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Execs to Marketers: Show Me the Metrics

Data-related issues the top challenges to measuring marketing's impact

Marketers are feeling the heat when it comes to measuring their efforts. According to a study conducted by VisionEdge Marketing and ITSMA in April 2014, 85% of marketers worldwide said the pressure to measure marketing’s business value and contribution had increased. Just 14% said the level of pressure had stayed the same, and 1% thought it had decreased.

Frequency with Which US Marketing Executives Report Marketing Metrics to Their CEO and Leadership Teams, 2013 & 2014 (% of respondents)

Of course, much of this demand is coming from the top of the organization, and data released in May 2014 by Ifbyphone indicated that many senior professionals expected reports on measurement frequently; 60% of US marketing executives polled said they reported marketing metrics to their CEO and leadership teams at least monthly, up from 55% in 2013. One-quarter of respondents did so weekly, compared with 20% last year.

Attitudes Toward the Ability to Measure the Business Contribution of Marketing According to Marketers Worldwide, April 2014 (% of respondents)

VisionEdge and ITSMA found that marketers worldwide felt they were doing a good job at proving their effect on business to their leadership teams, with nearly two-thirds agreeing or strongly agreeing with this statement.

In addition, about 25% of respondents were actually hearing praise from their leadership teams about how they were measuring and reporting marketing’s value to the organization.

Leading Challenges for Measuring the Business Contribution of Marketing According to Marketers Worldwide, April 2014 (% of respondents)

Of course, hurdles remain, with data-related issues the biggest ones. Fully 40% of respondents said that applying formal processes to gathering, handling and analyzing, and reporting data was a top challenge to measuring the business contribution of marketing, and issues with access to the right data as well as using data and analytics to actually link marketing’s impact to business results were each cited by 39% of respondents.

Research released in January 2014 by Infogroup Targeting Solutions indicated that marketers planned to take steps to face these hurdles this year. When asked about the change in importance of data initiatives for 2014, 73% of US marketers said that data analysis would be more of a priority in 2014—the top response—and 66% said the same for data collection.

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