Measurement drives growth. Lots of it.

If you expected, "The future of measurement looks complicated" or "The future looks fraught with transparency issues, thwarted by walled gardens, and dominated by data scientists that don't get the business" sorry to disappoint. Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes and Brad Lemons, Nationwide SVP of Customer Insights and Analytics, discussed the myriad ways measurement drives growth for Nationwide. For Lemons, measurement is an absolutely essential part -- not only of Nationwide’s marketing approach -- but for their entire business strategy.  

Measurement at the Core of Business

Lemons, who aptly started his career as an actuary, is now leading the data-driven marketing change at Nationwide. He underscored the need to build not only a marketing department with analytics at its core, but align the entire business against the same goals, with the customer (and thus marketing) as the focal point.  

He asserted that the proverbial 4 Ps of Marketing — product, price, placement and promotion — has become Nationwide’s "One B,” or unified business metric. The idea is to be aligned around the same success criteria and metrics across the entire organization, to ultimately support financial goals. Lemons says the marketing department should start with a core understanding of what is driving financial results, align the marketing metrics with that understanding, and develop measurement and analytics that correspond.  

In other words, it’s time for marketers to speak like CFOs and, conversely, for CFOs to think more like marketers.  

Personal Customer Data Captured, Measured, and Deployed Meaningfully

Lemons believes that measurement needs to be personal, down to the individual customer level. At Nationwide, he thinks about how to harness their customer data to make them brand ambassadors. So he's not just focused on the run-of-the-mill acquisition, retention, and loyalty paradigm, but rather how to acquire more or only customers that will be ambassadors.  

How do marketers achieve measurement at the customer level, and align this with the financial metrics that the entire business is driving toward?

According to Lemons: “Data is not the issue, it's how you collect it and deploy it.” He had two recommendations:

  1. Create a single view of the customer
  2. Invest in a data structure

He also underscored the importance of setting up an analytics framework that can work nimbly across complex business teams, and that allows organizations to react quickly to develop meaningful, usable insights.

“Every marketer is a performance marketer”

As Lemon reiterated, measurement has the power to drive real financial results. Marketers that invest more in measurement and analytics outperform their peers. That makes every marketer a performance marketer, and those who are inclined to measure, more successful.