How can advertisers measure success and use digital platforms to improve ROI on their marketing efforts? Marie de Ducla, Google’s industry head of fast moving consumer (FMCG) and luxury goods, shares the inside track on insights in this exclusive chat with Think With Google MENA.

Q. How do you manage a clients' need for a higher and quicker ROI from marketing efforts?

A. ROI of communication campaigns needs to be tracked and measured regularly. Digital enables marketers to do so using a robust methodology, making it an ideal tool in general and even more so in tough times when every dollar spent is under more scrutiny.

For example on YouTube, a marketer can not only measure the number of unique persons in a target group that have seen a video ad, but also the frequency this video ad has been served to each person. More importantly, the impact it had on brand metrics can also be measured. Thanks to real time surveys that randomly compare control vs. exposed, marketers can assess the impact a Youtube campaign had on brand awareness, ad recall, consideration, favorability and purchase intent. This helps in optimizing their campaigns in real time and maximize their ROI.

The objective for some campaigns can be decided based on analyzing traffic to a website/mobile site and taking action depending on what the brand wants to achieve. It can be sales for an ecommerce site, registering for a test drive for a car dealer, subscribing to a “new-mother” newsletter for a diaper or a baby food brand, etc., the actions taken define the quality of the traffic and can be measured thanks to Google Analytics.

Q. Different marketing initiatives have different objectives. How do you prioritize?

A. One of the most important levers, a total no-brainer for companies, should be to capture demand. In a store, this would translate into a person looking for a product, finding it easily and getting all the info about it thanks to a salesperson or the information written on the label. Online, it translates into being discoverable on Google and YouTube search result pages while having the right answers to questions that are frequently asked. Picture a woman deciding between two face skin products and looking for information to understand which one would be the most appropriate for her skin. Advertisers have a real opportunity to be well positioned right in front of their potential clients when they actually need them. This should be a top priority for marketers.

Prioritizing between publishers can also prove to be a valuable strategy as we see many advertisers focusing on fewer media outlets that offer the reach and engagement they need at a very efficient cost while allowing them to protect/grow their brand equity. YouTube has proven to be a great example of that. Marketers see in the biggest video platform of the region, a way to secure massive reach (In KSA, YouTube secures a reach of 85% amongst male/female between 15 and 35 years old)1, while paying only upon video engagement (when people decide to watch the full length of their video ad or at least 30 seconds of it).

All the above can be achieved while controlling the parameters of the campaign (frequency, targets, cost per view etc), and measure the impact on their brand key metrics. As a result, marketers can validate the effectiveness and efficiency of their communication strategy. (YouTube cost per reach point is on average 34% lower than on TV)2.

Q. What advice do you have to target the right consumer?

A. Digital platforms present ample opportunities for marketers as they provide the ability to target the right people with the right message at the right time, proving beneficial for both the advertisers and consumers. For example, imagine a diaper brand interested in targeting mothers of young children only, or pregnant women close to their due date. Thanks to YouTube, these women can be specifically targeted through YouTube affinity and in-market targeting technology with the advertiser only paying when the ad is fully seen. Beyond that, the advertiser can decide on how many times each of these women should see their video ad (frequency) in order to generate the highest impact on their brand key metrics and save money that otherwise would have been wasted targeting the wrong audience at the wrong frequency.

In the case where advertisers are looking to close the purchase cycle, they can retarget the moms that have completed viewing the ad by showing them a display ad at the right moment. For instance, while reading an article about their baby’s development; this ad will lead them to an e-retailer where they can convert. The practice of retargeting would further increase ROI, while providing a great experience to the mother-to-be, as the ad is timely and appropriate to the context in which she is.

Q. What insight can you share about measuring success?

A. Companies should always challenge themselves and try to enhance the quality of the way they measure their marketing initiatives. For example, and since a video ad viewed completely has a better chance to impact a potential consumer, advertisers should start looking at the cost per completed view of their video ad for each unique user, and not only on the cost per impression as the former would enable them to better assess their campaigns’ results.

Advertisers are starting to embrace more sophisticated measurement technologies, nevertheless, one of the challenges they face is to homogenize the data they get from different publishers and from different media touchpoints. A part of this complexity can be solved thanks to programmatic platforms that links most media buys with several publishers under one umbrella.

A version of this article appeared in Gulf Marketing Review's September 2016 issue.


1 Ipsos

2 Millward Brown- meta-analysis on several incremental reach studies