Study reveals weak marketing metrics
The proliferation of data from a growing suite of marketing and business performance tools is making it harder than ever for companies to develop integrated reporting systems, according to research by Econsultancy and Lynchpin.
The study found that businesses are struggling to adopt a joined-up approach to data collection and analysis, which incorporates both online and offline data. In fact, only 41% of companies say they have common key performance indicators (KPIs) for web and non-web data, and just 22% of companies have a framework for analysing customer journeys that cross online and offline.
The proportion of companies who say they have "a company-wide strategy in place that ties data collection and analysis to business objectives" now stands at 22%, down from 25% in 2010.
The fourth annual Online Measurement and Strategy Report drew data from a survey of over 800 companies and agencies, and noted that only 28% of respondents said that web analytics "definitely drive actionable recommendations that make a difference to their organisation" - a drop from 31% one year before.
According to Lynchpin's managing director, Andrew Hood, "Volumes of data are continually increasing, and it is hard for businesses to make sense of it because of the complexity. When there is so much information available from such a variety of sources, it becomes a real challenge to define and agree consistent, robust top-level metrics."
Econsultancy's research director, Linus Gregoriadis, added: "This research shows that businesses are more likely to be using a range of marketing tools, including on-site feedback technology, mobile analytics and social media monitoring software. The increase in available data is outpacing the speed with which businesses can translate information into actionable insights."
In fact, many companies are increasingly reliant on Google Analytics, although many still prefer to use another paid-for analytics vendor for a wide range of reporting requirements.
The proportion of companies using Google exclusively for web analytics in 2011 stands at 44%, up from 38% in 2010 and only 23% in 2009. Only 13% don't use Google Analytics, while 42% continue to use Google and a paid-for analytics tool simultaneously.
Other key findings from the study included:
- Those companies using both Google Analytics and a paid-for analytics tool are more likely to use the free Google tool for pay-per-click optimisation, site search usage and campaign tracking. But companies surveyed are more likely to use their other, paid-for vendor for reporting requirements including traffic and conversion KPIs, conversion optimisation, navigation analysis, management reporting, content influence, video tracking, and cross-sell analysis.
- Companies plan to bolster their resourcing of data analysis for both in-house staff and outsourced analysis. Companies are more likely than last year to be increasing budgets for consulting and other third-party services relating to web analytics. Those outsourcing analytics functions are most likely to do so for analysis and optimisation (52%), strategic consultancy (47%) and implementation support (41%).
- The number of companies interested in measuring their online reputation and social media activity continues to grow. The proportion of companies who say they analyse reputation, buzz and social media metrics has significantly increased. Over half of companies (55%) are now analysing this type of data, compared to 45% in 2010.
The full report is available for purchase directly from Econsultancy's web site.
For additional information: · Visit Econsultancy at http://econsultancy.com · Visit Lynchpin at http://www.lynchpin.com