Posted February 1, 2012 7:28 am by with 3 comments

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eConsultancy along with Experian Marketing Services has released their Marketing Budgets 2012 report and as we have seen in the recent past, most companies continue to or intend to continue to increase spending on the digital channel. That’s good news in that there is recognition that the digital channel is an effective use of marketing dollars which can often be harder to find in the current economic climate. Here are some quick data points from the study.

  • Of those companies increasing their digital marketing budgets, 79% will increase them by more than 10%.
  • Three-quarters (74%) of companies are increasing their investment in digital marketing technology this year, up from 67% in 2011.
  • More than half (56%) of companies are planning to recruit more people into their digital marketing teams in 2012, up from 52% in 2011.

There is more evidence given in the report that companies are turning more to the digital space as we move forward and we get that. It’s good news for those of us in the space but growth hasn’t been the problem.

Despite this rise in investment in the digital world the real problem comes in the analysis of this data. Whether it is in the online or offline space, marketers appear to be a getting a little less cocky about their ability to measure what is actually happening in the space. Take a look at this.

The drop off from those saying that their measurement efforts were very good is quite stark while there was an increase in those saying their efforts were OK. The elephant in the room regarding any conversation in marketing is the ability to effectively measure marketing efforts. Even after so many years of trying to measure traditional marketing efforts there appears to be the same admission from marketers that measurement is a trouble spot.

My guess would be that as marketers continue to get called to the mat about tracking performance of everything they do and other areas of business disciplines become more demanding of marketing to prove their worth (and quite honestly less ignorant of what marketing is doing), the analytics stakes are getting much higher.

Marketers struggle with proving what they feel in their gut and this will likely be a growing problem rather than a shrinking one. Why? It’s because the marketing rules change constantly while the tools used to measure success often can’t keep pace. Even worse these tools can’t measure some of the more important areas of any marketers’ efforts. Marketers get stuck in between the proverbial rock and a hard place. No wonder most CMO’s last less than two years in a position.

This should be troubling for marketers of all stripes. If your job depends on proving what you are doing is truly returning results and you are getting less confident in those measurement techniques, that is a recipe for disaster.

Agree or disagree?

  • The ROI in Internet is better tha off line press because in off you do not have any metrics, and analitics, and online you have. Always the attention of the people is more in Internet where you can choose, i guess.

  • I agree that much digital marketing data analysis appears to be sketchy. I believe that data sets are often incomplete and furthermore those attempting the “analysis” lack the training and background to undertake a rigorous research effort.

    As the digital marketing industry matures, it will have to to seek out and employ those with the appropriate skill sets to understand the nature of the data available and pursue valid analyses of that data.

  • I also agree that measuring your ROI in different platforms can be difficult but I also think that companies could be utilizing third parties to do the analysis for them. The are research firms out there that have specifically designed programs to measure the success of your ad whether it be online based or using a focus group.

    I also think it is important to advertise across multiple platforms with the same branded message. An integrated marketing plan will really allow you to measure your success rate and determine what is working and what is not.