Few people would contend that the modern consumer journey leading to purchases of products and services is easy to understand. But for Wavemaker, it’s a distinct way to both differentiate itself from other agencies while helping brand marketers cope with fragmentation and focus on optimizing the right things.

This is why Wavemaker’s “principal and defining obsession” is with the purchase journey, says Global CEO Tim Castree.

It’s not simply that chief marketing officers care about the purchase journey, Castree explains in this interview with Beet.TV. Research from IBM indicates that 83% of “progressive, transformational CEO’s organize themselves and their own thinking around consumers and how they make their way to products and brands on the path to purchase,” he says.

“It’s a very well understood context.”

The main reason why media, content and technology agency Wavemaker is “principally obsessed” with the purchase journey is that it lets the agency simplify “in a very complex world how we talk about our products, services and solutions. And how they work to benefit our customers and prospects.”

Asked about the biggest challenges facing CMO’s these days, Castree points to the broad area of fragmentation—less from an audience standpoint than a maze of choices in the digital era—and how best to calculate ROI. He believes there has been an excessive obsessiveness with ROI.

“People are over obsessed with ROI past the point of diminishing returns. So we’re optimizing increasingly to the lowest cost things, but we’re not looking at the full picture of marketing returns over time.”

While market mix modeling has long been a staple of CMO activity, modern times have brought a lot of focus on multi-touch attribution. But according to Castree, “A lot of those attribution models don’t take full account of the effects of marketing over time and the way they build performance over time.”

The bottom line is over optimizing “to the point of diminishing returns” to the bottom of the purchase funnel.

“I think there’s a lot of more fragmented decision making happening in the boardrooms as we think about things like programmatic or working with Google or on and on and on,” Castree says.

Wavemaker sees opportunity in bringing all the essentials together in a much more holistic and fully attributed approach to media and marketing, which leads full circle to understanding the consumer purchase journey not just as a concept.

“Understanding it econometrically is really the key for us to be able to give our clients the best advice about how to really reintegrate all of those pieces to drive a better outcome,” says Castree.

This video is part of a leadership series presented by Wavemaker, the GroupM media agency formed by the merger of MEC and Maxus. Please find additional segments from the series here.