Brands are investing more and more in digital marketing campaigns, in an effort to keep up with their competitors and tap into a potentially lucrative online customer base. However, it is not always easy to demonstrate good return on investment (ROI) with digital marketing, as its results are not always tangible and can be harder to measure.
Some companies increasingly feel that they are not getting the most from their investment in digital and social media campaigns. Research from DemandWave revealed that 29% of marketers felt that measuring and proving ROI for digital campaigns was one of their biggest challenges, up from 24% in 2015 and 16% in 2014.
This year’s ‘Ad Waste Survey’ by Demandbase and Wakefield Research also found that:
- 71% of B2B marketers felt that their brand’s digital advertising regularly fails to meet targets
- 89% said that their digital marketing mix isn’t optimised
- 96% said that their digital ads reach a significant number of people outside of their target audience, which represents a waste of allocated budget
So, what is stopping digital campaigns from delivering ROI?
When looking into the reasons that brands feel their campaigns aren’t delivering on targets and ROI, a number of common factors were uncovered. Researchers from Ascend2 asked marketers and brands what they felt the most significant obstacles to digital marketing success were and unsurprisingly, lack of budget was at the very top of the list. 46% of those questioned named inadequate budget allocation as the reason their expectations of digital campaigns were consistently disappointed, with the lack of essential in-house skill sets coming a close second (40%).
Within the report, Ascend2 offered its own comment on the findings, saying:
“Successful digital marketing requires financial support, tactical proficiency and strategic efficacy. Consequently, the most significant barriers to success is a lack of these requirements,”
While companies may not be able to do too much about budgets or even recruiting the talent they need in the short term, one area in which they can make immediate improvements is strategy. 35% of survey respondents named the lack of an effective strategy as the biggest barrier to digital marketing success. As anyone within the industry knows, no campaign can hope to be successful without a watertight strategy – one which includes a clear timeline, plan, realistic goals and accurate ways to track progress – in place.
Looking to the future
It’s not all bad news for digital marketing managers though, as the Ascend2 survey also found that a huge 89% are anticipating a slight to significant increase in the effectiveness of the digital marketing tactics they are using, and the likelihood that these tactics can help them to achieve important objectives.
What are your biggest frustrations when running digital marketing campaigns? What do you think is the key to executing digital campaigns that really deliver on ROI, and what challenges and obstacles have you had to overcome within your company? Please feel free to share your thoughts.