Posted by: In: Digital Success 20 Sep 2016 Comments: 0

hands trying to fit two puzzle pieces together.


People often delay starting complex projects because all they can see ahead are the challenges and complexities involved in completing such projects. If something seems too daunting of an up-hill battle to ever complete, it’s very hard to get started.

Those who might feel too discouraged to begin can overcome this mental barrier by breaking up the overall project into smaller, more manageable tasks. A plan consisting of those smaller, bite-sized tasks makes it easier to start and ultimately complete the larger, overarching project.

The same concept can apply to a firm’s desire to measure the effectiveness of its marketing efforts. There is certainly a lot involved in measuring marketing well. To help make implementing a marketing measurement process at your organization a reality rather than a dream, here’s a plan to help you break the project down into manageable steps.

8 Steps for Marketing Measurement

1. Assemble Your Measurement Team: You should create a small and diverse team that pulls members from a wide array of backgrounds such as sales, marketing, operations, finance, IT, and others. The purpose of marketing is to incentivize profitable customer behaviour. People from each of these areas will have a perspective on how to define and measure profitable customer behaviour at your organization, or can provide the data you’ll need to measure whether marketing is achieving its objectives.

2. Decide What to Measure: This step requires having clarity about your overall business and marketing objectives, as well as each individual marketing campaign’s objectives. Well-defined objectives from your marketing planning process will help you to identify the KPIs that you’ll use to assess how well your campaign is performing. You should also identify the data you’ll need to collect, as well as where, when, and how you’ll collect it.

3. Pick a Methodology: You need a flexible measurement methodology that you can apply consistently across a diverse range of campaigns that vary in complexity, targeting different customers, with different performance objectives and metrics. The methodology needs to be able to accommodate those differences. A consistent methodology across programs makes it possible to rank programs by a common overall program performance KPI.

4. Assign Responsibilities, Set Deadlines & Expectations: Make sure team members understand their role and responsibilities, their personal deadlines, and who else on the team they need to collaborate with on specific tasks. Like any project, your success will depend on how well people perform.

5. Test: Always start small. Measure one campaign’s KPIs against its objectives while you develop and work out the kinks in your process. Pick a campaign that will involve everyone on the team and that will test all aspects of your process.

6. Review & Adjust Your Process: Things won’t go as planned on your first attempt. Check back in with the team and fix what needs fixing before rolling out your process.

7. Roll Out: Typically this is done in phases, perhaps to other brands, other program types, other divisions and other locations. Do it in manageable steps and be sure to allow for a pause after each phase so you can review and adjust if necessary.

8. Review & Adjust Your Marketing: Hold a measurement review session after completing the above steps, but before starting your next round of marketing planning. Take the time to see what you’ve learned about which campaigns have been the most and least effective at meeting or exceeding target KPIs. Then, optimize your next wave of strategies, tactics and outcomes.


If developing and implementing a marketing measurement process in your firm is something you’ve been dreading, a step-by-step plan will make it easier for you to both start and finish.

Rick Shea is President of Optiv8 Consulting, a marketing effectiveness consultancy with a focus on helping small to mid-sized organizations measure their marketing so they can stop wasting money.

Posted by: In: Digital Success 04 Aug 2016 Comments: 0

Social Media Icons


It’s important for brands to reach their customer and make a quality connection instantly – in the most cost-effective manner possible. Facebook may serve as a great channel to target Moms with a Food & Beverage coupon promotion, but depending on the tactics being employed and the customer being targeted, other channels may drive greater sales lift (and ultimately ROI). This is why optimizing your marketing channel mix is so important. 

With More Than 100 Channels, How Do You Choose?

Some marketers peg the amount of channels they touch at over 100. Smart Insights keeps an ever-growing list of digital marketing channels, which illustrates the sheer amount of networks that continue to inundate the digital landscape. With more appearing all the time, how do marketers choose which channels to use to reach their target customer? For promotions specifically, brands have to decide whether or not to take an omnichannel approach, or focus their efforts on one main network (and in that scenario, is it a wide net on a major network or a calculated risk on a more niche channel?). The balancing act that comes with omnichannel campaigns can be hard to optimize, and putting the majority of a promotion’s budget on one key network leaves a very small margin for error.

Qoints recently published a new report which analyzed award-winning digital promotions to glean best practices for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) vertical. A large part of this research involved looking at the different channels that campaigns used, and trying to determine how the choice of channel(s) affected the campaigns and their end results.

Channel Usage (Total)

When looking at the digital channel usage found in our research, it is clear that some channels dominate. Facebook and Twitter, the two behemoths of social media, were used in 50% of campaigns. This number reflects the high amount of faith that marketers have in these two platforms. With such large user bases, both Facebook and Twitter have the ability to reach a large number of consumers.

