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A healthy marketing budget can be powerful fuel for brand expansion and sales growth. But when sales improve, most marketers need to prove that their activity was the driver of sales lift. Marketers must tie their tactics directly to sales outcomes in a way that's as simple and believable as possible.

Black Boxes Don't Help

Executives outside of Marketing must believe with their minds and their guts that Marketing is driving sales

When marketers look to implement multitouch attribution (MTA) models, they try to capture all activities and assign partial credit using complex forecasting and modeling techniques that are above the heads of those without a PhD.

With a median CMO tenure of just 31 months (and just 27.5 months at top consumer brands), it's obvious that something needs to change in order to restore trust in marketing professionals and their spending.

There's an alternative to MTA, and it ties marketing activity directly to sales outcomes. Closed-loop measurement (CLM) uses simple math. By comparing the change in sales of a group exposed to marketing to a control group, you can determine the sales lift generated by the specific marketing activity in question.

MTA, despite its increased complexity, cannot measure incrementality. That's one of the reasons Forrester says MTA is in the "trough of disillusionment." Never mind the six-month IT project required to get the system up and running.

Tying Spend to Sales

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Nick Mangiapane is chief marketing officer of Commerce Signals, a data insights platform that uses unique payment data to help marketers make better decisions in near-real time.

LinkedIn: Nick Mangiapane