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Why 76% Of Marketers Track Marketing Effectiveness Incorrectly

by Simon Spyer on Oct 16, 2015 11:01:38 AM

And How You Can Avoid Poor Marketing Metrics


Fournaise has recently published damning research showing that the majority of marketers are using the wrong KPIs to track and measure marketing effectiveness and ROI.

It’s a fundamental problem and we believe that there are 7 root causes.

Take note and ensure that you are in the minority of marketers who are measuring what really matters.

The Fournaise Findings

Here are the headlines from the research:
  • 77% of marketers are primarily defining effectiveness as awareness
  • 71% of marketers believe that the next best indicator of effectiveness is engagement
  • 74% of marketers don’t consider customer value propositions

Why this is so troubling

  • Awareness is meaningless unless it demonstrably generates action (even if over a long time frame)
  • Engagement is nothing without conversion.
  • The data, more than ever, is available to stop this nonsense and have meaningful metrics and deliver direct attribution of the effectiveness of every marketing pound invested.
  • Customer value propositions are the very essence of good marketing. Substance and content will always trump style and form. Remember, quoting Peter Drucker, that "the purpose of marketing is to understand the customer so well that the product or service sells itself."

Why do so many marketers fall into this trap?

These are the 7 root causes that we see:
  • Lack of a process. Many marketers lack a process to set metrics and this breeds inertia: a willingness to stick with existing KPIs and measures of marketing effectiveness.
  • Communication Channel explosion. The has been an explosion in communication channels and customer touchpoints. This makes it harder to track marketing performance consistently and attribute this performance to specific marketing activities.
  • Connecting disparate data. In parallel with the explosion in channels, there has been an explosion in data. Harnessing, integrating and applying this can be a challenge.
  • Generic approaches to understanding the customer journey. Marketers have a duty to understand customers, their pain point and needs across the customer journey and use this understanding to build relevant value propositions (pain relievers, products and services). 
  • Silos. It is very common to see silos of responsibility and a disconnect between key parts of the sales funnel or customer journey. This makes it harder to build an integrated picture of marketing effectiveness.
  • Entrenched culture and data spin. Many marketers didn’t go into marketing to be metric driven, they wanted to focus on creativity. A culture of vanity metrics (like engagement and awareness) have become industry norms and have been propogated by agencies. Equally in the battle for budget, it can be more comfortable to 'spin' vanity metrics to tell a story than it is to state the impact of marketing activities on the sales funnel.  
  • Lack of business demand. Often, due to all of the points above or frustration with a failure to quantify effectiveness, there can be a lack of wider business demand for accountable marketing. In the most extreme cases Finance departments are creating their own assessment of marketing performance separately from the Marketing department.

How to avoid these mistakes

It will give you a step by step process to define your marketing KPIs and start measuring what really matters for your business and your customers. 
Download your free copy of the Performance Measurement Toolkit

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This post was written by Simon Spyer

Co-founder & Insight Partner at Conduit, professional insight-monger, dad, lover of all sport and Spurs.

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