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Marketers Look Away from Social Media, Seek More Business-Focused Measurement

February 11, 2016

When it comes to digital marketing, keeping track of clicks, views, posts, shares and visits are still the gold standard of measurement to judge the success of the campaign. How many people looked at it? How many people shared it? (And does it quality to be called “going viral”?) How much attention has it received? While this is certainly helpful information to know, however, it doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t measure whether anyone actually bought anything. It’s not hard these days to make a lot of sound and fury on the Internet – ask Grumpy Cat – that signifies nothing (nothing financial, anyway).

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, a global network of marketing executives, recently commissioned a report that concluded that clicks and likes need to start taking a back seat to acquisition, retention and revenue growth as core measures of customer experience and engagement success. The study, which was carried out in partnership with Microsoft Corp., found that marketers have begun to de-prioritize digital campaign metrics in favor of business-focused measurements that more directly tie customer experience to financial performance and business outcomes.

Among the most interesting findings are the fact that while 49 percent of marketers are optimistic about creating lasting relationships with customers through personalized engagements and campaigns, more than one in four are confident that personalization is the path to customer gratification and retention. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they believe that personalization success will hinge on the ability to deliver experiences that are powered by a single view of the customer. Unfortunately, 21 percent of respondents said they are able to deliver highly relevant, one-to-one experiences to their customers, both online and offline.

"Marketers are moving away from defining customer experience success through moments in time like clicks or views," said Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council in a press release announcing the new study. "Those have become critical tools for real-time campaign success. But to measure customer experience success and the overall impact of marketing on the business, marketers are turning to financial KPIs: revenue, costs, conversions and impact on the bottom line."

While it’s customer expectations that are the impetus behind creating more personalized customer experiences, technology will be the means to get there. Companies need to have solid omnichannel communications platforms in place so they can engage with customers across channels, and always with a 365-degree view of the customer’s history and previous experiences. The CMO Council recommends “tools and solutions that will amplify the customer's voice and turn that data into real, actionable intelligence.” According to the CMO/Microsoft study, marketers say the top strategies for reaching measurable digital strategies that feature personalization include bolstering analytics and lifecycle management strategies and platforms (65 percent), implementing personalization platforms (65 percent), engaging in comprehensive journey mapping (56 percent), and getting smarter about predictive analytics (52 percent)."

Marketing leaders are increasingly focused on personalization," said Gretchen O'Hara, General Manager of Enterprise Marketing at Microsoft. "In today's data-driven marketplace, personalization is imperative. As innovations like predictive analytics and machine learning technologies become more accessible and easier to manage, they have become an essential part of every marketer's toolbox, driving an organization's competitive edge."

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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