Marketers that measure performance through mix modeling or cross-channel attribution alone do not get what they urgently need: a single view of marketing performance, according to Forrester senior analyst Tina Moffett.

Vendors have taken notice and now combine traditional marketing mix modeling measurement with technology for attribution, something Forrester calls unified marketing impact analytics," Moffett blogged yesterday.

The data findings led to Forrester's first evaluation of marketing measurement and optimization solutions, which it released this week. Moffet and Jim Nail, a principal analyst at Forrester, noted that measurement is increasingly important for business-to-consumer marketers:

  • Empowered consumers easily absorb information from all forms of media and multiple devices, and they comfortably straddle the digital/traditional media divide.1 Past measurement approaches that excel in only one of these domains no longer meet marketers’ needs to understand where to invest their budgets to keep pace with consumers.

10 Vendors Evaluated

Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester researched, analyzed and scored their capabilities of 10 providers — Analytic Partners, Marketing Evolution, Neustar MarketShare, AOL Convertro, Marketing Management Analytics (MMA), ThinkVine,Visual IQ, Google, IRI and Ninah Consulting.

Based on their findings, Moffett and Nail ranked Analytic Partners, Marketing Evolution and Neustar MarketShare as industry leaders. AOL Convertro, Ipsos MMA, ThinkVine and Visual IQ were named strong performers and Google, IRI and Ninah were named contenders.

Measurement Solutions Are Growing

Moffett and Nail reported that solutions for measurement marketing efforts have grown because B2C marketers need to prove their worth to C-Suite. The same marketers need help from consultants to interpret results and provide recommendations, and in the future, these services will merge with ad technologies for a better customer experience.

Forrester previously had a mix-modeling wave, last released in 2013. It included IRI, MarketShare, Marketing Management Analytics (MMA), Nielsen, Ninah, ThinkVine, Analytic Partners, Hudson River Group (HRG) and Marketing Evolution. Marketing mix modeling uses data analysis to measure and optimize the right mix of marketing tactics.

Forrester also produced a wave for cross-channel attribution in 2014. It included Abakus, AOL Convertro, eBay Enterprise, Google, Marketing Evolution, MarketShare, Rakuten DC Storm, and Visual IQ. Adobe's Matt Scharf defines cross-channel attribution as helping marketers with an understanding of "which banner ads, search results and email campaigns are the most effective."

Assessing the Leaders

Moffett and Nail favored Marketing Evolution, Analytic Partners and Neustar MarketShare. Neustar just last year acquired MarketShare for $450 million. Gartner ranked Neustar a "visionary" in its digital marketing hub report earlier in the year. Here is what they wrote.

Marketing Evolution: Person-Centric Approach

Marketing Evolution scored well for its hybrid measurement, panel research and marketing planning tool. Researchers like its unified methodology, strategic services and "ability to optimize campaigns by placement, creative and customer segment."

Neustar MarketShare: Smooth Acquisition

Neustar MarketShare was cited for its person-centric marketing measurement and optimization strategy, acquired through the MarketShare acquisition. Customers reported a seamless integration of the two companies technologies.

Analytic Partners: Strong Analytics, Consulting

Analytic Partners offers marketers training in data collection, normalization and management. It also provides processes to ensure high-quality data.

Unified Approach Gains Steam

The unified approach to measuring marketing is gaining traction with B2C marketers, according to Moffett and Nail. Forrester surveyed 77 customers of marketing measurement providers to help shape material in the Wave. The findings revealed 49 percent use the measurement firm's strategic and tactical analytics together.

"Brands we hear from often express interest in measurement models," Wave authors wrote, "that can include digital campaign data and television data to better understand channel correlation and influencer effects."

Title image by Dawid MaƂecki