From a tortoise to a cheetah: How to elevate your marketing ROI to deliver growth

Sustainable growth requires a balanced mix of brand building and performance marketing efforts.
21 March 2024

EVP Global Thought Leadership, Kantar

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What CMOs need to build predisposition

With four in ten (40.8%) of marketers stating that improving marketing ROI is in their top 3 priorities, according to Kantar’s Media Reactions study, it’s time for CMOs to review how they measure marketing ROI to deliver growth.

What is the core of what marketers are trying to understand with marketing ROI? Fundamentally, it’s about understanding the best way to Predispose More People – priming more consumers to buy the brand, knowing that it meets their functional and emotional needs, at the right price. Marketers need to understand how to prioritize marketing activities with a limited budget and to strike the right balance between brand and performance marketing. CMOs need to optimize to deliver true marketing ROI, which requires the right data and insights, at speed. If CMOs want a seat at the table and are asking CFOs to protect or increase marketing budgets, ROI measurement and optimization is critical.

Marketing ROI can be cumbersome

Historic measurement and attribution approaches have been around for decades. Often commissioned and used by different parts of the business, the big risk is an incomplete picture, which can skew findings and lead to different teams taking the wrong course of action for the brand.  Older measurement (MMM) and attribution (MTA) approaches can often bewilder marketers by showing different pictures of marketing ROI. These models can often be cumbersome, costly, and suffer from being added to over the years, with extra features bolted on as new needs or additional data sources emerge. Slow or sporadic delivery of data once or twice a year isn’t enough anymore.

Marketing ROI methods have historically been more like a tortoise. But modern marketers need a cheetah. Speed and agility are required.  The ability to anticipate technology changes is also important: for example, with cookie deprecation still looming on the horizon, marketers need to make sure that their analytical models take full account of digital marketing investments and are based on future-proof data.

The other watchout for marketers using pure plays in the Marketing and Media Optimization (MMO) space is a narrow mindset. CMOs should be demanding a comprehensive approach to marketing effectiveness measurement, a global presence, a rich heritage in understanding how to shape brands, and integration across Media and Advanced Analytics.

Thinking ahead for a digital age

With huge leaps being taken in data analysis techniques and technology, wise CMOs will review the methods they currently rely on, to make sure they are modern and as comprehensive as possible. Let’s start by imagining a wish list for a cheetah-level marketing ROI approach. It should deliver:

  • Measurement and predictions using a combination of attitudinal and behavioral data
  • A long- and short-term perspective of marketing performance
  • Always-on, continuously refreshed data models (daily)
  • Relevant data exchange partnerships and APIs
  • Hyper-granular data at publisher, ad format and target profile level
  • The ability to run predictions and simulations accurately
  • Good value for money 

Introducing LIFT ROI

Now CMOs can get the best of all worlds and use the racehorse approach, rather than the camel. 

Our LIFT ROI platform gives marketers a long- and short-term perspective of your marketing performance. Kantar’s unique understanding of consumers with the ability to measure attitudinal and behavioral responses to marketing communication is critical to help marketers who recognize that sustainable growth requires a balanced mix of brand building and performance marketing efforts.

This balance is a key advantage for a global automotive manufacturer which uses LIFT ROI to predict car sales in the month ahead, based on always-on data ingestion that suits their market and their category. But what do all CMOs need to look out for?

Here are the four factors that marketers need to be assured of when using Marketing ROI solutions:

1. Expertise amplified by technology.

  • A unique perspective of your marketing performance, combined with the granular level of detail that brands today need, to make informed business, marketing, and media decisions. 
  • AI-powered, always-on unified measurement platform processing holistic media effectiveness of on and offline media channels. Continuous data and models refreshed in-flight daily includes automated data sourcing frameworks, data exchange partnerships and APIs. 
  • Hyper-granular data provides visibility at publisher, ad format and target profile levels measuring client specific KPIs including revenues, churn, brand impact to allow for more comprehensive planning decisions.
  • Best-in-class user interface, easy for end users to navigate. Platform built by media professional, for media professionals, inspired by data scientists.

2. Answering the important holistic and granular questions

  • Our LIFT ROI platform measures, predicts, informs decisions, and optimizes campaigns across various media and marketing dimensions. 
  • Our LIFT ROI platform integrates Creative quality scores and Brand against media spend and performance. 
  • Evaluating campaign effectiveness across multiple dimensions simultaneously through one platform, including marketing and media ROI, channel contribution, sales, awareness, repositioning, competitive differentiation, brand impact, and creative. Marketers who have Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) programs may fear loss of these granular insights as cookies disappear, and LIFT ROI can come to the rescue.
  • Ability to run predictions, to make in-flight shifts in investments based on how their mix allocation is performing.

3. Category knowledge and happy clients

  • Global presence with a network of international consulting and data science experts in over 100 countries to support your teams.
  • Vertical expertise, focusing on customers in priority industries including financial, insurance, telco, retail, insurance, e-commerce. It can be customized for your needs: for example, for telcos, we lean into lifetime value, handsets, churn, etc.
  • Validated client satisfaction and success. LIFT ROI has a high client retention rate. Optimizations are proved to grow ROI, delivering incremental revenue of 20%+.
  • The investment in LIFT ROI is self-funded, meaning that the returns realized through incremental ROI is not a ‘cost’ item’ - it’s more of an investment for growth.

4. Integrity and security

  • ISO 27001 certified, the international golden standard in information security demonstrates Kantar’s dedication to safeguarding sensitive data and mitigating risk as a commitment to excellence, while building trust with clients and stakeholders. 
  • We provide regular vulnerability scans conducted to ensure platform integrity.  

For more information about Kantar’s LIFT ROI platform please contact

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