Online investment still lacks measurement, surveys find

LONDON: While investments in online marketing continue to grow, only 47% of marketers are using marketing applications to measure their campaigns, according to the Alterian's sixth "Annual Marketing Survey."

LONDON: While investments in online marketing continue to grow, only 47% of marketers are using marketing applications to measure their campaigns, according to the Alterian's sixth “Annual Marketing Survey.”

Analytical-led software company polled 1,545 marketing professionals in the US and UK in October and November 2008 for the survey. This was the first year that respondents were asked about their use of measurement applications, and less than half of them said they were using analytics to measure their campaigns. Bob Barker, VP of corporate marketing for Alterian, called the lack of analysis “quite disappointing.”

“They might be using seven or more applications to run a campaign, and probably seven or more databases,” he said. “The current economic conditions put pressure on marketers to get their act together with analysis. In order to achieve the analysis they need, they will have to look at integration.”

The survey also found that 25% of respondents believe that analyzing results is the most difficult part of a campaign.

A separate survey by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council titled “Giving Customer Voice More Volume” also found a lack of monitoring, particularly for word-of-mouth and social media programs. Only 16% of the 400 executives polled said they have a system in place to track what's being said about their brands online. According to CMO Council executive director, Donovan Neale-May, PR must get “more embedded in the online world” to track social media activity.

“The biggest challenge for PR people is to have a more strategic role and for PR people to be more proactive” about tracking what's being said on the Internet, Neale-May said.

The CMO report, sponsored by Satmatrix, surveyed 480 executives about how they engage with customers to optimize the customer experience. Neale-May went on to say that the Web is not just a place where PR pros can look at customer-related issues and negative buzz, but can serve as a news delivery channel.

“[PR monitoring should] tie back to business metrics and broaden into other environments where they can bring intelligence to help a company [create a] more distinctive, relevant customer experience,” he said.

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