Inside Google Marketing: Marketing measurement during a pandemic

Data: 2020 m. balandžio 28 d.

How do you measure your marketing efforts in a time of upheaval? It’s a pretty stark question, and one I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. As the head of strategic analytics for Google Marketing, I’ve been wrestling with how and what to measure since the COVID-19 pandemic upended, well, everything.

The pandemic has changed the personal and professional lives of everyone around the globe. Those reading this likely work in marketing. You may be reading from home or another remote location, juggling family commitments or home schooling, while dealing with the fact that entire campaigns have been suspended or drastically altered.


Should you even be measuring your marketing efforts during a time like this?


If the job of measuring marketing campaigns typically falls to you or your team, where do you even begin? And should you even be measuring your marketing efforts during a time like this?


It’s a challenge that we face at Google as well. To that end, we’ve identified five marketing measurement strategies we’re pausing for the moment, and five that continue to provide value.


We’ve put the brakes on:

  • Matched market tests. Comparing the behaviour of users in a single control region with the behaviour of users in a single test region requires stability. As regions, states, and geographies go in and out of social distancing protocols, with multiple changes in user behaviour, stability will be heavily impacted. We’re also putting a halt to geo-experiments and ROPO (research online, purchase offline) tests for the same reason.
  • Short-term campaign KPIs. You’re going to have to make some tough calls about your long-term business objectives. If those objectives are still relevant, you might be tempted to change some of your long-term key performance indicators (KPIs) to focus only on short-term KPIs. We’re resisting that urge. Because these circumstances are so unique, you might not hit any of those short-term KPIs. It’s more than likely, anything you learn from the success or failure of short-term KPIs won’t be usable in the future.
  • Major strategic projects. We’ve seen some major changes in consumer media habits as well as responses to those shifts. There’s been an increase in the consumption of online news and linear TV. Meanwhile, increased demands on streaming services have led YouTube and Netflix, among others, to reduce video quality in an effort to reduce bandwidth usage. Whether these habits are long-lasting or temporary remains to be seen, but this is not the time to build learnings related to media approaches in a post-COVID world.
  • Face-to-face measurement. For the safety of all involved, we’ve requested our agencies and vendor partners stop any and all face-to-face interviews, including exit interviews, market research, and in-person creative testing.
  • Unrealistic timelines. If a business-critical timeline is driving a campaign launch, proceed without worrying about the optimal measurement of that campaign. Optimal measurement always requires extra time to plan, evaluate, and implement necessary instrumentation. Let your executives know that now might not be the best time for such an approach. But if you absolutely have to strive for optimal measurement of a major campaign, be sure to give yourself more time in light of the current situation.


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