If there was ever a case for making marketing effectiveness a priority, it would be in the current climate.
Facing an unprecedented cost crisis, record inflation and the prospect of recession, marketers who can demonstrate the tangible impact of their activity will be well positioned to make a compelling case for investment even as budgets are squeezed.
Indeed, Marketing Week’s exclusive Language of Effectiveness Survey reveals marketing effectiveness is shooting up the corporate agenda. More than half (61.2%) of the 1,610 brand-side marketers surveyed say marketing effectiveness measurement has become a more prominent factor in marketing/business decisions over the past three years.
This is compared to just 10.8% of respondents who report effectiveness measurement has become less prominent in corporate decision making. Under a quarter (22.2%) say the measurement of marketing effectiveness is as important a factor in decision making as it was in 2019.
The sample is dominated by senior marketers with oversight of the decisions being taken within business, with 81.5% of respondents ranging from CMO and vice-president roles, to management level positions.
More than a fifth (26.9%) of those surveyed identify as working in marketing operations, followed by brand management (22.4%), digital marketing (12.7%), marketing insights and research (8.3%) and advertising (4.5%). A further 3.9% hold content roles, 2.8% work within social media and 2.6% in PR.
Among this sample, over half (51.9%) interpret the term ‘marketing effectiveness’ to mean the success of marketing communication campaigns according to objectives.
The next most popular definition is the return on marketing investment earned (40.8%), while 38% of respondents interpret marketing effectiveness to mean the delivery of business objectives.
Some way behind, more than a fifth of the sample (27%) define effectiveness as how successful a marketing campaign has been in strengthening brand equity, while just a quarter (24.1%) view it as the success of a company’s go-to market strategy.
What are marketers measuring?
Conversion rates (51.7%) emerge as the number one metric currently being studied by marketers in their effectiveness tracking, followed closely by new customer acquisition (51.1%) and click-through rates (49.1%).
Brand awareness (47.9%) was the fourth most popular metric employed by marketers to track effectiveness, followed by leads generated (46.9%) and return on investment (44.9%).
Over a third of marketers (38.2%) measure how their activity is delivering business outcomes, with 34.7% analysing campaign views. Lower down the ranking of metrics, 31.9% of respondents are actively measuring customer retention rates, 31.3% measure Net Promoter Score and 30.2% are interested in brand recall.
More than a fifth of marketers (27.8%) currently measure brand attributes in their tracking, while 27.1% measure customer lifetime value and brand affinity comes last in the tracking stakes, at 26.8%.
Regarding which elements marketers are testing prior to launching a campaign, well over half of respondents engage in segmentation analysis and targeting (57.3%).
Some way further behind, more than a third (35.8%) of marketers conduct proposition/concept testing, while 33.5% run focus groups and a third (33%) conduct usage and attitude research. A further 31% of marketers engage in ad testing, while 29.7% conduct pricing research.
Interesting, just over a fifth of marketers questioned (28.1%) say they conduct market mix modelling and even fewer (19.5%) carry out econometric modelling and forecasting. Some 18.2% of the sample report using field trials prior to the launch of campaigns, with just 11.1% conducting conjoint analysis.
While the definitions and metrics may vary, the news marketing effectiveness has become more prominent in business decision making since the onset of Covid suggests work done by the industry in recent years to build a robust case for marketing investment is paying off.
Next week Marketing Week will publish the first in a series of features, drawing on the exclusive data to dig deeper into how marketers approach effectiveness, the trade-offs between brand and performance, and the swing towards ROI.