The warning comes in the Measurement and Accountability in Marketing report produced by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and consultants Deloitte, which found that only 37% of companies believe their marketing objectives are grounded in the broader aims of the business.
Deloitte director of marketing effectiveness Nick Turner says marketers are not providing measurements that allow their companies to assess the return on marketing investment effectively.
“We are perplexed how organisations that are holding out for marketing to drive their growth agenda are not consistently seeing marketing measures at board level.”
Marketers are instead measuring what is easy, not what is important, the report says, with only 7% setting clear key performance indicators (KPIs) for each marketing initiative.
Only 10% have consistent metrics in place to identify long-term trends, while 7% have clear policies for accountability in meeting marketing objectives.
Some marketers also select metrics with an eye on self-preservation as well as the business benefits, Turner adds.
“There is a propensity for some marketers to select KPIs that best put forward the case for a particular given activity, as opposed to being upfront in the way that those objectives are being set.”
The report recommends that marketers develop measurements with a focus on customer experience, as well as clear policies on accountability.
In doing so, it argues, the value of marketing can be demonstrated through aspects such as customer retention.
Deloitte and the CIM polled 172 senior executives at a mix of public and private organisations earlier this year.