Mastering Metrics? Attribution Not Leading To Email Spend, Study Finds

Most brands are still not able to attribute their digital marketing results. But to the extent they can, email is hardly coming out on top, judging by The State Of Marketing Measurement, Attribution and Data Management, a study by ClickZ and fospha. 

Of 370 marketing professionals surveyed, 45.7% say attribution has influenced their spend allocation across online channels, versus 26.5% who say it has not and 27.8% who are not sure. 

Attribution has led to 45.6% increasing their spending on the email space. But 45% have flat email budgets and 8.8% have decreased their budgets based on attribution 

Email is a distant eighth in attribution-based spending, surpassed by content marketing (64.7%), paid search (60.9%), organic search (56.6%), video (54.4%), display (51.5%), paid social (48.5%) and organic social (47.1%).

On the positive side, 39.9% employ attribution technology on some campaigns, and 27% would like to use it. But only 28.3% employ it on all campaigns. And 7.9% of respondents surveyed said they have put these capabilities in place, but do not analyze the results.



In addition, 5.9% have no plans to use the technology. Of those that do have it, 63% use Google products.

In another disappointing finding, 33% believe their current systems accurately attribute all media and data.

A mere 17.5% use a shared metric such as customer lifetime value (CLV) across departments to measure marketing impact. But 29.2% are working on it, and around 20% apiece say no or that they should be.

Two-thirds lack a clear view of CLV, and only a third have one. And 34% believe they extract insights from less than 20% of the data available to them. 

Worse, few seem to be getting many customer insights from third-party data. 

A mere 9.1% believe that their firms have an "excellent understanding" of multi-touch attribution. But 29.2% think they have a good understanding of attribution, and 11.7% say their grasp is very poor, while 22.7% say it is below average and 22.3% are neutral.

Looking forward, 25% are likely to implement new attribution or measurement technology in the next 12 months. And 18.9% are very likely to do so.

But 15% are not likely to add these systems, and 8.3% are very unlikely. Another 32.8% are not sure.


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