The time is fast approaching for our two-day Measuring Advertising Performance (MAP) conference, which takes place in London on March 12-13th. Over the past few weeks, I've been getting some pre-event perspectives from some of the speakers, discussing innovation with the London Business School's Patrick Barwise and Big Data with GFK's Colin Strong.
My final interviewee, Sue Unerman, chief strategy officer at MediaCom UK, offered an agency-side view when I talked to her in London yesterday. The overriding theme of her MAP presentation will be the need for partnership between clients, agencies, researchers and publishers – an increasingly pertinent issue in a world where consumer data is becoming ever more trackable and valuable. In his interview, Strong had suggested that the issue of who owns this data is something akin to a "battleground" these days – but Unerman believes that it doesn't have to be this way.
In short, "driving business growth has got to be everyone's shared objective," Unerman said. And if different stakeholders can use business processes to get over their mutual mistrust – use of shared-risk contracts between clients and agencies was one positive example she cited – then extra growth will follow. This is particularly pertinent in light of last month's AA/Deloitte report suggesting the marketing industry contributes as much as £100bn to the UK economy. Unerman added there was "more to unlock" – if only we could work together.
From a planning point of view, campaign strategy also needs an overhaul. "It's time to look again at the whole system – to look at what really is serving customers, rather than holding on to older KPIs," Unerman said. Instead, marketers should be taking as integrated an approach to their measurement as they do to their agency and media partners – taking in the full range of metrics, from hard direct response data to softer "brand warmth" tracking.
Ultimately, it's a data-driven process: working together to harvest the data in the best way – then judiciously finding the right way of measuring it. Unerman, co-author of Tell the Truth, a book advocating honesty as the "most powerful marketing tool", sees this process as part of the general trend towards greater authenticity, transparency and trust in the industry. "The truth will be in the data," she added.
Of course, both of the big issues touched on by Unerman in her presentation – client/agency partnerships and effectiveness measurement – will be covered by many of the speakers at MAP. With best practices still far from being resolved in either area, there will be a variety of perspectives on show.
Speakers representing everyone from Google to Mondelez International and DDB will be gathering at MAP next week: you can read a full agenda, and learn how to book, in the Warc Store.