PARIS — From the metaverse to the latest social media channel, as new online platforms emerge at what might seem like the speed of light, many brands are keen to plant their flag in new frontiers and get that all-important first-mover advantage.
Yet despite major investments in big data in recent years and marketers’ recognition of its importance, there is little in terms of quantifiable metrics to enable brands to fully assess the return on investment of their online activations.
This is the premise of a collaboration between Launchmetrics and Publicis Sapient, which have teamed up with the aim of helping brands in the fashion, luxury and beauty space to better channel data and turn it into a true business tool.
“Brands are more and more familiar with getting data, but they still don’t have the mind-set and the skills to use the data in a consistent way,” explained Launchmetrics chief executive officer Michaël Jaïs. “We provide data but we are not a consulting company,” he told WWD. “Publicis is a consulting partner and an agency, they have the skill set to measure and interpret, and they know the brands, they are not just a pure consultancy, so it made sense to work with them.”
Jaïs likened the Launchmetrics database to a tool like Excel: most people only make use of its basic functionalities. “Our system is used by more than 1,200 brands in the world, in all markets, but still, they really use about 10 percent of the system,” he said.
The partnership is aimed at helping brands to better join the dots.
“Data is a must to best allocate your investments,” said Publicis Sapient senior managing director Olivier Abtan. “Only 60 percent [of marketers] recognize it has to be a priority in their companies.”
Brands now tend to understand marketing impact value on digital activations, he said, but have little capacity for connecting that to sales. “You just need a few KPIs [key performance indicators],” he said. “The data is there, but in various parts. They don’t connect the dots.”
The first fruit of the partnership is a study out Wednesday, titled “The State of Measurement,” based on interviews with more than 1,000 professionals in the industry from around the world, including China.
Some 51 percent of respondents found reading data to extract actionable insights is challenging, making it difficult to analyze the success of online activities and where to invest.
It also found that capturing customer journey data across different touch points was a challenge, with only 13 percent of marketers tracking brick-and-mortar traffic to try to connect it to online activities.
Instagram remains the leading marketing channel for companies in the luxury space, but most respondents said they were limited by the current set of tools and find it difficult to find the right KPIs to measure return on investment.
The report is the first step in the partnership between Launchmetrics and Publicis Sapient, which plan to potentially issue a new report each year, as well as offering a bespoke service to brands looking to dig deeper.
“We are both convinced [of the relevance of] bringing together very smart tools with consulting capabilities,” said Abtan.
With new tools and platforms emerging regularly, it is becoming all the more essential for brands to be able to assess the impact of existing domains. “With social commerce and the evolution of influencers…marketers should understand that this is a very important lever,” he continued.
“Each dollar matters and you need to explain why you are spending it and what is your expected return,” said Jaïs. “The metaverse is really exciting territory, there’s lots of things you can do…but at the end of the day, what do you bring to your consumers and prospects? Nobody knows.”
He continued, “If [brands] want to make the investment in new technology or the new virtual world, they need to really rationalize how they are investing their money in the existing ones.”