Taco Bell, the quick-service restaurant chain, has looked beyond traditional media metrics as it seeks to gain a truly holistic view of campaign effectiveness.

Sasha Wolfe, head of media at Taco Bell, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Media Conference.

“Media metrics are basically a currency … The gap between how we measure media and how we measure our business is pretty large,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Why Taco Bell eschews micro-marketing metrics to focus on consumer behavior.)

Cost per thousand, gross rating points, target rating points and impressions, she said, are key performance indicators (KPIs) for media experts.

“But none of these things is a KPI for our actual business,” Wolfe asserted. “Our business is only successful if more people come to Taco Bell on a daily, and weekly, and quarterly basis.”

While the marketing-focused indices “are tools that we use to do our jobs”, they are not critical indicators of overall business performance.

As a result, Taco Bell is not solely vested in “channel work” that restricts its approach to understanding minute tactics. “The piece that is now connecting it is all about the customer,” Wolfe said of its strategy.

“So, everything we do now is thinking about the customer connection – everything from the customer exposure from a media standpoint to the actual behavior of a customer… and starting to connect those dots.”

In fact, linking those various elements along the path to purchase becomes daunting when the focus is too tight, Wolfe told the ANA assembly.

“If you just focus on a micro level and an ROAS [return on advertising spend] number, you may not be thinking about the brand investment that you need to make over time,” she said.

“ROAS calculations on every single metric… may be helpful for some components as you’re starting to compare one thing to another and really starting to understand some contribution areas.

“But if you get yourself into a straight-up Excel spreadsheet for every single thing you’re doing with a really quick-turn calculation, you might be short-sighted on the total growth.”

Sourced from WARC