New Survey Finds Marketers Are Still Struggling to Measure ROI

Lack of visibility into the right metrics and an inability to calculate return on investment (ROI) are hindering marketers from proving how much they increase business growth

Marketing decision makers are under increasing pressure to prove marketing ROI, and many are having a difficult time doing it, according to a new report, “How Today’s CMO Can Leverage ROI to Prove Growth,” released by Allocadia, the leader in Marketing Performance Management (MPM).

The survey of more than 250 marketing executives, directors and managers conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of Allocadia revealed, among other findings, that an inability to calculate ROI is hindering many marketing professionals from proving the value of their work.

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“Marketers constantly strive to show the ROI of their spend, so it’s critical that all stakeholders—including finance—agree on what that ROI is”

Majority of marketers lack the reliable data needed to measure ROI

According to the survey, most marketing professionals (84%) are under pressure to prove ROI in order to justify their marketing spend or budget increases for campaigns and initiatives.

Unfortunately, many are struggling to effectively measure this ROI. The survey found that 61% of marketing leaders do not use ROI when making strategy decisions because they aren’t confident in their own data.

The average marketing department has no shortage of tools that measure performance across channels such as landing pages, email, content, and paid ads—yet most find it difficult to deploy these solutions in a manner that allows for the reliable tracking of ROI.

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Another key finding highlighted in the survey is an inability for many organizations to agree on a definition and measurement of marketing ROI. Four in 10 respondents stated that marketing, sales and finance aren’t aligned on what successful ROI looks like. This is a critical issue, as ROI is the metric marketers are being judged against for performance.

Marketers must be able to speak to their performance in a language that is understood by other key company stakeholders—and they must be confident that the data they present can be relied on to make critical business decisions. Addressing these challenges is especially important in a year when marketers were forced to try new and untested strategies. They must be able to show that the decisions they made are helping bring their organizations through the pandemic.

“Marketers constantly strive to show the ROI of their spend, so it’s critical that all stakeholders—including finance—agree on what that ROI is,” said Sam Melnick, Allocadia VP of Customer Success & Insights. “Marketing leaders need to start with an honest assessment of their organization’s capability to measure ROI and identify any roadblocks to success. Thankfully, strategies and solutions exist that empower marketers to understand their ROI and make better decisions to support company growth.”

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