Last month, I blogged about the CMO Survey that demonstrated how few companies are able to prove the impact of their social media activities quantitatively. And, that social media contributes little to company performance. So, now what?
The Leapfrog Marketing Institute’s 2016 Planning Report adds more fuel to the fire. The report focuses on how marketing executives are evolving their strategic and financial plans to become more consumer-centric. Yet, its findings show that marketing budgets seem to be less accountable to companies’ ROI this year over last. Huh?
Dave Reibstein, Professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business has a hypothesis on why this is happening.
“This is really puzzling, he said. “My hypothesis was that in an era of ever-growing data availability, there would be an increase in measurable ROI. But there has been a huge rush to social media, despite the fact that when marketers are asked what it’s doing for them, they don’t know… but feel like they need to be there.”
Roger Tye, Allstate’s Senior Director of Consumer Engagement added, “The reality is that everything is measurable and there is always a proxy. Part of the issue may be that proper success measures were not set. As an example for social -what do ‘likes’ represent? Where do they fit into the overall conversion funnel? It is on us as marketers to test and innovate, but measure the right business goals and KPIs.” (Key performance indicators)
Years ago, in the pre-Internet era (no comments about age, please), we had to conduct marketing research to demonstrate the return on investment of marketing campaigns. And, if we were tight on budget, which we always were, we had no indication of success other than from anecdotal feedback.
With today’s plethora of data, it’s curious that marketers are still struggling to prove their campaigns’ worth. A drop in accountability for marketing budgets makes no sense at all.
Don’t follow the crowd just because certain tactics or channels are the flavor of the year. Develop a solid marketing plan focused on your customers and stick with the channels where they hang out and are likelier to engage and respond to your calls to action.
Never forget: What are your overarching business and marketing objectives?