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FEBRUARY 25, 2021 //     

How to Overcome 2021’s Biggest Measurement + Analytics Challenges

By Brent Diggins

Increased pressure to perform while budgets are constricting is an undesirable combination shaping early 2021 for many marketing leaders. This combination is why sound measurement and analytics is more important than ever—no longer a nice to have, but a need to have to drive strategy, optimise spend and showcase results to budget allocators.  

In conversations with many marketing, communications and C-Suite leaders, several consistent measurement challenges have emerged as more poignant than ever for 2021. Here are our five biggest challenges and how to overcome them.

Executive Reporting vs. Campaign Reporting
Marketing leaders are often caught in a battle between executive reporting and campaign progress/optimisation reporting with little time to decipher a difference between the two. The result is that these reports, which should be two very different things, are often combined into one disjointed report that is irrelevant to some or all audiences. The cause is often due to lack of reporting strategy, process, or structure. Now is the time for organisations to really gather hold of their executive vs. campaign reporting and map their distinct purposes to showcase value internally and maximize marketing spend for growth. Missing out on either can be very detrimental in the current environment.

Telling a Clear, Succinct Data Driven Story
Many organisations have difficulty telling a clear, consumable story to those that reside outside of the marketing function like the CEO, CFO or board. A process-driven approach to data-informed storytelling is becoming an area of focus for those looking to justify budget allocation in 2021 and beyond. Defining the story, identifying the data that may help tell the story and crafting the story are all steps required to help overcome this challenge.

Proving Value to Maintain or Expand Budget
2021 will be the year where proving absolute value is essential, which means that leaders across the marketing mix will have to define their core contributions to an organisation. This fundamental question is often vague, undefined, or casually ignored, and when business and budgets are robust, that may suffice. However, each unit in the marketing mix should be prepared to develop their value proposition and marketing leaders should be prepared to tie them together using a data-driven story.

Global Consistency in Talent, Data and Technology
The difference in the global consistency of talent, data and technology is one of the biggest hurdles in unified reporting. With various levels of resources, access to data and availability of technology, data is often fragmented and different market to market. And that is before language and cultural nuances are accounted for. Connecting the fibres between local and global is where best-in-class organisations should be operating at or aiming for.

Proving New Channel Efficacy
New channels are consistently emerging, requiring marketers to evaluate and prove value. In a budget-constricted environment, a method to develop learning questions and test the waters before full-fledged spends are deployed will be more essential than ever. Channel budget diversification and predictive modeling will also be a consistent requirement in the world of ever-changing channel mixes and end customer nuances.

With these trending challenges, there are a few things that marketing leaders can start thinking about now to troubleshoot and position themselves for success in the coming year and beyond – including auditing their current technology stack and spend, aligning internal teams for unified reporting and continually optimising spend by deploying test and learn methodologies.


Brent Diggins is Managing Director of Measurement and Analytics. To find out more on how our European teams can help you take forward effective measurement and analytics planning and programming, click here.

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