Understanding Campaign Influence Top Online Marketing Challenge

June 17, 2011

forbes-challenges-june-2011.JPGUnderstanding the influence of a marketing campaign beyond acquisition and conversion to include the influence of each interaction is the top challenge for US and UK marketers, according to [download page] a survey from Forbes Insights and Coremetrics. Results of “Bringing 20/20 Foresight to Marketing” indicate 26% of marketing executives rated this as a top online marketing challenge (more than one answer allowed) for their organizations.

Cross-channel Consistency Also Major Challenge

Closely following understanding influence were two challenges related to obtaining consistency across multiple marketing channels. Twenty-five percent of respondents cited obtaining an integrated view of customers across multiple online marketing touchpoints, followed by providing a consistent experience across different media and different screen types (24%).

Another challenge relating to cross-channel consistency, reaching customers no matter where they are online, was ranked fifth (20%), behind another challenge relating to understanding information, interpreting data to make business decisions (21%).

4 in 10 Marketing Execs See Tech Investment as Needing Improvement

forbes-tech-invesment-june-2011.JPGWhen asked to rate their company’s investment in technology to support online marketing, compared to their competitors, the largest portion of respondents (42%) said it is strong in some areas but needs to improve in some areas, while another 30% termed it adequate.

About the same percentage called their company’s investment in online marketing technology world-class (14%) and needing significant improvement. In one positive sign, only 2% said radical improvements are needed.

Offline Customer Behavior Toughest to Measure

forbes-measure-june-2011.JPGA combined 52% of respondents said offline customer behavior is very difficult (14%) or difficult (38%) to measure and interpret. Customer behavior across all marketing touchpoints closely follows with 48% calling it very difficult (12%) or difficult (36%). Getting all channels’ performance behavior in one view also 48% saying it is very difficult (10%) or difficult (38%), but with slightly fewer respondents describing it as “very” difficult.

Other measurement/interpretation tasks cited as very difficult or difficult by more than four in 10 respondents include the value of a marketing campaign based on influence and interaction (43%), customer behavior on social media (43%), and all vendors’ performance comparison in one view (41%).

Customer Retention Top Marketing Priority

Slightly more than half (52%) of US and UK marketing executives say one of their company’s top marketing priorities is customer retention, according to other survey results. Other popular responses include customer acquisition (38%), customer profitability (29%) and branding (28%).

About the Data: Forbes Insights, in association with Coremetrics, an IBM company, surveyed 321 marketing executives at companies with more than $250 million in annual revenue in the US and the UK. More than three quarters of the companies (77%) had annual revenues of $1 billion or greater, and the remaining 23% had revenues of at least $250 million. More than a quarter of respondents held C-level titles, including CEO (15%) or CMO (11%), and the rest had senior titles including senior vice president, vice president, director of marketing, and marketing manager.

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