Thursday, December 13, 2018

Report: It’s crucial to prove digital marketing ROI, but many still struggle to measure

For many digital communicators, measurement is a tough nut to crack.

It’s also an increasingly crucial element in securing a bigger digital marketing budget.

A recent Xaxis survey sought to uncover how marketers track the ROI of their digital marketing efforts against the amount of money they spend on these efforts. The majority of those surveyed (81 percent) said it’s essential for their digital campaigns to drive direct correlations to the strategic business goals they set, such as sales.

That’s probably because 80 percent said their ability to meet business objectives affects their marketing budgets.

Overall, 42 percent of marketers said the metrics they use are very effective in evaluating their campaign’s success when it comes to their strategic goals, and 44 percent say their metrics are somewhat effective.

However, the outlook shifts depending on the industry.

More than half (51 percent) of marketing pros in the IT and telecommunications fields said their primary metric was very effective in measuring the success of their efforts. Those working for sales, media and marketing organizations followed, with 46 percent reporting that their metrics are effective for evaluation. Forty-one percent of marketers in the human resources and arts and culture industries called their primary metrics very effective.

In comparison, only 31 percent of retail, clothing and leisure marketers say that their metrics measure the success of their campaigns when stacked against strategic goals.

Even lower percentages are found among marketing pros in health care (34 percent), finance (36 percent) and legal industries (37 percent).

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Though 86 percent of marketers said they have effective metrics in place, 72 percent are either very or somewhat likely to change their primary metrics in the past year or two. That likelihood increases with the size of marketers’ budgets. 

Adjusting the metric of a marketing campaign’s success can be a smart move to ensure the proper calls to action are tied to the strategic marketing goal.

Changing metrics also highlight the challenge marketers face in evaluating expenditures and proving ROI from those choices: 71 percent said evaluating the money they spend has become more difficult in the past five years.

Even if marketers want to change up their primary marketing metric, there are several barriers that can keep them from doing so. Those include limited budget and resources, having the existing metrics too embedded internally or with external partners, not knowing decent alternatives and not getting executive buy-in.

Marketers also struggle with gathering and making sense of the campaign data.

“It seems apparent that connecting digital campaign impact with business success is a clear need, and that marketers want to own this process but rely on partners to help provide and make sense of campaign data,” Xaxis reported.

Having solid metrics in place affects marketers’ ability to properly access their ROI across tactics, but can also help or hinder them in reaching their top budgeting priorities, which range from increasing campaigns’ efficiency (48 percent) to linking their digital marketing efforts to offline actions (14 percent).

How does this report match up with your own marketing measurement strategies, PR Daily readers?

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