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone When The Past Results Show You The Light

Looking past Facebook and Twitter, the channels used start to vary greatly and include newer channels that have been gaining traction over the last few years. Nearly one third of the channels used could be considered ‘new’ social media platforms. These are established services with a significant number of users, but still not close to Facebook or Twitter. While the use of channels such as Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube is a small percentage of the channels used now, their occurrence in digital campaigns will likely grow as marketers continue to target millennials and the platforms that demographic prefers.

Bottom Line… It’s The Top Line Sales That Really Matter!

In our research, we also ranked the campaigns by sales lift, and then split them into thirds to create a top, middle, and bottom third. We then analyzed which channels the better performing campaigns used, to see what was being done differently in comparison to lower performing campaigns. Measuring by sales lift ensures a focus on real results, as opposed to vanity metrics such as impressions and reach.

Channel Usage (Thirds)

In the top third of campaigns Facebook and Twitter are still prevalent, consisting of 50% of the channels used. This is likely due to their sheer size, and the fact that nearly every brand has a presence on both of these platforms. However, looking at the other channels used, the top performing campaigns are beginning to branch out and use less traditional channels such as Snapchat and Pinterest. This proves that there can be success outside of the big 2, and this should signal to other marketers to begin exploring opportunities on these lesser used channels.

Looking at the low ranking campaigns, both Facebook and Twitter are still relevant (once again making up nearly half of the channels used). Other channels utilized by the the bottom third of campaigns were branded microsites and branded mobile apps. This is a growing trend, but it appears that most marketers have not yet been able to unlock the full potential of these channels. It is also important to note that the newer social channels (Snapchat, Instagram, etc.) are not even present here. Low performing campaigns are sticking to what has always been perceived to work instead of experimenting with new channels, and this is hurting their sales lift numbers.


Facebook and Twitter: Maybe Size Doesn’t Matter?

When looking at sales lift, it can be hard to attribute what actually drives it. While it is primarily the tactic that dictates the lift of the campaign, the channel marketers use is also important. Channel is how brands reach people, so it is critical that they reach the right people, at the right time, and in the right place.

Sales Lift FB & Twitter

By analyzing the sales lift of the campaigns and then matching them with the channel, we can see which channels are associated with higher sales lift. Campaigns that used Twitter in any way (on its own, or in tandem with other channels) generated an average sales lift of 23%, while campaigns that did not use Twitter at all had an average sales lift of 36%. We observed similar behaviour with campaigns that used Facebook as part of the channel mix (average sales lift of 23%, while campaigns that did not use Facebook at all had an average sales lift of 40%).

These contrasting sales lift numbers show that while marketers can reach a large number of people on Facebook and Twitter, these platforms may not be getting them the most desirable results possible. With so many advertisers flocking to Facebook and Twitter to run their promotions there is a lot of noise and competition, which fatigues consumers and thereby makes it harder for brands to reach them. If marketers can’t even reach the customer, they have no chance of ever selling them anything.

If You Snooze, You’ll Lose

Until last month, nobody had cracked the physical-to-digital marketing connection better than FourSquare – that was until Nintendo broke through and opened our eyes to what is possible with Pokemon Go! Brands such as Best Buy have tapped into the craze by introducing special offerings for Pokemon Go players to draw them into brick-and-mortar locations. Major sports teams such as the Houston Astros and the Jacksonville Jaguars have followed suit, opening their stadiums and arenas up to the public to catch Pokemon. This proactive yet cautious “test-and-see” mentality can pay off, with brands establishing a presence on the platform and having consumers associate the game with the company.

By utilizing newer channels, brands can have a far larger impact on a more targeted group of consumers. While they may not be able to reach the same amount of people (in Nintendo’s case however, they have surpassed Twitter in popularity at least for now), they will likely be able to get more engagement, which leads to more conversions. Like the old adage says, it’s quality over quantity. In order to reach the desired level of quality, this data shows that brand marketers must be willing to take some risks with channels that are not yet considered “mature.”

Qoints can help brands take calculated risks, optimize performance and mitigate failures. With the Qoints platform, brands and agencies alike are able to measure the success of the individual channels in their mix, allowing marketers to make data-driven decisions on who to target and where. This method can help drive sales lift for firms, taking the guesswork out of figuring out what is working and what is not.

