Marketers continue to struggle with measuring their return on investment in a variety of marketing channels, and the cause remains unclear -- whether it's the speed in which technology develops, the decline in search marketing proficiency, or changing definitions.
Econsultancy calls attention to the significant decline in their self-assessment of their ability to measure ROI in the most recent State of Search Marketing Report 2013, conducted and published with help from SEMPO. The report calls out the number of marketers rating their ability as "good" since 2012. In fact, paid search fell from 79% to 47%; email, 57% to 41%; digital display media, 37% to 28%; and social, 15% to 11%, respectively.
The study makes it clear that search marketers need better tools to calculate ROI. While 47% of marketers feel their ability to measure return on investments from paid search is good, only one-quarter are as confident in their ability to measure ROI for SEO.
Some 51% admit they don't have a clue (giving themselves a "poor" rating) when it comes to measuring ROI from social channels, followed by mobile with 35%, SEO with 28%, digital display with 26%, paid search with 19%, and email with 14%.
The most commonly cited metrics in the 2013 survey for measuring paid-search marketing were conversion rate at 65%, ROI, 47%; and traffic volume, 36%. For the previous survey, the top three were ROI at 43%; conversion rate, 42%; and number of sales/leads, 42%.
The most commonly cited metrics in the 2013 survey for measuring SEO were for driving traffic to the Web site, at 34% -- up from 26% in 2012. Some 29% cited lead generation as a primary objective this year, compared with 34% in the previous survey. Only 1% of company marketers cited improving customer service and customer satisfaction this year, whereas agencies said zero.