When I entered the digital media world over 20 years ago, I remember pitching skeptical clients around the promise of truly accountable marketing. It was the dawning of online measurement and we were all hopeful for the holy grail of closed loop analytics and the implications for consumer insights, spend efficiency, and effectiveness.   

Today, this promise is still front and center, enabled by powerful and diverse advances in data, measurement, and supporting technology.

Perhaps most importantly, and amplified by the seismic uncertainties represented by COVID, marketing strategy must be tied to measurable outcomes that ladder up to broader business goals.

For brands like PepsiCo, innovating and evolving their measurement approach has been critical  to their success. As one of the first to market in implementing tools like video experiments, PepsiCo is not afraid to test, learn, and try new things across media and creative. They built a robust measurement strategy centered around a few core themes: innovation, global scaling, and agility.

Thinking about how to make your own measurement plan more effective? Consider these tips: 

Apply more accountability and rigor to your measurement 

While agencies are critical partners and often the central stewards for measurement, brands benefit from taking a more active role in this process and creating a single point of accountability. Working closely with media partners to align on a holistic, global measurement strategy gives brands a better understanding of marketing performance across their portfolio and how to adjust the relevant levers to reach their goals. 

When looking for new consumers, YouTube drives scale and incremental reach that leads to business results. For the launch of PepsiCo’s “Gift it Forward” holiday campaign on YouTube, the brand saw a 24% increase in target reach beyond TV, according to Nielsen Total Ad Ratings, and an 11% lift in sales from new buyers at a positive ROAS, according to IRI Sales Lift data for YouTube. 

Measurement tools like MMM, TAR and sales lift studies are powerful, but it’s important to know the role that each one plays and how best to act based on the learnings. For example, PesiCo created what they call an ‘ROI engine’ to turn these analytics into actionable insights, globally. By using the data from these studies to create models that uncover the long term effects of their media, PepsiCo determined global best practices and identified more opportunities for testing.

Experiment with creative to stay agile

As the landscape continues to evolve dynamically and unpredictably, brands need to effectively  respond to new trends and learnings, prove their hypotheses, and determine the best solutions. By increasing A/B testing, brands can quickly understand what types of creative work best and adjust accordingly. Tools like video experiments provide the opportunity to test and measure the impact of creative on awareness, consideration and purchase intent.

As we all continue to navigate the realities of marketing in today’s ever-changing context, creating a measurement plan that allows for accountability and flexibility will help set your business up for success and allow you to extract more from your marketing.    

Follow YouTube Advertisers on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest trends, audience insights, and YouTube news.

This article was originally posted to LinkedIn in September 2020.

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