Almost half of marketers say brands ‘too focused’ on ROI

Despite return on investment emerging as the effectiveness metric increasing most in emphasis over recent months, marketers are concerned their companies could be guilty of tunnel vision.

Language of Effectiveness 2022It is hardly surprising that during a period of record inflation, when budgets are being squeezed like never before, return on investment should shoot up the list of marketing priorities.

According to Marketing Week’s exclusive Language of Effectiveness Survey, more than a third (36.9%) of the 1,610 brand-side marketers surveyed say the tracking of ROI has increased in emphasis in recent months.

This is followed by new customer acquisition (35.8%), conversion rates (31.7%), brand awareness (30.5%) and customer retention rates (28.3%).

More than a quarter (28.1%) of marketers surveyed have also seen an increase in emphasis in delivering business outcomes, followed by customer lifetime value (24.2%) and click-through rates (22.6%).

Lower down the list of metrics gaining influence are Net Promoter Score (20.4%), brand attributes (19.6%), brand affinity (19.4%) and brand recall (17.1%). Bringing up the rear of priority metrics are brand recall (17.1%), campaign views (15.3%) and lastly campaign cut-through (12.9%).

Marketers face ‘tension’ in push to prioritise effectiveness

Almost half of marketers (48.4%) say ROI is the most important metric for their CEO, CFO and board members, followed by delivering business outcomes (39.9%) and new customer acquisition (35.8%).

Yet, despite the increased emphasis on measuring ROI within business and its importance in the minds of senior leaders, marketers believe brands are too preoccupied with the metric.

Some 17.5% of marketers strongly agree their employer is too focused on the ROI of marketing spend when examining effectiveness. A further 28.2% slightly agree with this statement, making a combined total of marketers who feel their brand is too focused on ROI of 45.7%.

The data suggests a further disconnect between marketers and the metrics favoured by the CEO and CFO. Despite the clear emphasis on ROI within business, just over a quarter (28.4%) of marketers say they always measure the return on investment of their campaigns when conducting effectiveness analysis.

The current economic uncertainty, following two years of pandemic, means the importance of ROI as a marketing metric shows no sign of waning. The challenge for marketers will be to understand what the senior leadership team want to see from the metrics being measured, while also bringing the business on the journey towards long-term brand investment.

Marketing Week is continuing its Language of Effectiveness series with a deep dive into the data, asking prominent marketers and econometricians what is next for ROI.

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