Big data and multi-channels complicating marketers' ability to measure ROI, according to report

Marketers are unsure how to accurately measure ROI amid increasing channels and streams of data, a new survey has revealed.

Report: The study spoke to more than 200 marketers

The study from Tagman and Marketing Finder concluded that big data was becoming a distraction for marketers and social media added a further complicating factor.

“The buzz about big data is almost a distraction: the promise inherent in data-driven marketing has always been that brands can, in real time, reallocate budgets to drive better results through the channels that work best,” said the report. “Social media’s contribution to big data has, some might argue, made channel attribution and a single customer journey view an even more elusive pipedream.”

Of more than 200 marketers surveyed, the report recorded uncertainty over how effectively marketers were measuring ROI.

“When respondents were asked how confident they are in their ability to measure ROI, to which a majority (58 per cent) replied with a tentative ‘somewhat confident’,” it continued. “When we pursued this, enquiring how they currently reward marketing partners such as technology vendors, email service providers and publishers, the overwhelming response (over 49 per cent) said they were ‘not sure’.

“It’s a finding that will not cause surprise, when you consider that C-suite and shareholders are constantly pressing marketers for better returns, with the result being increased pressure to get campaigns out the door.”

According to the survey, 20 per cent rewarded marketing partners based upon last click rates, with best click at 13 per cent and first click at six per cent. However, 51 per cent said they were not sure.

The survey also examined the dominance of Google in the search and display ad market. In the first quarter of 2013, Google’s share of the US display market had reached 24 per cent while Yahoo and Facebook held less than 10 per cent of the market share, according to IDC figures.

When asked if they were concerned about Google’s dominance in PPC advertising, 39 per cent of marketers said yes. On social media, while 43 per cent of those surveyed were confident their social media investments were delivering revenue, 32 per cent were unsure.

Commenting on the report, Peter Sensier, online marketing manager at Waitrose, said: “Our goal is fairly straight forward - we want to better understand the required mix of budget, targeting and messaging for each channel as part of one customer journey. With that knowledge, we believe we can better plan our activity across bought, earned and owned channels.

“That said, we recognise that there are many different variations of the customer journey, so this is not so much an exercise of identifying the one exact path for all customers, but rather identifying patterns in the channel mix that have the greatest positive effect on sales performance.”

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.