Posted by: In: Digital Success 29 Jul 2016 Comments: 0

Shopper Marketing For Moms

Since the dawn of the digital age, futurists have predicted the demise of brick and mortar stores. Experts anticipated a shift to online shopping, with physical stores becoming obsolete next to the 24/7 availability of the online store. Why would consumers waste their time going to a store, when they can get everything they need from the comfort of their own home?

Shopper Marketing ImageE-commerce has exploded in the last decade (with companies like Amazon becoming behemoths in the retail space), yet consumers still visit physical stores en masse. The need to touch and feel in a physical retail experience is not going away. According to a 2015 report published by TimeTrade, 85% of consumers prefer to shop in-store as opposed to online. While shoppers like the ease and convenience of online retailers, it is clear that they still like to go shopping in the traditional way.

The need for physical locations means that retailers have to craft marketing strategies that generate opportunities to reach these shoppers. As a result shopper marketing has become a rapidly-growing space in recent years, supported by the wide availability of digital resources that are now at the disposal of almost every consumer.

There are several different ways that companies can approach a shopper marketing campaign. Based on the demographic being targeted, organizations must choose which channels to use and which tactics to employ for each of those channels. The success of a shopper marketing campaign should be measured by sales lift, in comparison to the same period of time the previous year (there are other Key Performance Indicators to consider, but sales lift should always be reported). Recently, Qoints published a research study in this area which shows, among other things, that campaign tactics play a prominent role in dictating the sales lift for a shopper marketing campaign.


Our Shopper Marketing Benchmarks

Tactic Breakdown Chart

The first step we took was to sort the campaigns we had by sales lift – we separated the results into the top third, middle third, and bottom third. There was a noticeable difference between the average sales lift between each third. Campaigns in the top third had an average sales lift of 55%, the middle third had an average sales lift of 20%, and the bottom third had an average sales lift of 8.3%.

Looking at the above graph, we can see the breakdown of the different tactics used  in the top third, middle third, and bottom third. One thing that jumps out is that the top third relied heavily on personalized display ads, with 56% of campaigns utilizing this tactic. In comparison, the bottom third of campaigns were more likely to employ the use of coupons (45% of campaigns in the bottom third used a coupon in some capacity).

Personalized Display AdsAvg sales lfit chart

As you can see from the graph to the right, personalized display ads generated the highest average sales lift for a company in our study. The average sales lift for a campaign that employed personalized display ads was approximately 49%, which well outpaced the other tactics. Why was this tactic so effective at reaching and engaging the consumer compared to the others? Personalization, executed appropriately for the demographic being targeted, simply offers a deeper connection with consumers than any of the other tactics that were utilized.


Sweepstakes generated a fair sales lift, with an average of approximately 33%, but were often hit or miss for brands. This tactic was found an almost equal amount of times in high performing campaigns and low performing campaigns, which contributed to the modest performance of the tactic across the study. When done properly, sweepstakes can pay dividends, but the floor is also very low (meaning that when executed poorly, they fail spectacularly).


Coupons were the lowest performing campaign tactic in the study, only providing an average of an 18.8% sales lift. If this feels counterintuitive to you, you’re not alone – coupons have been a popular traditional tactic for brands and retailers for many years. In the digital age, however, coupons have become increasingly ineffective.While coupons still have a place in certain industries, brands must present a compelling case for consumers to use and redeem coupons or they will be stuck with a below average sales lift.

While sweepstakes, coupons, and personalized display ads accounted for the majority of campaign tactics utilized in shopper marketing campaigns analyzed, others were used. Both regular display ads and post/content tactics were used, resulting in unremarkable (below average) results. This is another indicator of the shift towards mass personalization, as the same tactic without personalization (regular display ads) was shown to drive minimal sales lift compared to the use of personalized display ads.


With shopper marketing becoming a bigger focus for large brands, it is important for marketers to be able to stay on top of the current best practices within the space to ensure they are maximizing sales lift. Studies such as the one carried out by Qoints can help update the collective consciousness of digital marketers, but having access to real-time data that shows which campaign tactics are working best in the current shopper environment is essential for the cutting edge brand marketer. Contact us today to find out how using Qoints can help integrate data into your strategy, execution and evaluation processes for digital shopper marketing campaigns.


Posted by: In: Digital Success 29 Jun 2016 Comments: 0


In today’s competitive marketing environment, firms place various strategic bets on different channels (hence the term “omnichannel”), rather than spending the entire budget on a single campaign and hoping for the best. In the age of data, traditional channels such as radio and print advertising typically have little impact and produce small or hard-to-measure ROI. Marketing departments are being forced to become wiser with their dollars, which has led to the current trend of running smaller, more focused, micro-campaigns.


What Are Micro-Campaigns?

