CEOs are taking a more hands-on approach to corporate marketing efforts, and they want to see more data metrics on every aspect of marketing campaigns, according to a new study by Ifbyphone, a provider of a voice-based marketing automation platform.
The company’s “2014 State of Marketing Measurement Survey” states that marketing measurements must extend beyond Web-based metrics and include data from all channels.
The CEOs surveyed want all marketing activities to be continuously measured, and they want decision making to be based on strong statistical evidence. Through consistent reporting and analysis of marketing metrics, the study notes, chief executives expect to identify which marketing channels are converting the most sales.
“We have entered a multichannel environment where what you measure is even more important than how much you measure,” Ifbyphone CEO Irv Shapiro notes in the report. “These measurements focus on conversions, as marketing teams seek to identify spend and optimize multichannel opportunities.”
Three-quarters of the 551 senior executives surveyed describe their CEO as “totally committed” or “significantly committed” to supporting their marketing teams, up 8 percent from 2013. The number of organizations tracking weekly or monthly marketing metrics increased 6 percent in 2014.
The most measured attributes of marketing include growth in sales revenue (69 percent), the number of new customers (63 percent) and the number of new leads (58 percent). The least measured metrics are increase in awareness (22 percent), brand perception (21 percent) and purchase intent (11 percent).
Increased marketing budgets are raising CEO expectations for more frequent and accurate reporting on marketing data, according to the report. But marketing activities today and the way leads are converted to sales are no longer confined to either online or offline channels.
The marketing executives surveyed rank email (57 percent), search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (55 percent), and social media (44 percent) as the top sources of high-value leads. This isn’t surprising, the study reports, given the ongoing shift from offline to online advertising.
Interestingly, considering the shift to digital marketing strategies, the survey shows that in-person visits (35 percent) and phone calls (20 percent) were rated as having the highest potential for sales revenue conversion.
While investments in online marketing channels are expected to continue, marketing executives are often expected to look for “analog conversion” paths for their digital strategies. To effectively track and analyze their programs, the report notes, marketers need to determine the right mix of online and offline programs and measurement tools.
“What we have learned from the evolution of marketing measurements thus far is that channels do not get replaced when new platforms arise,” Shapiro says. “Rather, the marketing environment diversifies and channels intermix. The explosion of these permutations is increasing the number of marketing and purchasing paths, while changing the definitions of campaign tactics and best practices.”
Another finding of the report is that the rise of mobile technology has blurred the line between online and offline marketing to create a more complex and diverse customer experience—from initial engagement to purchase. Because of this, marketers need to deploy metrics that are typically applied on the Web on other channels throughout the sales cycle.