If 2020 has taught us one thing it is that knowing how to cook a proper meal is a must to keeping loved ones happy. We live in a world where your favourite restaurant, pub or the company canteen might close tomorrow. We had to adapt almost overnight to keeping shopping lists up to date, stocking your kitchen and taking cooking skills to the next level.
Popular books such as Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat saved thousands of dinners across the world during lockdown. By focusing on and explaining the key elements of good cooking, Nosrat brought scientific insights to becoming a better cook.
And this isn’t too different from mastering marketing measurement. Your data is the ingredients, analysis is the cooking and insights are the meal.
So, after all the disruption in 2020, how are you going to use your ingredients (data)? Do you keep with the same old approach created in the 1970s, the prawn cocktail of marketing?
Taste and taste again
One of the key messages of Nosrat’s book is to taste and taste again while you are preparing food. This helps identify the true flavour each ingredient building to a tasty final product.
In measurement, we see brands update analysis every year and realise too late that platforms, creatives, and context have changed. We advise marketers to increase the frequency of reads to get a pulse check on what is actually happening.
Knowing your ROI is increasing and sharing this with leadership teams and stakeholders is essential for sustainable, long-term success. If you realise from the data that your strategy isn’t working as well it might – change. That’s what tasting at each stage allows.
Just add salt
Would you invite friends for dinner and risk something you’ve never cooked before? Given half a chance, you’d test and learn with different approaches and ingredients. A dash of salt can make a simple but effective difference.
Do you roll out a budget-busting national campaign to learn afterwards that the messaging wasn’t right? Or do you test before then adjust if needed?
With changes in consumer behaviour, habits and buying patterns, set up test and learning on variables such as service time, delivery and offers by geo locations. Then you can pinpoint what works while controlling all the other drivers.
Use the right tools
There is an endless array of measurement tools from millions of brands promising you the best outcomes. But if it’s not the right tool for you, or the quality isn’t living up to your needs, you might end up with grated fingers on your spaghetti and burned roast potatoes.
Choose the right tools for the right task. Start by asking questions, not expecting answers right away. Many brands choose the ‘easy way’, the obvious one, because they’ve done it for years or siloed thinking has taken over and single departments don’t care about holistic measurement or omnichannel effects.
But 2020 is not like the years that came before. Use this to force a change in thinking.
The right tools will make things easier in the end. Sifting through piles of PowerPoint reports to get to insights is not the best way to be nimble and adaptive. The technology and insights available at your fingertips are key to understanding the range of outcomes possible and plotting success.
Know who’s coming for dinner
This might sound simple but it’s too often forgotten and is crucial: knowing your audience means knowing what will resonate. This year has seen massive shifts in consumer behaviour, many we expect to stick around for a while. Creative and execution are still key to delivering a message. But as 2020 has shown, the tone of that message has never been more relevant.
So, while you might still think your aunt loves prawns, she might have gone vegan.
2019 is like 1970
The right tools also imply that you know what the right tasks are to reach the right people, which brings us back to the first mantra of taste and taste again.
Your KPIs from the beginning of 2020 are most likely not the KPIs you should be looking at the end of 2020. You have to stay agile and respond to the constant changes in consumer behaviour. A partner at your side that can help you in any situation, the same way a good cookbook that focuses on the key elements of any recipe, can make all the difference.
Changing the organisations a company works with might seem low on the list of priorities and an unwelcome distraction. And while that argument may have been true in the first flushes of lockdown in March and April, it no longer applies.
Re-evaluating existing partnerships is crucial. Picking partners to help your business be in the most robust shape to cope with the continued uncertainty and inevitable recession is essential.
As marketing directors re-evaluate their requirements, they need to ask questions of their own organisation as well as those of potential vendors. It means ditching the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset and looking at operations with a fresh perspective.
At the root, is having a clear view of what marketing efforts are having the most impact on your business.
The ingredients are all there. Be open to the unknown then master the key elements of good measurement.