Marketers Struggling to Optimize the Marketing Mix, Quantify ROI

July 27, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Business of Marketing | Data-driven | Return on Investment

DataXu-Marketers-Biggest-Challenge-July2016Marketers in the US and Europe are having a much harder time quantifying the impact of their efforts than they are figuring out how to master today’s array of marketing technologies, a report from DataXu [download page] reveals. Indeed, of 7 challenges identified, marketers were by far the most likely to say that creating the most efficient results-driven marketing mix across channels was problematic.

In recent years, marketers have apportioned more spending to online channels at the expense of offline campaigns, according to a CMO Council review of changes made in the marketing media mix. But digital channels have proven difficult to measure for ROI, with only a minority feeling confident in their abilities to measure various channels, despite increased measurability being a key motivator for switching from traditional to digital channels.

Finding the right attribution model to show the impact of various channels is also a headache, per the DataXu survey respondents (and a hindrance no doubt in the effort to measure digital success). Research suggests that up to a third of smaller companies may not even be tracking attribution at all.

A related problem, then, is in quantifying the ROI of marketing spend, the second-leading challenge for DataXu respondents. This has been a longstanding problem, with few CMOs in the US able to quantitatively prove the short or long-term impact of their marketing spending. In fact, new survey results from the American Marketing Association indicate that just 22% of marketers are confident that they have insight into the true ROI of all key marketing initiatives. More than twice that figure – 48% – lack confidence on this.

Several roadblocks are preventing better resolutions of these troubles, per DataXu, including:

  • A lack of marketing technology solutions to address cross-channel optimization;
  • Marketers being stretched thin managing technologies and vendors;
  • Normalizing data from walled gardens such as Facebook and Google so as to be able to provide apples-to-apples comparisons.

Survey respondents see greater use of analytics as an answer to these needs, per the study. Now if only they could get the help they need

About the Data: The DataXu study is based on a survey carried out in May 2016 by Morar and Withpr on behalf of DataXu. There were 532 respondents in the US (174) and Europe (UK: 156; France: 52; Germany: 50; Spain: 50; and Italy: 50). Roughly three-quarters work at companies with 500 or more total employees, and a majority (57%) have annual marketing budgets of at least $750k.


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