Real Returns: What Matters Most in Digital Advertising

Real Returns: What Matters Most in Digital Advertising

Think about the last ad you saw: Was it on TV or another device like your tablet or mobile phone? With so many channels and so little time, it’s a bigger challenge to reach consumers at the right place and the right time and even harder to take them from just watching, to buying something.

Marketers have long used Marketing Mix Modeling, the gold standard for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, to analyze market or store-level insights from trade promotions, pricing and competitive activity. However, as many companies grow, they reach more varied consumers and require better insight into individual shoppers to ensure their marketing resonates. With products in 98 percent of North American households, Kraft Foods Group knew that growing its business would require a deeper understanding of what works, as well as greater insight into to how its consumers react.

Over the past 18 months, Kraft, working with Nielsen, has been piloting Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA), a new capability which links consumers’ person-level digital media exposures with their household-level purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. To do so, MTA tracks how consumers interact with different media and the actions they take after such exposure.

MTA uses automated algorithms to calculate return on investment (ROI) in real-time, enabling more granular and actionable insight. For example, with MTA, we can see how a consumer—with all identifying information removed—who was exposed to a digital banner ad for Kraft Natural Cheese, subsequently ran an online search for a recipe involving shredded cheese, which took her to a landing page on Kraft, ultimately resulting in a purchase of Kraft cheese.

Using such data, Kraft is revolutionizing how it reaches its consumers by achieving one-to-one or “narrow-cast” marketing. Moving from “broadcast,” or mass, marketing to narrow-cast marketing allows marketers to find the right consumers, communicate a customized message for these individuals and create a surround-sound media plan where all the touch-points drive the consumer’s purchase decisions. When businesses can reach the consumer at a more personalized level, the more the message resonates and the more likely it is for that consumer to respond positively.

MTA allows marketers to capture real ROIs for multiple marketing touch points, optimize their marketing mix in real time and connect the right messages more precisely to the right consumers. Moving consumers down the path from watch to buy is no longer a dream, but a reality.