Marketers are still finding it difficult to determine the quantitative impact of their social media campaigns, with more than 60 per cent of buyer-to-customer CMOs admitting that it remains a critical issue in a new study published by Duke’s Fuqua School of Business last week.
While social media ad spend is soaring in the United States in particular, marketers are still failing to ascertain a complete picture of its impact on their businesses. However, this uncertainty has fuelled a greater drive for analytics, with more marketers now willing to invest in social media tools to uncover its true value.
The problem is not just contained to B2C marketers either, as almost half of B2B chief marketing officers have also stated that they have not been able to deliver the necessary insights to critical decision-makers about the effects of social media marketing and whether it is driving business value sufficiently.
Return on investment
The latest study is yet another indicator that the ever-evolving nature of social media is making it difficult to measure the channel’s effectiveness. Just a few years ago, sites such as Twitter and Facebook were purely tools to broaden brand reach, but the landscape has changed significantly in a short space of time with the rise of paid advertising and numerous algorithm updates.
These moving goalposts provide a certain degree of uncertainty for marketers and are one of the main reasons why measuring return on investment remains problematic. Analytics could be the key though, and more than a third of CMOs surveyed are using metrics and other feedback to inform their decisions on social media.
The struggle to measure ROI was also highlighted in a recent study by SImply Measured, which showed that 60 per cent of marketers believe that it is the biggest challenge today. A separate study by WPP Millward Brown Digital also found that three-quarters of marketers would be willing to increase the amount of money that they spend on social media if they were able to attain better results metrics and tracking data. Facebook is currently the best platform for ROI, with over 98 per cent selecting it as one of their main choices for social media marketing.