Micro-campaigns have become commonplace in modern firms’ marketing playbooks. Companies now run many, small, hyper-targeted promotions, simultaneously to better reach key demographics that are valuable to their business. This omnichannel effort helps concentrate dollars across channels that are performing well, allowing brands to increase the effectiveness of their spend.

Targeting With Micro-Campaigns Pays Dividends

A prime example of an effective micro-campaign was a promotion run by Shoes of Prey, an online women’s footwear startup. They partnered with a 16-year old YouTube personality for a giveaway, and this resulted in hundreds of more clicks and views, and a permanent sales lift of 300%. This goes to show that zeroing in on the right market and running a small but focused campaign can end up paying dividends for a brand.

While many firms have embraced this paradigm shift, they are not utilizing data to drive micro-campaigns to their full potential. Many modern companies are still living in the past; while they do employ micro-campaigns and find some success, it is like a game of chance. Marketers are using antiquated technology and cannot objectively measure the success of their work, leading them to make guesses when it comes to figuring out what actually worked.

Marketing departments need to be able to measure how effective their micro-campaigns were, and manage them accordingly. If they can’t do this, then these innovative micro-campaigns can become as wasteful as their predecessors. Micro-campaigns, when executed properly, can help brands and marketers engage and connect with key customers to help generate sales and relationships.


With micro-campaigns starting to play such a large role in a company’s overall marketing strategy, firms must have a tool that empowers them to make smart decisions. Qoints offers such a tool, allowing organizations to both manage and measure their micro-campaigns in an effective manner. Qoints can show a firm how well each campaign performed, looking at a campaign’s key performance indicators such as cost or conversion rate. With these insights, companies can adjust their spending across channels, getting more for their money and running more successful promotions. This extra help can aid brands and agencies when they call the shots and allow for them to be more precise, instead of a utilizing the traditional one size fits all model.

Posted by: In: Digital Success 22 Jun 2016 Comments: 0


Marketing is an art. Marketers create campaigns and drive awareness for their product or service by designing creative visuals and writing concise text. As we transition into a hyperconnected society, however, marketing is starting to blur the line between art and science. Data-driven marketers use valuable insights from consumers’ online activities to more effectively target the attention of the desired customer group. This real-time data is becoming the bedrock on which marketers make decisions, and is driving the shift towards more data-driven campaign optimization.

A recent report done by Ascend2 shows that 54% of companies believe that making more accurate decisions is the biggest benefit of marketing data. This proves that organizations want to make more informed decisions with the data they are collecting. The issue is that while marketers might have a general idea or sense of who to target and how to run their campaigns, they need to maximize the collection and analysis of their data in order to inform the decisions that will actually have an effect on digital marketing ROI and overall market share.

Objectively Organized Real-time Data Is Becoming a Goldmine

As a result, relevant data is one of the most lucrative assets for marketing departments and agencies to utilize in their digital marketing efforts. Marketers now expect to know how long customers are looking at their advertisement, how many people interact with them online, and the leads they generate through each campaign (among myriad other metrics, unique to the particular marketer and their organization). These metrics are used to calculate key performance indicators (KPIs), which make up the foundation for measuring a digital campaign’s success, and thus knowing these details is essential to marketing departments.

Access to these metrics and the associated KPIs can put marketers in the shoes of their customers and help them better understand their wants and needs, but on its own, this information does not really indicate to a marketer whether or not a campaign is working. In order to make that determination, relevant historical data from similar internal campaigns needs to be readily available for comparison, and if possible, competitive intelligence from external campaigns (which undoubtedly provide the most objective measure of success, since marketers are not competing for market share with their former selves). Done properly, a marketer can see clearly what is and is not working, and modify or completely remove the aspects of their campaigns that are not achieving the desired results.

How Lexus Did it Differently

While some have questioned the true value of real-time data and analytics in marketing, and been reluctant to change, one needs to look no further than the results it can produce to see the potential value to their own organization. Lexus (the luxury automotive company) was struggling with promotions and campaigns, not knowing where to spend their ad dollars. Their decided to double-down on their use of data and analytics, only investing money from their marketing budget that was based on insights gleaned from the real-time data they had collected.  They realized that to maximize sales, they should decrease spending on TV advertisements, and increase spending for mobile and social campaigns. These insights drove 63% better conversion volume, and a 28% global KPI improvement. This improvement was due to the data-driven decision making made by the marketing team. The data they had collected showed which channels needed more spending to optimize effectiveness, and thus Lexus was able to modify its budget across 6 different channels to more efficiently spend its money. In order to reach these conclusions, however, the company had to create a custom framework and response model to run on top of their analytics platform. While this approach was effective, the logical next step is to figure out how to repeat the process without building a custom model every time.

