Under increasing pressure to prove that every dollar of their budget has been well spent, online metrics, such as page views and open rates, have become the marketer’s best friend and are regularly delivered in meetings as ‘proof’ of digital campaign success. Unfortunately, the ‘metrics for metrics’ sake’ approach has been doing more harm than good, in terms of how senior management perceive marketing investments. In fact, a recent poll revealed that 80% of CEOs don’t trust marketers’ spending decisions, citing a lack of understanding around terms like ‘results’ and ‘return on investment’ as the cause*.

The truth is most marketers are well aware that senior management want to see evidence of ROI; other metrics, while interesting, simply won’t cut it. In our recentEmerging Trends in Digital Marketing report, despite 43% of respondents acknowledging that management teams consider sales and customer acquisitions to be the most important measure of success, more than 73% still quote web visits as proof of ROI**. The difference between web traffic and a converted sale is that of seeing a customer walk into your shop vs. handing them a receipt; so why are marketers still delivering one metric when their directors demand another?

The culprit, it seems, is the medley of platforms that marketers use to manage different marketing activities, making it nearly impossible to track a lead from inception to conversion. Overall, more than 65% of those surveyed in the Emerging Trends report admitted to struggling when it came to measuring ROI, with a worrying 20% revealing that they don’t measure ROI at all!

With online spend soon to outstrip offline activities, digital reporting is set to become an increasingly important part of the modern marketer’s role; and like it or not, web traffic and page opens won’t satisfy senior management in the future.



Article supplied by Sitecore, principal sponsors of the 2014 Marketing Summit to be held Wednesday 28 May at Rydges Southbank, Brisbane.  Early bird tickets are available until April 30 – click here to register.