US Still Counts on Cookies, While UK and Germany Champion MMM

Marketers across the UK, US, and Germany come up against different challenges when it comes to cookies, not least due to varying laws on data governance. So if you’re running an international...

Marketers across the UK, US, and Germany come up against different challenges when it comes to cookies, not least due to varying laws on data governance. So if you’re running an international operation, you probably won’t have the exact same priorities from one marketing team to the next. 

Our latest research report zeros in on the plans of 964 marketing professionals from across the US, UK, and Germany. And there’s one pretty interesting regional difference when it comes to how marketers measure the impact of spend. 

Read on to find out more, or check out the full research report here.

Has multi-touch attribution reached the point of diminishing returns?

Until recently, multi-touch attribution has been sitting pretty as the single most popular method of measuring the impact of marketing spend. In 2020, CMOs made massive shifts toward digital marketing in response to pandemic buying behavior. Many were still struggling to find their footing when Apple and Google ripped the rug out from underneath them, announcing that they were killing third-party cookies.

Brands that start to evolve their targeting away from targeting people and towards targeting content and relevancy will do well and forge more trust with their audience.

Harriet Durnford Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Adverity

 

But Adverity CMO, Harriet Durnford-Smith believes that this shift is long overdue, and will encourage a much more customer-friendly version of personalization.

"Brands that start to evolve their targeting away from targeting people and towards targeting content and relevancy will do well and forge more trust with their audience," says Harriet Durnford-Smith. 

Multi-touch attribution was never a perfect system. It can take years to build trust with a customer - and we’ve all heard the stats about how it costs five times more to acquire a customer than to retain one. So when customers across the world are seeing your ads, and googling "is my phone listening to me", the obsession with tracking every digital touchpoint available might mean your targeting is doing more harm than good.  

Multi-touch attribution is lowest priority everywhere (except the US)

We can see this shift away from cookie dependency both in the UK and Germany. Marketers from these regions say personalized content is their top strategic priority, but they won’t be relying on cookies to get there. In fact, the UK and Germany rank multi-touch attribution as their lowest priority

However, for the US, multi-touch will remain a relatively key strategy in 2022, who rank this as their third most pressing analytics priority, above both market mix modeling (MMM) and AI. One big reason the US is reluctant to ditch third-party cookies could be that more relaxed laws in the US around data governance make it much easier to get hold of them. 

UK and DACH have big plans for MMM 

In Germany and the UK, GDPR means more stringent permissions, more boxes to tick, and fewer cookies. So it’s no surprise that both the UK and Germany rank market mix modeling, a cookie-less method of performance tracking, much higher than US marketers and data analysts. 

So if MMM doesn’t use cookies, how does it work? Well, while attribution modeling analyzes how different channels and campaigns contribute to sales at an individual user level, MMM takes a top-down approach. Instead of relying on cookies, MMM uses an algorithm to spot trends in historic data, and estimate the impact of future campaigns on any given channel.

These calculations can get pretty complicated, as they need to factor in tons of variables. Anything that might affect customer behavior needs to be taken into account, so things like market conditions, promotions, competitor activity - even seasonality. 

While Kraft, Coca-Cola, P&G, AT&T, and Pepsi might have led the way, with cookie deprecation jeopardizing the multi-touch attribution model, MMM isn’t just for the fortune 500 anymore. In fact, 58% of UK marketing teams, and 55% of German marketing teams say they plan to introduce MMM by the end of 2022. Whether they’re actually data mature enough to make it happen is another question altogether. 

Marketers may say they're analytically mature, but many of them are still struggling with the basics. 68% of respondents who say they’re analytically mature build their marketing reports on spreadsheets, and 45% still struggle with manual data integration. What’s more, there are huge gaps between marketers' and analysts’ priorities. In fact, they can’t even agree on what technology they have access to

Make sure your team is on the same page about data

Until all elements of your marketing function are on the same page about how to incorporate data into the marketing strategy, progress will be messy and complicated. 

If your different marketing teams are not communicating then you are just creating another silo.

Jeff Sirkin, Sirkin Research

 

"Global marketing teams having different priorities is not uncommon," Says Jeff Sirkin of Sirkin Research. "However, what is essential is that there is a uniform approach to how marketers work with their data. If your different marketing teams are not communicating then you are just creating another silo."

The move to MMM is a smart one, but marketers and analysts still have plenty of groundwork to do before they’re able to carry out these complex calculations in a sustainable way. You can find out more about this in our earlier blog to find out how advanced our research respondents think they are, and see how this stacks up against their current capabilities.