Thursday, 05 July 2018 23:27

Incrementality and data science are keys to unlocking CMO ROI, says Rokt


Marketing technology provider Rokt says its built-in incrementality tool unlocks the power of digital marketing, delivering clear metrics on just what influences prospective buyers.

Rokt, pronounced “rocked” with a "d", not “rocket”, is an Australian-founded global business that, among other things, provides smarts for online stores on upselling and cross-selling at the moment of the transaction. “Rokt makes e-commerce much better,” says Rokt chief executive Bruce Buchanan.

“We work with really cool brands and solve really interesting problems. Not many Australian companies are at the cutting edge of Machine Learning, especially not in the business-to-consumer space. We’re blessed to be solving really cool problems on a global stage with all the research and development in Sydney."

Rokt provides four core offerings, specifically

  1. Optimisation, helping brands work out which internal campaigns can be optimised,
  2. Monetisation, introducing third-party brands into transactions to leverage tight connections and increase revenue. An example of this is when an airline ticket sale leads to offers for car rentals or hotels,
  3. Acquire, which is the converse where brands are injected into the transaction process for other brands, and
  4. Calendarisation, providing calendar communication with consumers.

Incrementality is built into the Rokt platform and tags along with optimisation and acquire.

The problem it solves, Buchanan explains, is twofold. First, the problem of attribution, knowing where consumers come from and how they get to your site, and thus where you can invest marketing effort.

Secondly, the problem of measuring the entire sales funnel including those consumers who drop out early. Consumers come in at the top of the funnel and a smaller number of consumers come out the other end as purchasers. Typical marketing plans put effort into broad-based marketing to get more people at the top of the funnel to increase the smaller number of people coming out the bottom.

However, the data available to marketing teams is typically just the last click and those who are at the bottom of the funnel and ready to buy already. This means the attribution source is flawed and marketers are measuring behaviours that would exist anyway.

“The value of marketing is in introducing new consumers to the funnel, and incrementality measures any part of the funnel at any time,” Buchanan says.

Rokt approaches incrementality with science, with data, and with its presence in many marketplaces and storefronts. “Control groups are the only real way to do attribution,” Buchanan says. “Anything else is a model or best guess.”

Rokt can follow control groups of consumers over time and provide clear information on behaviours around questions like how much more business do I get if someone downloads my app, or how much more value do I get on purchases if someone is exposed to my loyalty program. “It combines a lot of what marketers are trying to do, into a single measure, and over time it can advise incremental value for any particular campaign,” Buchanan says.

“Imagine you're a hotel and trying to work out if you advertise on a ticketing site how much extra business you can get. Rokt makes a control group of consumers and tracks them and can advise how much extra value you get on day one, day 90, day 365, and so on. You get this in the form of an incrementality number with 100% attribution, and the actual piece of business you've driven. Incrementality can attribute 100% of the revenue to this particular piece of activity.”

Buchanan says incrementality is built-in to Rokt and is available to all its customers. “Most brands optimise marketing spend and bid strategy around customer conversion, but now you can optimise on incremental items and on consumers you would not have otherwise got. It yields much better outcomes. Some of the biggest advertisers in the world, like Expedia, are moving to these approaches as they are much smarter in competitive advantage and the value return to shareholders."

Whether you are a Rokt client or not, Buchanan offers this advice:

  1. Get more scientific about your spend. It’s more effort to convert, but it provides higher value in the long run. Do this right you need good tools and a solid data analytics team.
  2. Brand is a power driver of acquisition cost. Companies with stronger brands can drive three times improvements in acquisition costs. Strong brands can win in the digital space. Many companies spend 10% to 20% on brand and 80% on acquisition, but if you can drive a threefold increase for every dollar you spend on brand then that is good value.

These are your two most important levers, Buchanan says.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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