Harvard Business Review cover story: “Advertising Analytics 2.0”

nichols-articleCover story in the March 2013 issue:



Most marketers think they know how their advertising affects consumer behavior and drives revenue. They correlate sales data with a few dozen discrete variables, and they rely on consumer surveys, focus groups, media-mix models, and online last-click attribution.

But to treat advertising touch points as if each works in isolation is to misrepresent the way today’s complex combination of marketing efforts influences purchasing outcomes.

MarketShare CEO Wes Nichols explains how many big companies are now deploying analytics 2.0, a set of capabilities that can chew through terabytes of data and hundreds of variables in real time to accurately reveal how advertising touch points interact dynamically. The results: 10% to 30% improvements in marketing performance.

Firms of various sizes can make the shift to analytics 2.0 by engaging in three broad activities:

  1. Attribution: quantifying the contribution of each element of advertising
  2. Optimization: using predictive- analytics tools to run scenarios for business planning
  3. Allocation: redistributing resources across marketing activities in real time

Nichols argues that implementing analytics 2.0 means building the required infrastructure and entwining it in organizational culture, strategy development, and operations. Any company can begin that journey; businesses that don’t will be overtaken by those that do. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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