How Lexus Adjusted Channel Spend to Optimize Sales Source: ANA Magazine April 2016 Edition

How Lexus Used Real-Time Data to Adjust Channel Spend and Optimize Sales
Source: ANA Magazine April 2016 Edition


Not everyone within the industry is taking advantage of data and analytics like Lexus. While some are not using data at all, the more common situation is marketers not using the data they collect effectively. The same report done by Ascend2 reveals that 40% of companies believe their marketing data management strategy is either below average or worst in class, compared to competitors. This indicates that many firms are aware that they are not properly equipped to handle the volume of data their consumers are supplying, and therefore not able to use it to their advantage. The question then becomes, what tools are available to these organizations that have fallen behind in the data intelligence space?

Getting Historic Data Organized In Step One

The Qoints platform simplifies and streamlines the process of analyzing digital activation data to generate actionable insights. By leveraging data collected through Qoints data marketplace to drive Digital Marketing Intelligence, marketers can harness data and use it to their advantage. This helps marketers make sense of what all the numbers mean with respect to the rest of the industry and product category. Qoints can objectively tell marketers how well a certain campaign did against past ones, or how well it did compared to the industry average.

Qoints Empowers Real-time Data Driven Marketing Intelligence

Instead of creating a custom model for each campaign (a labour-intensive task) the Qoints platform allows you to easily input data and results for any number of campaigns through a .CSV uploaded or API connections. These results and comparisons help marketers spend their money in a wiser manner by centralizing and organizing data, turning low-tech marketing departments into data-driven powerhouses without reinventing the wheel. Mapping historic campaign data to the Qoints crowd-sourced digital marketing data taxonomy allows for an apples to apples comparison across channels, platforms and the overall category. The result is most effective for omnichannel campaigns, and an improved bottom line that can be attributed back to specific marketing efforts. Get in touch with us today to find out how you can simplify your path to data-driven decision making!

Posted by: In: Digital Success 14 Jan 2016 Comments: 0

digital marketing technologies made in Canada

If you think that marketing technologies drove disruption for CPG manufacturing and retail in the last five years, you haven’t seen anything yet. Get ready for the next five years!

It will be very interesting to measure how many new emerging marketing technologies drive the evolution of consumption behaviors over the next few years. It’s expected that more than 50% of sales will be driven via digital by 2020 – but right now only a small percentage of these sales are captured by CPG manufacturers. How marketers adapt while embracing a Direct to Consumer (DTC) model will define who thrives and who dies over the next decade.

When Nike released their most recent quarterly earnings, they focused on future ecommerce and DTC growth. Today, Nike ecommerce sales account for $1 billion annually, which they anticipate to grow through technology innovation investments to $7B by 2020. They also anticipate DTC sales to more than double (from $6.6 billion to $16 billion) annually in the next 5 years.

In the world of marketing and advertising, Canada is seen as a pilot market or testing ground for US consumer products

Canadian marketing budgets follow population trends, generally maxing out at 10% of their counterparts south of the border. This serves as a great catalyst for marketing technologies to be dreamed up and developed in Canada while finding true scale in the US and beyond!

Here’s a list of made in Canada marketing technologies experiencing international success that every CPG manufacturer and retailer need to start using in 2016:

Sampler – Personalized social sampling with in-store, mail and e-commerce fulfillment options. Has worked with: Mondelez and The Body Shop

Limelight – Promotion automation for live marketing campaigns such as sampling, surveys, sponsorships and more. Has worked with: BMW, Molson Coors, Scotia Bank

Consumer Intelligence Group – Market and consumer insight reports (by postal code) aggregating data from Equifax, StatsCan, Numeris and more. Has worked with: TD Bank and Canada Post

Post Beyond – Grows your social communities by enabling employees to consume and share branded content. Has worked with: Starbucks, Allstream and the PGA

Qoints – Data management layer that centralizes and anonymizes marketing campaigns across all platforms and channels to create industry norms, best practices and actionable insights. Has worked with: 3M and Deloitte

Honorable Mentions: AdEase, Turnstyle Solutions, Cluep, Rover Labs, Trideit, Boon Rewards


Need help navigating the many different digital marketing technologies?

You’re not alone! It’s an overwhelming digital world out there; consumer brands use a multitude of tools to manage their marketing programs, and even more once you factor in the other areas of their businesses. Different tools work better for different brands – there’s no perfect science. Qoints helps brands bring turn confusion into clarity by identifying trends and best practices that are tailored to unique business goals and customer profiles. We help you identify what tools are working for your brand, category and industry vertical overall to ultimately get a better ROI from your marketing dollars and increase sales.

