In our customer-obsessed business culture, brands are feverishly trying to better understand and serve their consumers. Part of that shift is a deeper dedication to measurement, but it is hard to keep up in a fragmented environment. Marketers are executing campaigns at an unprecedented pace—and across an increasingly varied array of channels and audiences.

Adding to the complexity are the millions of audience interactions, or "marketing signals," generated by those campaigns—each of which matters.

Why Signal Measurement Is So Hard

Though the volume of daily brand signals (interactions such as consumers opening an email, watching a video, "liking" a page, clicking on an ad, etc.) has never been greater, more data does not equal more clarity.

Marketers are now struggling to get an accurate view of what is (or isn't) working across their marketing efforts. In the deluge of campaigns and signals, many marketers are drowning in data.

The result: Instead of making informed decisions, marketers stick to what they've been doing and miss opportunities to interact with customers at the moment of need.

Moreover, most marketing organizations today depend on a variety of third-party platforms and services, each generating their own raw data.

However, when all the raw information is brought together for measurement purposes, it creates major headaches for marketers. Why? Because every platform and service handles data and the conversion into signals differently. Each platform and service uses different dimensions and hierarchies, so the resulting data is varied, siloed, incomplete, and inconsistently defined.

Ways Marketing Signal Measurement Can Help

Modern marketers must measure, analyze, and optimize campaign signals continuously, and that can only be done properly by adopting a standardized, platform-agnostic approach. Aligning the resources, data, and technology needed to enable agile measurement and decision-making at scale may not be easy, but it is doable.

Proper marketing signal measurement gives marketers an easy way to quickly understand what exactly is happening, how it is influencing marketing performance, and how it is driving business results. More importantly, marketing signal measurement allows marketers to know how to answer and respond to the classic "is the campaign working?" question while the campaign is still in flight.

Relevance and timeliness are the foundations of successful marketing campaigns, but how can marketers ensure relevancy when they are relying on outdated or incomplete data?

To keep up in today's fast-paced consumer environment, marketers need signals that are up to the minute, accurate, and in context.

Based on a solid understanding of marketing signals, marketers must make informed decisions mid-campaign—investing more in the elements/channels that are driving the intended response (or less in the ones that under-perform) rather than analyzing performance after the campaign is done. Let's say goodbye to the era of lost opportunities and time, and let's commit to unearthing all the value that comes from a real-time flow of digital signals.

Why Marketing Measurement Matters

We need to move beyond measurement for measurement's sake. Successfully building an effective marketing signal measurement initiative depends on commitment and ownership.

Only after an organization commits to defining what marketing measurement means and owning that definition does the marketing team have any shot at truly driving a successful, measurement-focused organization.

By creating a culture of accountability, making measurement a mandatory element of every single campaign and audience activation initiative becomes easier.

However, it is also important to remember that measurement has absolutely no value without context. Marketers need a baseline to know whether a result is good or bad.

Today's marketers need the proper systems, tools, and people to harvest raw information and data from source systems and platforms, and to refine performance indicators and custom aggregations in context to the way the business operates. Marketers need ways to consume massive amounts of data, easily visualize campaign results, and find out the "why" when needed.

The more fragmented the marketing environment becomes, the more there is to measure and analyze. Don't drown in data or let others define your success (or failures).

Data doesn't have to be overwhelming... but becoming nimble and precise does not happen overnight. Make sure you have the right processes in place to reinvent your marketing organization the right way.

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Why You Should Pay More Attention to Marketing Signals

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Scott Jones is vice-president of marketing at Origami Logic, a company that empowers marketers to answer the question "What happened today?" by measuring the marketing signals that matter.

LinkedIn: Scott Jones