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Lack of performance measurement leaves online marketers in the dark

Posted by: Creativematch Graduate Recruitment | Date added: Tue 27 Mar 2007

The marketing department’s performance expectations are based more on guesswork than evaluation, according to a report released today by marketing performance management specialists WebTrends.

A significant majority (89%) of the 200 marketing managers surveyed claim to have met or exceeded expectations for the overall marketing strategy in the past 12 months. Only a quarter (24%) consider performance evaluation to be a major objective for the marketing function over the next year and beyond; revealing that few can actually demonstrate why their marketing strategy has been effective.

Furthermore, the ‘Marketing in the Dark’ report found this feeling of self-belief to be no short-term blip, with 83% of people responsible for Internet marketing strategy being confident that they will be able to maintain a similar level of performance over the next 12 months. The report goes on to question how much of this confidence is based on robust marketing performance metrics and an in-depth understanding of the customer, and how much can be attributed to the ‘feel-good factor’ brought about by a strong global economy.

Nick Sharp, VP and general manager EMEA, WebTrends said: “A significant number of organisations are not measuring marketing performance, which suggests that any confidence expressed in the marketing function is more likely to be based on strong company performance overall, than specific marketing metrics. In this respect it appears that a great deal of marketing strategy is effectively rudderless.”

The Role of the Web

The ‘Marketing in the Dark’ report also found that 85% of respondents consider an effective web presence to be important in achieving sales and marketing objectives. However only just over half (56%) measure even the most rudimentary metric of capturing page impressions, and, even more surprisingly, a large proportion of businesses (39%) do not run any form of analytics software whatsoever.

Jeremy Wilmott, user experience and design manager, Visit London, said: “Neglecting Internet analysis denies companies a cost effective method of improving customer insight and commercial performance. The Internet generates a vast amount of meaningful information on customer activity by default but many are failing to utilise this data when, with a small investment and appropriate effort, the answers to the puzzle are easily revealed."

85% of respondents to the survey consider an effective web presence to be of ‘moderate’ or ‘critical’ importance in achieving sales and marketing objectives, revealing an awareness of the opportunities that the web presents. But despite awareness of this opportunity a significant gap between the perception and the reality remains; only 35% build user profiles using web page registration information (a relatively simple task), while only 24% build user profiles via webpage utilisation.

Further evidence of this growing gap is demonstrated by the fact that less than 4 out of 10 can modify content as a result of traffic analysis. In addition just 27% can modify content for e-marketing as a result of user analysis, while only 19% can integrate CRM systems with Internet-generated customer data. This comes from a sample of businesses where over 80% place an importance on Internet presence and where all have Internet-specific marketing strategies.

Sharp concluded: “This survey shows that sophisticated web analytics is rarely deployed within business and as such golden opportunities to get a grip on marketing strategy and performance, and to gain genuine insight into the needs and demands of customers, are being overlooked.

“Marketers must begin to understand why their strategy is successful, as the marketing department that lacks performance insight during times of economic prosperity will be left marketing in the dark in leaner, more competitive times.”

A full copy of the ‘Dark Marketing’ report is available on request from Thomas Flisher email:

or call 0845 3700 655.

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