Want to learn more? Contact us here!


Posted by: In: Digital Success 10 Apr 2015 Comments: 0

Managing a marketing budget is a high-stakes game of chance. Thousands, hundreds of thousands, sometimes even millions of dollars in media budgets rest on a marketer’s tactical choices – decisions that are made by 75% of marketers today without any statistical support. How are these tactical decisions being made, then? The truth is, tactics are based primarily on what can be remembered by the marketer as “successful” from past campaigns, and then adjusted to respond to the changes perceived to have taken place in the marketing landscape since then. The fact of the matter is, digging up actionable insights from the data created by past campaigns is time consuming and, depending on how it was recorded, may require a graduate-level degree in statistics just to make some sense from it.

A marketing budget are like counting cardsLet’s compare this undertaking with betting on a game of chance in a casino. Some gamble for entertainment, others take it more seriously. But either way, if you gamble without knowing the odds you’re most likely going to lose. Now, knowing the odds inside and out certainly doesn’t guarantee a win, but at least you can mitigate silly decisions by understanding the risks and relative rewards for each situation. A gambler might know what worked in the past, and might have a strategy for winning in the future based on that, but what happens if the house changes the odds? You have to adjust, or your odds of winning will go down and success will only be achieved through pure luck.

Luckily for gamblers, the odds and house rules of the classic gambling games don’t change that often. When they do, it’s usually minor adjustments to provide a further advantage to the house or stamp out a tactic that is being exploited by players. Imagine though, if the odds changed as often (and as significantly!) as digital marketing trends do. Not only that, but in this brave new world of marketing we find ourselves in, the rules aren’t clearly posted for all to see. The attitudes of online consumers change too quickly, before the ink used to print social media marketing textbooks can even dry!

So in a way, marketing without the ability make data-driven decisions is like gambling without knowing the odds; you’re taking shots in the dark, except the bets are made with client maketing budget (which for most people is a lot more than they would ever bring for a night out at the tables). Not only that, but the client is expecting a significant return on that investment… losing it on account of “bad luck” will not be an acceptable response at the end of a campaign. Qoints was developed to address the pain of making sense of digital marketing data; the goal is to make brand marketers smarter by informing their tactical decisions using the vast amounts of data that technology makes available to us.

Qoints is like the dealer that says “I suggest you hit, sir!”

CMOs and brand marketers who are actively tracking a standardized set of KPIs, analyzing their past campaign performance, and using deep analytics to plan future campaigns are like card counters. They know the odds of the game intimately. They’ve been paying attention to what’s happened in the past, and they are leveraging that information to better plan for and predict the future.


Using Qoints when you’re planning, executing, and evaluating your digital promotions is like having a heads-up display when you’re sitting at the poker table, showing you pot odds, how many outs you have, and suggestions for how to play your hand. Performance monitoring using data-driven intelligence allows a marketer to move budgets to more channels that are performing better, and industry benchmarks take the guesswork out of measuring success.

Are you ready to put your digital promotions to the test? Contact us at to learn how we can help start making data-driven decisions and stop gambling with your marketing budgets.


Posted by: In: Digital Success 02 Apr 2015 Comments: 0

Stepping out of my house yesterday morning, I observed a scene that could have been the set of a disaster movie. There were two police officers, a fire fighter crew, three people from the hydro company, a moving van driver, and a cat. There were also flashing lights, barricades, pylons and police tape. A quick visual survey of these surroundings brought me to the hypothesis that the large moving van with downed hydro lines draped over it was the cause of the ruckus. The moving van was very tall and had caught some low-hanging power lines, effectively knocking out the power to my house!

My neighbour saw the whole thing and called 911, who in turn called the police, the firefighters, and the hydro crew (no one knows who called the cat). I spent the next several hours engaging all of the above parties in productive conversations, along with my insurance company, the claims adjuster, contractors and an electrician. While they were all courteous professionals, they each had a different view on how to proceed; each one had a different boss to answer to and hence, a different set of priorities. This was frustrating, but also very interesting to me (and certainly not unusual). To some degree, all organizations experience this. marketing_measurement While this group had been quickly assembled to deal with an emergency situation, it behaved as most organizations do… the primary concerns of the individuals involved were guided by their own self-interests. Success was achieved because the group was able to come together around common objectives to ultimately solve the problem. What does this have to do with marketing measurement? I thought you’d never ask! Some of the biggest factors in marketing success revolve around making sure everyone’s interests are aligned, and this is where the biggest benefits are realized. Aligning marketing’s objectives with the overall goals of the organization is critical to the success of marketing measurement efforts, and therefore, the success of the organization itself. Here are three steps to successful alignment of marketing’s measurement interests with those of the whole organization.

