Historically, marketers have spent more on acquiring traffic; that is clearly changing. Because the costs of acquisition have gone up, increasing the conversion rate becomes relatively more cost-effective.
The challenge is finding people who know how to do that, which can be expensive. People are therefore looking for technology that can solve the problem.
It is disappointing that so few people use online digital performance metrics to support decision making. It seems that people are not using data to drive other marketing decisions. But more surprising is the failure to use data to drive online decisions. Data availability should be the whole reason a business is doing digital marketing.
The most obvious reason marketers may be missing out on the data opportunity is that, particularly in large businesses, the data is there but is difficult to extract. Areas such as search marketing or affiliate marketing are likely to have different metrics so it is a challenge to consolidate these and come up with a single model.
Getting to the bottom of how different digital channels are working is the big question in marketing at the moment. The challenge of the fragmented data can be solved with technology and people if you make a concerted effort.
It is encouraging to see that marketers are planning to invest more in digital performance metrics. Unless they do that it will be hard to justify future spend on digital, in particular on new channels.
It is interesting to see how much – and yet how relatively little compared to its influence – is being spent on social media. There is a parallel with how digital was adopted in the first place and how time spent online grew ahead of online marketing budgets. History repeating itself?
People are increasingly happy to throw money at channels such as Facebook but they want to use it intelligently. There is a confidence issue around using data to channel marketing into social media.
By improving the performance of digital spend and taking advantage of new channels, there is still a lot of untapped opportunity in digital marketing.
Neil Morgan, VP EMEA marketing and channels for the Omniture Business Unit, Adobe Systems Incorporated