Insights from Ben Carter, CMO at Carwow

Data-Driven Marketing and the Importance of Cross-Channel Measurement in a Cookieless World

Tune in to Time for A Reset

The changes that have been made by Google and Apple are both challenging and beneficial. They’re challenging because they make it harder to understand what’s happening in your marketing, but they’re beneficial because they force us to get better.” Ben Carter of Carwow

On this episode of Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders, your host, Nick King, Global Practice Lead at CvE Consultancy, is joined by Ben Carter, Global Chief Customer and Marketing Officer at Carwow, the UK’s leading retail platform for changing your car. 

Ben unpacks the value of cross-channel measurement, data-driven decision-making, TV advertising, content marketing, and the role of social media. Ben also shares his experience at Carwow and the opportunities presented by the digital transformation of the car market. He further covers the importance of local knowledge, the role of AI in marketing, and the attributes of the future CMO.

Here are some highlights from the episode:

Pressing the Marketing Reset Button on Cross Channel Measurement

As a CMO, Ben needs a granular and real-time view of his ROAS, which is currently lacking for both broadcast and digital channels. He feels that the ad spend across channels would increase exponentially if CMOs could get access to cross-channel measurement and attribution.  

The Impact on Marketing Measurement of Changes at Google and Apple

Ben explains that the changes need to be viewed from both the customer’s and marketer’s lens. The changes benefit the customer with greater data security, with Google ending third-party cookies on Chrome. Although this only accounts for one percent of traffic to Google, it is a start. From a marketer’s lens, the changes drive a need for a greater focus on acquiring first-party data and building robust attribution and measurement models. Marketers need to build models that provide granular visibility across the different customer channels. The changes will force marketers to get better at their jobs. 

Ben’s Deep Dive into Cross-Channel Measurement

Cross-channel measurement refers to the process of tracking and analysing the performance of marketing campaigns across different channels, such as social media, email marketing, search engine marketing, and more. It involves gathering data from various sources and platforms and consolidating it into a unified view. This allows marketers to gain insights into the effectiveness of their campaigns and understand how different channels contribute to their overall marketing efforts.

Ben’s Take on Measurement and Data-Driven Marketing Decisions

Ben discusses the role of data-driven decision-making in marketing, the importance of understanding the full funnel effect of marketing channels, and the need to reduce the reliance on traditional and linear metrics like 28-day last click. The problem with a 28-day last click is it doesn’t factor in the impact of middle and top of the funnel channels and obviously does not consider the impact of linear broadcast or other above-the-line channels as well. He explains that to try and address these issues Carwow initiated ‘how-did-you-hear-about-us surveys’, where they ask their customers directly.

Carwow also does incremental up-list studies across as many channels as possible to better understand the impact of advertising across the full funnel. Developing Econometrics models is vital both for scalability and to get a 360 view. 

Ben’s Take on Measurement and Data-Driven Marketing 

Ben explains that data-driven decision-making involves using data and analytics to inform marketing strategies and tactics. It shifts the focus from relying on gut instincts and intuition to making decisions based on objective insights. He highlights three key benefits of data-driven decisions:

1. The Importance of LTV Maximisation: Ben mentions that while traffic and conversions are important, it’s vital to measure and maximise the lifetime value (LTV) of customers. It’s about getting our customers to use more than one of our products and, therefore, growing their LTV. 

2. Focusing on First Part Data: Ben mentions that marketers need to reduce their dependence on third-party data since third-party cookies will soon be a thing of the past. Google has already removed this from their Chrome browser. Hence, marketers and brands need to protect the first-party data and use it to build deep and meaningful relationships with their customers.  

3. Foundational Changes in the Car Market: Ben explains that the car market is experiencing fundamental changes. From an accelerated move towards digitisation to the impact of legislation that requires all cars sold to be EVs by 2035. Car companies are already feeling the heat as they need to hit 25% of EV sales by 2030. This is opening the market to imports from China which already has a thriving EV manufacturing base in place. In this scenario, it becomes difficult to maintain a consistent and high-quality user experience.

The Role of AI in Marketing

Ben discusses the various ways AI is being used at Carwow, including in content creation, keyword discovery, and search marketing. He mentions that you can see AI in two ways. You can either see it as a massive threat and be paranoid about it, or you can see it as an invention like electricity or a bit like broadband. It’s going to change fundamentally the way we work, but ultimately it can be a very good force for good in terms of whether it’s from a productivity perspective or an innovation perspective. 

The Toolkit for Tomorrow’s CMO

Ben explains that the CMO of the future needs to be able to think strategically and analytically. They need to be able to use data to make decisions and have a vision for where the brand is going. They need to be adaptable and innovative because the marketing landscape is changing so rapidly.

“I think tomorrow’s CMO needs to have a three-dimensional view of marketing. You have to know when to use data and when to use your gut and experience. I think, from a CMO perspective, it’s that combination of creative thinking, fleet of foot, and a strategic mind, three-dimensional thinking, and being data-driven.”

Join us on Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders

Tune in to the latest episode of Time For a Reset: The Marketing Podcast with Global Leaders, where we sit down with representatives of household brands to uncover the secrets behind driving transformation in today’s rapidly evolving world. From shifting consumer behaviour to the increasing importance of marketing in driving business growth, this podcast delves into the strategies and insights that are shaping the future of marketing.

You can read the full transcript episode here.

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