Marketers are quick to admit that there are many tactics and channels that are hard to measure. Especially social media marketing seems though for most. The impact of some techniques is easier to measure. At least, that is what many marketers feel.
Marketing tactics such as email marketing and online advertising traditionally have been ranked high for their inherent measurement capabilities. However, in a cross-channel buying journey with multiple touch points, conversion is not always linear.
Take email marketing for instance: obviously, it is easier to track the impact of an email to a well segmented list when there is a clear call-to-action and the email has cross-selling or up-selling purposes. But in many cases, the ripple effect and cross-fertilizations of several channels is harder to measure, as is the cross-channel impact of a campaign. Certainly if you have a channel-centric or message- and campaign-centric approach. Finally, you can not track everything (think offline word-of-mouth).
Nevertheless, let's take a view at measurement capabilities by channel.
Email marketing praised for measurement capabilities
US-based Ifbyphone, surveyed marketing experts for its "2011 State of Marketing Measurement Report." Of those surveyed, 82 percent say that their executives want every campaign measured. However, the survey discovered that marketers might not always have an easy time successfully completing these goals.
Of the marketers surveyed, only 47 percent feel that they can effectively measure ROI of email marketing. Moreover, that percentage is even lower for other forms of marketing. For example, only 26 percent of US marketers feel that they can successfully measure their social media marketing ROI.
Marketers admit what challenges them the most. They feel that it is hard to measure which keywords drive the most clicks, the most traffic and the most online conversations.
Regardless of the challenge, marketers are still doing what they can to satisfy measurement goals set out by their company. Marketers are using tools to help them measure sales and returns on investment from various marketing platforms. These tools include, but are not limited to, Web analytics, email marketing software analytics, leads from contact forms and strict social media monitoring.
What do marketers measure?
Marketers are using these tools to track an overall return on investment, but the survey discovered that some marketers use these tools to find different results.
- 62 percent of US marketers said they use these tools to track net increase in sales.
- 57 percent of US marketers said they use these tools to track newly acquired customers.
- 39 percent of US marketers said they use these tools to track newly generated leads.
- 33 percent of US marketers said they use these tools to track an increase in customer retention.
- 33 percent of US marketers said they use these tools to track a quantified increase in awareness.
This is not a new challenge for marketers. However, with the addition of social media integration, traditional marketing methods and new digital marketing methods, the challenge to measure statistics increases. However, the main challenge is that of a customer-centric measurement approach. Consumers do not use just one channel, so, although it's important to measure on the micro-level, it's even more important to measure in an integrated way. Still, marketers are stepping up to the new challenges and utilizing new technology to hopefully gain a better grasp on marketing measurements.
With a cross-channel and customer-centric approach they can do even better. With a holistic measurement approach and common metrics they can do much better. Measurement and analysis should not be siloed.
Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.
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