The survey also found that more than one-third of those polled (34 %) ranked advertising the most difficult marketing discipline to measure, followed by public relations (26 %) and outdoor advertising (19 %).
Randy Stone, CEO of Marketing Management Analytics says a key hurdle to marketing analytics is a perceived lack of adequate data. A vast majority of the survey's respondents (72 %) said they lack the necessary data to assess the return on their marketing investments accurately. Other challenges mentioned by survey respondents included long sales cycles, and a lack of funding or management support.
Many of the survey's participants meanwhile acknowledged a shortage of adequate measurement tools and techniques. When asked about the process they use to measure return on marketing investments, about 7 % simply responded "none," while 16 % said they relied on sales data alone. Twenty-two percent said they use some form of research, such as focus groups, syndicated data analysis, brand awareness studies or competitive benchmarking.
However, Stone reports that only a handful of marketers said they were using more sophisticated measurement approaches, such as marketing metrics modeling. Stone said that data fusion -- bringing together the full range of sales and marketing data -- is essential to the process, as is the application of multiple variable regression modeling that allows the marketer to cull out individual effects from among the various overlapping marketing activities.