Metrics that matter

How to win with people-based measurement

As people demand a more customized shopping experience, how do marketers leverage digital capabilities to keep up with new and evolving expectations? Working with CMOs and marketing practitioners, Deloitte Digital took a deeper dive into the dynamics of people-based measurement to better understand its capabilities and value to business outcomes.

Why people-based measurement?

The proliferation of devices and messages that people are bombarded with every day are pushing marketers to become better at providing the right information at the right time. With people-based measurement, marketers now have the ability to produce a complete view of their customer’s journey, apply data-driven measurement to business outcomes, and create better strategies moving forward.

A customer’s buying decision may begin with a mobile coupon, end with an in-store purchase, and net additional sales based on in-store promotions. Now, marketers can capture these unique moments and develop data-driven insights into what makes their customers tick. With these discoveries comes the intelligence to better serve customers and demonstrate return on investment.

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The Deloitte digital people-based measurement study

​It’s no secret that CMOs are always on the lookout for more precise ways to show where and how marketing investments are driving their bottom line. In fact, Deloitte conducted a people-based marketing study in which 65 percent of marketers were either neutral or dissatisfied with their digital measurement approach.1

In that same study, 73 percent of respondents indicated they were open to new measurement strategies. But many are simply unsure where to start. We asked marketing practitioners and CMOs to shed some light on how and why their organizations chose to adopt a people-based marketing approach to measuring the success of their marketing investments and what they shared was enlightening:

  • Through people-based measurement, one organization was able to quickly and inexpensively conduct experiments in the marketplace and build business cases for their CEO and CMO.
  • Marketing management was able to immediately lift insights from current campaigns and benchmark brand awareness and return on investment for future marketing efforts.
  • Enhanced metrics on incrementality, comparability, and return on investment made for a more precise allocation of the marketing budget.
  • Marketers could determine which messaging and mediums were proving most effective with their audiences.
  • Unique insights helped a marketing manager tell a more powerful story to their audience and conclude how the results contributed to the CEO’s overall strategy.
  • Leadership support and a more precise view of ROI convinced a CFO to increase the marketing budget to continue a people-based approach for both marketing and measurement.


1 Erik Almadrones, Sarah Logman, Chris Finch, and Rebecca Fairchild, 2018. “How to Win with People-based Measurement,” Deloitte Digital.

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People-based measurement describes the ability to connect incremental business outcomes to delivered campaigns by accurately measuring the actions of real people across devices, channels, platforms, and publishers.

How to bring people-based measurement to life

​While convincing an organization to transform their marketing methodology and measurement can be a challenge, many businesses are finding it worth the effort. Whether arranging people-based measurement solutions in-house or partnering with a vendor, the path to adoption is about building relationships and changing the organizational culture. The best way to help ensure a successful implementation is to begin with a business case. Define how people-based measurement can meet the organization’s desired business outcomes and more allies will realize its advantages. This is typically championed by a marketing practitioner (with support from the C-suite), and initiated with these steps in mind:

  1. Identify key stakeholders in the marketing ecosystem.
  2. Speak the language of the C-suite to show the benefits of people-based measurement.
  3. Establish channels, touchpoints, business goals, and benchmarks.
  4. Define the audience based on desired outcomes.
  5. Leverage partners that will supply the necessary data to determine success.
  6. Execute and measure people-based marketing campaign, in-house or with partners.
  7. Evaluate business outcomes and benchmarks to assess elements of the campaign that effectively produced desired business outcomes.
  8. Adjust and optimize future marketing based on measurement results.

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What does the future hold?

Customers will likely continue to crave more personalized, relevant messaging as technology advances—turning people-based measurement from a nice-to-have solution into a must-have competitive advantage. As cookie-and proxy-based marketing is likely to become outdated with cultural and technological shifts, a people-based measurement approach is set to become a critical component for marketers. Through people-based measurement, marketers are better equipped to provide the experiences customers seek and the return on investment their enterprises value.

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Let's talk

Erik Almadrones | Managing Partner, Deloitte Digital

Erik is a Managing Director in Deloitte Consulting’s Deloitte Digital practice, where he helps lead the firm’s offerings in customer analytics and marketing effectivemess. He works with clients to align their sales & marketing strategies with the right analytic capabilities, data, and technology infrastructure. 

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Sarah Logman | Specialist Master, Deloitte LLP

Sarah is a specialist master with Deloitte Consulting, LLP working at the cross section of data science and marketing to produce actionable insights for clients on marketing effectiveness and customer journey. Her work is primarily focused on helping CMOs use analytics to better understand their customers and marketing investments in order to proactively run their business.

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