Measuring Marketing: Why Doesn�t Everyone Do It?

Name one good reason not to measure your online marketing campaign. Senior Analyst David Hallerman examines the data and concludes measuring is mandatory.

By David Hallerman

To measure marketing�s effectiveness, a company needs first to become acquainted with the who�s and the wants. Who is the company trying to reach, and what does the company want from them? Furthermore, who are these customers — and what do they want, both from the company and, in general, as consumers?

Put another way, measuring interactive marketing and its return on investment cannot occur in a vacuum, abstract numbers gathered from servers churned through the marketer�s spreadsheet. All the best metrics in the world mean little without a plan.

You might think this is all Marketing 101 — and it is — but consider the following chart.

For example, is the primary business objective for your company�s online advertising campaigns the same as 32% of the respondents to a Jupiter Research survey, increasing revenue? Or perhaps your company�s objective is to gain market share, the same as 25% in the survey?

But it would be sad if, like 23% of the respondents, you answered �don�t know� when asked what is your company�s primary interactive marketing business objective.

In general, the classic division between direct response and branding underlies the rationale US companies give for marketing spending. According to the Patrick Marketing Group (PMG), a Calabasas, CA-based marketing agency, generating leads is important to 71% of companies, while building the brand and awareness matter to 68%.

That marketing online can play either a branding or direct-response game is no longer truly a question. How to best use the internet for your marketing goals, however, and then how to measure whether or not you�ve reached those goals, remains a question for many.

Every number in the chart below has its opposite � those channels for which US marketers have no measurement tools in place. So, 40% of marketers have no way to measure e-mail marketing, or simply fail to. The same is true for 44% of online marketers (excluding e-mail), and it�s even true for 35% of TV marketers, in the most-investigated medium in the nation.

And to not measure makes little sense. Those marketers who do generally call their measurement tools effective, as gauged in the five-point scale below. In this light, e-mail and TV measurement tools are equally effective, while it�s even easier to measure online marketing than print advertising or direct mail.

So why not measure marketing? According to a Forrester Research report titled �Making Marketing Measurable,� 70% of the leading marketers and interactive, media-buying and/or creative agencies interviewed are satisfied with their current measurement tools.

So, why not? Budget chopping? (Short sighted, it would seem, since marketing without measuring is like flying in the dark without instruments.) Don�t know how? (Hire someone who does.) Can�t be measured? (What makes your marketing beyond measurement?)
So, why not?

For more on marketing metrics, pick up eMarketer�s Online Marketing report, due out later this month.

David Hallerman is a Senior Analyst with eMarketer. You can reach him at [email protected] with comments, questions or suggestions.

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