Email, Paid Search Said Easiest to Analyze; Content & Video Tougher

July 25, 2018

Measuring marketing attribution is very important to the vast majority of marketers, reports Ascend2 in a new study [download page] involving 226 marketing influencers fairly evenly split between B2B and B2C channels. Although two of the top priorities for measuring marketing attribution are to analyze campaigns by channel and attribute ROI to marketing, some channels are proving easier to measure than others.

Email emerges as the digital channel that’s most easily analyzed in order to attribute marketing results to sales revenue, per the report. Not only is email the easiest to measure for ROI, but it’s commonly perceived to have the best ROI of any digital channel, according to separate research.

Paid search is also one of the easier channels to measure, per Ascend2’s report, gaining stronger confidence among respondents than organic search.

Video marketing, though, was cited by the fewest respondents as being easily analyzed for attribution.

A separate question, meanwhile, asked respondents which of the 7 identified digital channels are among the most difficult to analyze for attributing marketing results to sales revenue. Content marketing was cited by the largest share of respondents, while video marketing was surprisingly (given the few who find it easy) further down the list.

Email marketing and paid search were cited as difficult to analyze by the fewest respondents.

All told, the results suggest that marketers are having a comparatively easy time measuring the results of their email marketing and paid search efforts, while struggling more to attribute their content marketing and video marketing efforts to sales revenue.

In that sense, not much has changed over the years. In a 2015 study, Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud found that paid search and email marketing were considered the easiest digital channels to measure for ROI, whereas content marketing and video advertising lagged at the bottom of the list of the 19 identified.

Proper analysis of these channels can have some interesting effects on spending patterns, according to recent research. A study released late last year revealed that paid search and organic search were among the biggest budget beneficiaries of attribution, whereas content marketing – and unexpectedly, email – were more likely to see a decrease than increase in budgets as a result of attribution.

Marketers have room to improve in their analysis of digital channels, Ascend2’s report indicates. About two-thirds (66%) say that digital marketing channels are either moderately well analyzed (50%) or inadequately analyzed (16%), leaving only one-third feeling that they’re exceptionally well analyzed in terms of attribution to revenue results.

Even so, marketers may be more confident in their digital than traditional media measurement. Recent data reveals that 42% of CMOs in the US are “not at all” (13%) or “not so” confident (29%) in their ability to quantify traditional media ROI, compared to just 26% who said the same about digital media ROI.

That suggests that more spending on digital media is to come. Why? Marketers are more likely to consider channels that can be easily measured or demonstrate ROI than several other factors when making media mix decisions.

About the Data: The Ascend2 data is based on a survey of 226 marketing influencers around the world, the vast majority (84%) of whom work at companies with at least 50 employees. Some 43% are B2B marketers, 36% B2C marketers, with the remaining 21% targeting B2B and B2C equally.

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