Measuring the return on investments for any type of campaign takes time and patience, according to data released Tuesday.
LinkedIn’s research, focused on return on investments from more than 4,000 digital marketers, found that marketers are expecting too much too soon. Pressure to immediately access the information has never been greater. Marketers must prove ROI to show how their budgets impact the company’s top and bottom line.
The findings from the survey suggest areas where marketers can improve.
The data, which points to areas where marketers can improve, found that marketers often measure ROI too quickly. In fact, 77% of digital marketers measure ROI within the first month of the campaign, far short of the full sales cycle that ROI should actually be measured.
Some 52% of those surveyed who measure ROI in the short term in less than one month had a sales cycle that was three months or longer. Only 4% of digital marketers measure ROI over a six-month period or longer — a duration more closely aligned with the length of an average sales cycle.
Internal pressures such as tight budget and proof of performance force marketers to measure and report ROI too soon. And rushing to measure ROI results in lower marketer confidence in this metric and less motivation to share it.
When the return is measured too quickly, it’s not actually the ROI, but rather key performance indicators — the short-term impact of their campaigns.
Some 42% of digital marketers with a lead-generation objective claimed to use the cost-per-click (CPC) as their metric for measuring ROI.
Short-term digital marketers — those measuring ROI in one month or less — are two times more likely than long-term digital marketers who measure ROI for a duration of more than one month to acknowledge having budget allocation discussions at least once a month.
The results also found that 90% of digital marketers use KPIs to make optimization decisions within one month, and 75% of digital marketers optimize as early as two weeks.
With all this measuring, only 37% of digital marketers describe themselves as “very” confident in their ROI metrics, and 40% of digital marketers are not actively sharing ROI metrics with others on their team, according to the data.