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Nissan drives ahead on measurement

News, 17 December 2015

NEW YORK: Nissan, the automaker, has enhanced its digital measurement capabilities by working with partners like Google and focusing on metrics such as "overall opinion".

Robert Brown, Nissan North America's Senior Manager/Interactive Marketing, discussed this subject at Advertising Week 2015 in New York.

More specifically, he referenced "Meet the Machines" – a digital experience which used innovative filming techniques to capture its GT-R LM NISMO sports car as if in suspended animation, and fed into various additional content items. (For more, including the brand's four stages of analysis , read Warc's exclusive report: Nissan changes lanes on marketing measurement.)

This effort secured 30m impressions in one week and boosted brand perceptions when it came to activities like innovation, as well as foregrounding Nissan's racing heritage.

"At the end of the day, we were still asked how many leads we got," Brown said. "The idea was, in a general sense, [that] it 'underperformed' in terms of lead-generation processes. And if you think about it in these terms, you can't just say, 'Hey, that's not our goal.'

"Of course, we can only track down 2% to 3% of that traffic to somebody who ended up in a sale," he added. "Another way to think about it – from my perspective and my fiduciary duty – is: I could have put [out] much less expensive content to produce and perhaps got the same amount of leads."

In response, Nissan has ramped up its efforts to monitor the impact of its marketing through working with operators such as Google.

"We had a lot of partners help us in this quest. Google is one of them. And Google knows a lot of things," Brown told the Advertising Week assembly.

"They know through search strings and differences in search patterns whether somebody originally is looking for a blue hatchback [or] how to change the windscreen-wiper fluid in a Nissan Versa Note."

JD Power and GfK are among the other firms which have helped Nissan gain a more holistic view of effectiveness, Brown reported.

"The idea is: how do we force ourselves to find ways that – regardless of our KPI or our goal – we're going to be able to understand our performance relative to that?" he said.

"And that, indeed, has been a big challenge we've had for this fiscal [year]. One of my big things is trying to understand the value of our data beyond tradition web-form lead."

Data sourced from Warc