or any other data points impacting the business or consumer behavior. 

It’s not necessarily a tool to drive new sales or leads. But, it does allow you to frame conversations about multiple KPIs in a concise, digestible way. It can guide your marketing strategy so the media can perform better, which will impact long-term growth of bottom line metrics. Ultimately, it resets expectations and aligns teams on the incremental impact of media on business decisions. 

“With the custom scoring model, we work to see a holistic view of performance, setting meaningful KPIs and holding media accountable to business goals.”

– Ryan Green, VP of Marketing & Innovation, Coegi

2. Clearly communicate marketing results

The custom scorecard offers a more objective, quantifiable number you can use to communicate to key stakeholders. Communicating media’s value to non-marketers can be challenging at best, especially if you’re speaking with acronyms that do not apply to their daily jobs. By standardizing disparate data sets, you will be able to more easily achieve buy ins. 

For example, which of these is easier to understand? 

  • In March, FB CPMs decreased by 9.5%, CPLPV rose by 33.4%, and CTR was 1.7%. 

OR

  • In March, our overall media score was 7.5 out of 10, a 1.2 point increase from February.

Ultimately, the custom performance scorecard is a more tangible way to showcase directional return on marketing investment, in particular for stakeholders that aren’t in the marketing department (like finance or operations). Plus, it’s a very flexible data model. You can easily change the weights of each factor in your scorecard formula to accommodate input from other stakeholders or changing business needs. (We’ll get to how to create your custom formula in the next section.)

3. Inform smart marketing campaign optimizations

Finally, you can leverage custom performance scoring models to evaluate and identify leading indicators of success. You can use it to identify which parts of your media strategy are working in near real-time, rather than waiting months for results. Depending on the non-media data you incorporate, it can also help you make real-time pivots based on external factors. 

For example, you can use this model to identify highest performing DMAs. Then, you could distribute your budget and adjust messaging in softer markets versus stronger markets. Alternatively, you can swap geographic region as the optimization point with different audience groups. You can break down audiences to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each segment. Then again, strategically decide whether you will double down on strong audiences or focus on weaker audiences. 

How to Create Your Brand’s Performance Scoring Model

Ready to create your own scorecard? As you begin, media metrics are your most readily available and straightforward data points, so it’s fine if they make up the majority of your scorecard (at least initially). However, it’s important to pull in some external data as you iterate on your model over time. Otherwise, you’re siloing your marketing from other business factors. It’s like driving while wearing blinders. 

Outside perspective from non-media data guides smarter media decisions. Having that additional context can help you determine optimal frequencies, efficiencies, and top-line analytics goals. 

Examples of Non-Media Data Sources for Your Scoring Model:

  • Sales data: Sales by product/service, retailer, region, etc. 
  • Financial data: Consumer price index, stock market, interest rates, 
  • Infection rate data 
  • Net promoter score (understand your greatest customer advocates from  customers who need greater nurturing)
  • Consumer survey data: brand reputation, store cleanliness, product quality, service quality, brand loyalty
  • Advanced measurement data: sales lift, brand awareness lift, foot traffic lift

And this is just scratching the surface. You can get creative here and pull in more obscure data as long as it’s relevant to the success of your business and able to be analyzed at statistical signficance. 

Weighting Your Performance Scorecard Formula 

How do you determine what weight to give each input? I recommend leading with your intuition. But it should also be a group effort. Collaborate with the people closest to the data as well as the people closest to the brand. To avoid biases, be sure to gather input from several stakeholders:

  • CMO/Marketing Manager – Lead the discussion based on existing knowledge and marketing KPIs.
  • Data Analysts – Help provide guidance as to what data is available for use.
  • CEO/Board of Directors – Ensure strategy aligns with overarching business goals and external stakeholder needs.

As you have these discussions, remember it is an iterative process. The first formula you create certainly will not be the last. That’s the beauty of this custom model. It is adaptable, flexible, and increases in accuracy and relevancy over time as your data collection grows and your formula improves.

Implementing a Performance Scoring Model: Marketing Use Cases

Here are three ways Coegi has applied the performance scoring model to our clients:

Use Case #1 – Attributing CPG Sales to Advertising in Real-Time

Point-of-sale data lets consumer packaged goods brands see exactly how much was sold. However, the problem is speed. You often find out results weeks after a campaign. This is far from the real-time results you need to make agile marketing decisions. 

To identify CPG marketing ROI, brands typically need to go back and attempt to attribute that sales lift. Was it from your media spend? The media people certainly think so. Or did the economic boom really do all the work? Maybe it was the in-store displays… The custom scorecard model measures all of those things at once giving you a better idea of what drove sales. 

If you locate those leading indicators of success, you can have an idea of what’s working in real time. Then, when the sales data rolls in 4-12 weeks later, you can confirm what you assume to be true and adjust as necessary. 

Use Case #2 – Identifying Audience Likelihood to Travel 

The travel and tourism industry is impacted heavily by macro-environmental factors. How is the weather? What are flight tickets and gas prices? Is there a health pandemic halting travel? These kinds of factors influence where media should be placed for maximum results. 

This was especially prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. We used the scorecard approach for a state tourism client to create a “COVID-19 Scoring Model”. This scorecard gave each county in the state a score indicating level of opportunity for travel in each market. Using it, we were able to inform media decisions and ensure the strategy aligned with public safety. You can read the full case study here for more details. 

Use Case #3 – Identifying Highest Opportunity Geographic Markets for QSR Chain

Quick service restaurants operate in a competitive, cluttered space. Customer loyalty and share of wallet are major factors driving long-term QSR success. 

Knowing this, we create a performance scoring model for a QSR client factoring in brand lift attributes, visitation, and point of sale data. We even included data on how highly customers rated their french fries. Using this model, we were able to allocate budget to top markets and tailor messaging to boost market share among loyal customers. Read the full case study here

There are infinite ways to apply this methodology across any industry and any brand. At the end of the day, the performance scoring model is about getting to the WHY to inform the what – making our marketing strategies stronger and our clients even happier.

For help applying this approach to your brand, contact Coegi today for a discovery call

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