  1. Organization-wide commitment to marketing measurement

There tend to be people in non-marketing roles that downplay the value of the department. A great way to dispel this misconception is by defining measurable marketing goals, and involving the entire organization in that process. Marketing needs support from every other department in order to be successful – that will only happen if everyone is on board and clearly understands how marketing success leads to company success. It sounds obvious to a marketer, but it isn’t always so cut-and-dry for others (especially given that data-driven marketing has been seen as highly cost-intensive and still is by many companies).

  1. Marketing and company-wide commitment to a measurement methodology

If the marketing department unilaterally develops the approach to marketing measurement and the definition of success, others may think the approach is self-serving (meaning the methodology may be biased towards showing that the marketers are highly effective). By involving other departments and working towards aligning interests, the methodology will be more balanced and acceptance of the results will be far more likely. With measurable objectives, success is easier to define and more likely to be useful.

  1. The organization and marketing decide together what to measure

Marketing’s purpose is to acquire and retain customers who create value for the entire organization. This means you need to understand from each key department how value, high value customers, and profitable customer behaviour are defined. Only once you understand these values completely can you determine the KPIs (key performance indicators) that make sense to include in your measurement methodology. Select metrics that matter to all aspects of the organization, and you will find it much easier to get the data and support you need across the company. Every member of an organization has a role to play. Each one has their own priorities and biases, as we’ve seen. Effective organizations find and focus on the common objectives, even amongst seemingly competing interests. One of the most important benefits of setting measurable marketing objectives and defining success against them is that in order to do it properly, those objectives need to align the organization. When the pieces of an organization are aligned in their objectives, everyone stands to reap the rewards.

Rick Shea is President of Optiv8 Consulting, a marketing effectiveness consultancy with a focus on helping small to mid-sized organizations measure their marketing so they can stop wasting money.

Are You Drowning in Digital Marketing Data? Gain advantage with Digital Marketing Intelligence.

Digital marketers are swimming in data. Even the simplest digital campaigns come with data such as Facebook reach, website pageviews, email open rates, click-through and conversion rates, web page bounce rates, retweets, cost per click,  social engagement, and much more.

Perhaps it’s more accurate, then, to say that digital marketers are actually drowning in data.

Data Everywhere and Not a Drop To Drink

Many agencies, however, are reporting little outside of summary stats like the ones listed above. What brand marketers need is context, in order to draw any kind of actionable insight from the data and gain digital marketing intelligence (DMI). As a brand manager, you need to know what happened, if the campaign worked, what you got out of it, and what to do next.

The digital marketing industry is relatively new, so many managers and brands are still happy with reporting on simple metrics like these:

 Campaign Performance:

500,000 visitors

50,000 contest entrants

Conversion Rate: 10%

$100,000 media spend

Cost per entrant: $2.00


Manager: Great. So, I guess the campaign worked?

Marketer: Yep. Look, we got 50,000 contest sign-ups! (doesn’t have anything more to say)

Manager: Ok, thanks. (doesn’t know what further questions to ask)


But it can be so much better than this.

Land, ho! There’s Hope

We’ve posted recently about 4 levels of digital marketing intelligence. The conversation above characterizes a DMI Level 1-type report; simply a report of what occurred, with little context or insight.

If a brand or digital agency has standardized their campaign tracking and data cataloging, they’re able to have a more fruitful conversation. Here’s what this meeting looks like with DMI Level 2-type intelligence:

Campaign Performance:

500,000 visitors

50,000 contest entrants

Conversion Rate: 10%

$100,000 media spend

Cost per entrant: $2.00


Historical Campaign Performance:

450,000 visitors per campaign

40,000 contest entrants

Conversion Rate: 8.9%

$100,000 media spend

Cost per entrant: $2.50


Manager: Great. So, I guess the campaign worked?

Marketer: Yep. Look, we got 50,000 contest sign-ups! This is a 20% improvement over your average historical cost per entrant!

Manager: Sweet. Can we spend 20% less next time and get the same results? What was different between the two campaigns that might have affected the conversion rate and number of visitors?


Mapping & Navigating the Digital Landscape

By purposefully tracking campaign data in a standardized way, you can compare campaigns to one another in a relevant way. For example, segmentation of digital coupon campaigns based on the redemption mechanics (one-time use, print at home, etc.) allows you to define and compare conversion rates accurately. On the other hand, simply comparing two or more coupon offers without standardizing their mechanics will lead to skewed benchmarks – even slight differences in mechanics can have major effects on engagement rates and conversion rates.

