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Econsultancy-Understanding-ROI-from-Digital-Channels-Feb2013Digital marketing channels have been viewed as better than traditional media for their measurability, but new research from Econsultancy and Responsys [download page] suggests that marketers are having a harder time measuring their ROI from digital channels. Among company marketers surveyed – primarily from the UK (46%) and other European countries (19%) – just 50% rated their understanding of ROI from digital marketing channels as “good” (33%) or “very good” (17%), down from 55% last year. By contrast, the proportion rating their understanding as “okay” or “poor” rose from 42% to 48%. The remaining 2% this year rated their understanding as “very poor.”

Agencies responding to the survey had more mixed opinions. On the one hand, the proportion who said their clients’ understanding of digital’s ROI was “very good” rose 3% points (from 5% to 8%), seemingly moving from the column who said it was “good” (which dropped by 3% points to 23%). On the other hand, the percentage saying their clients’ understanding was “okay” dropped by 5% points (to 33%), appearing to move instead to the column rating it as “poor” (which increased by 5% points to 27%). In fact, more agencies said their clients’ understanding of digital marketing ROI was “poor”  or “very poor” (36%) than said it was “good” or “very good” (31%).

Given that drop, digital marketing seems to be almost on par with traditional marketing channels in terms of measuring ROI. This year, 47% of company marketers said that their understanding of traditional marketing channels’ ROI was “good” or “very good.” That’s up from 44% last year – though the increase was entirely for those rating it “good,” while the proportion rating it as “very good” actually dropped.

Among agencies, 45% said their clients’ understanding of ROI from traditional marketing channels was “good” or “very good” – and that was an increase from 41% last year. That means that agencies were actually more likely to say that their clients had a “good” or “very good” understanding of ROI from traditional (45%) than digital (31%) marketing.

About the Data: The Econsultancy / Responsys Marketing Budgets 2013 report is based on a survey of more than 800 client-side marketers and agency respondents. Information about the online survey was emailed to Econsultancy’s user base of internet professionals and marketers, and promoted online via Twitter and other channels during December 2012 and January 2013.

A total of 834 respondents took part in the survey, including 457 client-side marketing professionals and 377 supply-side respondents (including agency marketers and those working for technology vendors or other service providers).

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