Omniture, an online optimization company has released the results of an Online Analytics Benchmark Survey (Omniture Survey Reveals Significant Opportunity to Measure Marketing ROI and Increase Effectiveness through Emerging Channels). According to the survey, 80% of marketers believe ROI is important to measure online marketing, but only 31% effectively measure it. In addition, 86% felt conversion rates from online marketing activities are important to measure, but 25% cannot effectively measure it. Unfortunately, the inability to accurately measure the results of marketing is not a new problem.
The interactive quality of the web has brought about a new focus on marketing ROI. The sense is that it can be measured more effectively than other traditional forms of marketing. However, the results of the Omniture survey reflect a key problem. There are so many ways to measure online marketing that it can be difficult to determine which is most relevant and important to your business. What’s more, current measurements are not necessarily as directly related to ROI as once thought. With these issues in mind, John Wanamaker’s famous quote from the early 1900’s may still be relevant today…”I know I waste half the money I spend on advertising. The problem is, I don’t know which half.”
Despite John Wanamaker’s lament, there ARE methods in place today to comprehensively model the potential ROI of advertising and marketing campaigns. More than anything else, the major shortfall of online measurements is that they do not take a comprehensive approach to measuring total marketing ROI. Understanding the impact of online efforts, in conjunction with traditional marketing practices, provides more important and actionable insights than online measures alone.
So, while implementing ROI measures for your internet marketing efforts, don’t overlook the opportunity to do the same with other, more traditional, marketing programs.