It’s not a huge commitment, but it’s amazing how often agencies and brands don’t even get this far up the digital marketing intelligence scale. With standardized digital marketing metrics (what we call DMI  Level 2: performance measurement), we can begin to analyze campaign performance over time, putting your marketing efforts into an historical context.

The analysis of your standardized data and the generation of actionable insights points to what we’re calling DMI Level 3: internal benchmarking. The benefit to the brand or client is better campaign planning in the future; better budgeting, improved performance, and more attributable ROI. There is simply more intelligence to draw from. Brands and agencies operating at DMI Level 3 are are no longer drowning in data. They are managing and directing the flow of data and leveraging that power to improve their brand marketing over time.


Charting A Course For Success

The top of the DMI scale is Level 4: competitive benchmarking. Imagine seeing your own brand’s historical benchmarks in context against industry-wide benchmarks. With competitive benchmarking you can leverage intelligence from campaigns that you haven’t run. You’re able to see a whole new level of DMI, such as how effectiveness and ROI are changing over time for different campaign types and through different media channels.

Rather than drowning in digital marketing data, at digital marketing intelligence (DMI) Level 4 you’ll be chartering cruises on the open waters of the future of digital marketing.


Most consumer marketers don’t know what to track when running a digital marketing campaign. If you are asking the question, what data should I track… you are further ahead than many. Smart marketers are just starting to ask this question.

Think back to the last digital marketing campaign you worked on.

1. Did you have a plan for which data to track?

2. Did you have a consistent way of storing data collected?

3. When planning the campaign, did you use metrics from past campaigns to budget and forecast accurately?

If you are like most digital marketing agencies and brand managers, you answered “no” to the questions above. But you’re probably also thinking that it would be nice to have:

  • A process that told you which data to track from your digital marketing campaigns (to make your life easier),

  • An easy way to store that data (so you don’t have to bother with it later), and

  • An easier way to plan campaigns and make great data-driven marketing decisions in the future (aka Digital Marketing Intelligence or DMI).

DMI, when leveraged properly, informs digital marketing decision making using a data-driven approach. Rome wasn’t built in a day, however. Reaching the point where your data can quickly and easily tell you everything you need to know takes a lot of planning. Here at Qoints, we’ve separated DMI proficiency into 4 levels; this is the first of a series of articles where we dig deeper into the defining characteristics of each level, and provide some pointers for reaching the next level.

DMI Level 1 is characterized by simple, one-off reports that lack context and insight.


Signs that your company is only running at DMI Level 1:

  • Each brand manager is making decisions about what to track and how to store data in on-the-fly, in isolation or with very little oversight

  • The brand’s digital campaign history is stored in silos, and/or scattered around various places in your agency, in the cloud, on laptops and client servers

  • Each campaign has its own KPIs and variables, making comparisons over time or across brands difficult or impossible

  • Digital marketing reports mainly contain metrics and numbers, with little or no context, comparison, benchmarks or analysis

  • Marketing campaigns are more often planned around a combination of best practices, gut feelings, art direction and budget availability, rather than historical data or industry benchmarks

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, don’t fret; the only way to go is up. Here are some tips to help get you to Level 2 and beyond:


Standardize digital marketing data across all of your company’s campaigns

When collecting digital marketing data (whether through a contest, coupon, sample, or any other kind of promotion), always store the same data points under a common format. For example, store gender data as “Male” rather than “M,” “Man,” or “m.” It sounds trivial, but when you amass data across many campaigns over time, standardization of data variables makes it a lot easier to benchmark by ensuring an apples to apples comparison.


Standardize KPIs and which metrics get tracked and reported

Every campaign has its own specific objective. But campaigns with differing objectives can still work together to provide context for an ongoing definition of success. Standardizing common metrics such as page visits, contest signups, Facebook shares, and coupon redemptions that occur in some or all other campaigns helps to make this possible. If the underlying data is standardized, and the brand managers know ahead of time which information must be collected and stored, then you’ll be able to generate more useful key performance indicator (KPI) benchmarks from them. Not only that, but your KPI benchmarks will be more reliable because they are generated by a larger and more recent sample size of campaigns (even if the mechanics and objectives of each campaign are slightly different).

Storing your digital marketing data in a standardized way can require a lot of new processes and planning if you are starting from scratch to develop your own methods and tools. Brand managers at first will likely be reluctant to adopt yet another set of steps to go through for each campaign, but in the end it will save them time, make reporting easier, help them plan future campaigns more efficiently, and make their clients happier through better, more contextual data-driven reporting.

It’s worth the investment to get to DMI Level 2.