Marketing Measurement: Aiming Really High … Scoring Kinda Low

Marketing ROI - return on investmentThere’s clearly a disconnect in the world of business regarding the theory and practice of ROI measurement for marketing campaigns.

That’s the key takeaway from the 2011 State of Marketing Management Report, based on a survey of 200+ U.S. marketing professionals in the B-to-B and B-to-C realm.

The research was conducted by Ifbyphone, a Chicago-based developer of voice-based marketing automation platforms, with results published in December 2011.

More than 80% of the marketers surveyed report that their executive management expects every campaign to be measured. But fewer than 30% of the respondents believe they can effectively evaluate the ROI of each campaign.

Not surprisingly, e-mail marketing, with its robust reporting capability, is the program that is reportedly most easy to measure for return on investment … whereas public relations programs are most difficult.

Here’s how eight marketing techniques fared in the survey in terms of their ROI measurement “difficulty”:

 E-mail marketing: ~53% of respondents report difficulty measuring ROI
 Direct mail campaigns: ~59% report difficulty
 Online advertising: ~60% report difficulty
 Print advertising campaigns: ~66% report difficulty
 Tradeshow marketing: ~72% report difficulty
 Social media: ~74% report difficulty
 Search engine optimization: ~76% report difficulty
 Public relations: ~82% report difficulty

The survey found some correlation between the types of marketing tools utilized and greater ability to measure ROI. The most popular tools used by the survey respondents included these five:

 Web analytics: ~48% utilize
 e-Mail marketing software analytics: ~47%
 Lead counts from online contact forms: ~38%
 Social media monitoring: ~30%
 Call tracking: ~27%

The study’s bottom-line finding: Marketers have a good deal more work to do to meet senior management expectations for campaign measurement … as well as to meet their own high standards.

Now for the tough part …