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It’s no secret that shopping habits have changed. It began with mobile, which gave consumers the ability to know, go, do, and buy at any moment of the day. Since then, the consumer journey has evolved and these moments have multiplied. Now, micro-moments are entrenched in consumer behavior, and the opportunities for marketers are even greater.

But with new opportunities come new challenges. Today, consumers have everything at their fingertips—and they keep wanting more: new touch points, better experiences, smarter information, faster delivery. They want everything right here, right now, from any device connected to the web. In short, there are many more micro-moments in which marketers must satisfy increasingly demanding consumers. This can seem overwhelming for brands. However, leading marketers1—defined for this research as those that significantly exceeded their top 2016 business goals—know that driving growth is not about trying to reach everyone all the time. It’s about marketing beyond the average—identifying and developing the most valuable marketing touch points and relationships. There are shifting measurement priorities in order to reflect this.

How are leading marketers acting on these new priorities? We partnered with Econsultancy and learned that top companies are employing three key trends, in which they:

  • Use first-party data to forge stronger connection to consumers.
  • Apply estimates or proxies to link real-time metrics with outcomes.
  • Dedicate time and budget to strategic experimentation.

Read on for more insight into how these trends are improving measurements for growth.

Today’s leading marketers invest in first-party data to help them better understand their consumers and to uncover the touch points that are most important to their best customers. In fact, leading marketers are 58% more likely than the mainstream to strongly agree that first-party data is a strategic asset that informs their decision-making.2 With their eye on the prize of long-term value rather than short-term transactional gain, these marketers use data to segment their audience by customer value or LTV. Only then can they build a complete picture of their most valuable customers and reach them in the most important decision-making moments.

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Second, these marketers don’t let lagging metrics stand in their way. They use estimates or proxies to link real-time metrics with outcomes. Indeed, 73% of leading marketers use proxies to tie media metrics with business outcomes, and are 35% more likely to do so than the mainstream marketer.3 Quantifying the impact of media campaigns on business outcomes—such as profit or customer value—can be difficult to do in real time. However, top marketers are building processes and models to overcome this so they make faster, smarter business decisions.

Finally, leading marketers invest in a culture of experimentation. Our research shows that leading marketers are 36% more likely to agree that their organizations dedicate time and budget to strategic experimentation.4 They recognize that experimentation is the key to learning about and driving value within customer relationships—and ultimately growing their bottom line.

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Leading marketers know the importance of building meaningful customer relationships in order to unlock and quantify long-term value for consumers and brands.