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No consensus on measuring marketing ROI, study finds

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New York--The majority of marketers can't agree on how to measure their marketing return on investment. Seventy-eight percent of marketers said measuring the sales impact of marketing is somewhat or very difficult, according to the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research, which on Monday released the top-line results of a joint marketing accountability and ROI survey.

The study found 70% of marketers surveyed said even gaining agreement on the definition of ROI is somewhat or very difficult. Sixty-six percent said marketing ROI is defined as "incremental sales revenue generated by marketing activities," while only 40% said it is defined as "number of leads generated," and 34% said it is "cost per lead generated." Almost half of marketers said ROI data are hard to obtain, more than 40% say they aren't granular enough and more than a third feel they aren't timely enough.

"Although armed with technology, analytics and data, marketers are nevertheless finding it difficult to measure their return on marketing investment in a standardized way," said Bob Liodice, president-CEO of the ANA, in a statement. "There's no consistency."

--Carol Krol

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