Do Marketers Rely on Instinct Over ROI? - eMarketer
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Do Marketers Rely on Instinct Over ROI?

Few marketers know which channel has the best return

Marketers are still struggling to measure return on investment (ROI), according to a November 2014 study by Webmarketing123, which found that 33% of US business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing professionals still didn’t know which channel made the biggest impact on revenues.

Channels Where US B2B vs. B2C Marketers Can Prove Clear ROI, Nov 2014 (% of respondents)

The study suggested that many marketers still relied on “gut instinct” when determining which channels to use for marketing campaigns, as the most-used weren’t always the most-measured. Always-popular social media was one of the biggest pain points for respondents. While 87% of B2B marketers used social media, just 17% were able to prove its ROI—the lowest percentage among channels used. Similarly, 87% of B2Cs used social—the No. 1 channel among this group—but only 27% could calculate ROI. And while paid search ranked second to last for usage among both groups, used by 56% of B2Bs and 64% of B2Cs, it landed at or near the top for return measurement.

Old-standby email marketing was one exception to the rule. As the most-used channel among B2Bs, it was also the most-measured—though 66% reported being able to prove ROI, vs. 93% who used it. Email was the second most popular channel among B2Cs, as well as No. 2 in ability to prove ROI. However, the percentage who could actually measure email efforts was just 44%, vs. 80% who used the channel.

Attribution Models Used by US B2B and B2C Marketers to Measure ROI, Nov 2014 (% of respondents)

Marketers were taking steps to improve ROI measurement, with 9% saying they had invested in revenue reporting. However, nearly 40% still didn’t have an attribution model at all. And while multichannel was the most popular method used to measure ROI, cited by 21%, simpler systems such as last touch and first and last touch weren’t far behind. Just 9% reported using more advanced, custom models.

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