The majority of senior European marketers either do ad hoc or carried out no evaluation of their marketing campaigns, new findings from marketing software company Aprimo reveal.
Market research from the company showed 68 per cent of marketers were in the dark over the impact of their campaigns.
The lack of integration between departments systems and processes is highlighted as the single most important factor to impact the ability to measure marketing performance, according to 55%.
The survey findings identified two main challenges for marketers: increasing the productivity of marketing was the key challenge for nearly 50%, whilst 30% highlighted the lack of skilled resource.
This marketing skills shortage proved to be a challenge shared by a vast majority of 94%, whether in all departments, or just specialist areas. In fact, only 2% are fortunate enough to have no problems recruiting and retaining the right people.
However, a positive outlook was prevalent, with 66% stating “My confidence is high, times are good, the economy is booming and the outlook is positive”.
This optimism might have a link to the marketing budgets, which in the case of 60% of respondents increased in 2006-2007, and for 23%, budgets increased by more than 10%.
This bright outlook translates into the strategic goal for marketing to acquire new customers and capture a larger market share, according to 68% of respondents.
Only 6% of marketers polled believe that direct marketing is dead. Twice as many marketers gathered in the opposite corner, with 12% stating that direct marketing is now more relevant than ever.
The rest of the attendees believed there is more life in the DM industry yet, but stated that they “recognise the challenges” (48%) or “think it requires a rethink” (34%).
Marketers are recognising the challenge brought by the new age of technology and consumers, and most are planning to make changes accordingly.
The survey showed 37% are familiar with web 2.0 and that it is embedded in their marketing strategy. However, 63% confessed to either not understanding it or neglecting it in their current strategies.
This looks set to change, as 62% indicated that they are making subtle changes to their plans, and 10% said “we are having to rethink our whole marketing strategy” as a result of the changing face of consumers and its impact on marketing.
“Evaluation is an important aspect of marketing. It adds an element of accountability, and it helps inform future marketing plans. If it was quicker and easier, more people would do it,” said Director of Marketing EMEA, Aprimo, David Arrowsmith.
“This research shows us that evaluation needs to be more integrated into marketing campaigns, and marketing in turn needs to be joined up with other functions, such as sales and finance.
He added, “This would increase measurability of marketing performance without adding to the already heavy workload of the modern marketer.”