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Published July 7th 2014

Measuring ROI: Understanding the True Value of Digital Touch Points

“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customer” – Seth Godin

The ‘digital era’ that everyone keeps talking about places consumers on a pedestal – as they’re the central piece of the puzzle.

Indeed, companies have got better at understanding what satisfies their customers, but we are often too busy to pay attention to the thousands of advertisements bombarding us day after day.

Even so, we’re desperate for good products that satisfy our wants and solve our problems.

So, how can brands stand out and get noticed in such competitive, overcrowded markets?

Busy consumers ignore unwanted messages, while your competition is willing to overspend to hold on to their market share. The key for B2C businesses is focusing less on themselves and listening to their customers.

A recently released report based on a survey of more than 600 marketers, published by Econsultancy and sponsored by Responsys, reveals that brands have started to embrace this idea, as 59% of companies report that they will focus more on the customer than on the campaign during 2014. overall plans

Moreover, marketers are more likely to be increasing their overall marketing budgets for the year ahead, putting a premium on two key areas: content marketing and SEO.

Apart from increased budgets, these two concepts were also shortlisted by respondents as top areas of digital focus in 2014. Interestingly, at a more granular level, even though the majority of respondents agreed that paid media gets the lion’s share of budget, earned media is their main focus when it comes to getting more value from marketing budgets.

This might be an indication of a more integrated marketing approach that growing numbers of marketers have started to adopt.

earned media focus

What’s more, responding companies are spending on average 38% of their total marketing budgets on digital, which is a 3% increase from last year’s figures.

When it comes to technology investment,

Interestingly, the year-on-year comparison shows there has been a significant decline in the proportion of organisations who plan to increase investment in social media management systems, from over a third (38%) in 2013 to a quarter (26%) this year.

However, in terms of social listening, the numbers are expected to go up with a 24% increase for companies and a more significant 40% for agency respondents, showing that growing numbers of businesses have started to recognise the importance of online monitoring for reputation management, customer service and campaign optimisation. ROI general understanding - company respondents

Understanding the true value of digital touch points has always been a challenge for organisations.

While the complexity of measuring ROI from digital has likely increased due to better technological infrastructures and the experience of dealing with it over recent years, there seems to be an overall improvement in terms of comprehending ROI. Nevertheless, there’s still a major struggle with measuring social media investment, as only 7% of agencies and 19% of company respondents rate their ability to measure ROI from it as ‘Good’.

Are you reading along thinking ‘actually, I’m not that confident myself with measuring ROI from social media?’ – well, we’ve written some pretty cool articles on this topic so feel free to take a look here, here or here.

So why aren’t companies investing more in digital marketing? This year, 51% of participants cited ‘restricted budgets for all types of marketing’ as a factor, while the second most mentioned reason for reduced budgets was ‘company culture’. barriers - company respondents

What does this mean?

Well, for starters, the human characteristics of companies have a strong impact on their digital success, a more powerful one than we might have imagined! Also, even though just over half of the responding companies claim to have a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ understanding of ROI from digital channels, there is still room for progress and a lot of knowledge to acquire…It’ll be interesting to see how the results change in 2015.

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