The Intangibility of Digital ROI is its Biggest Challenge

The Intangibility of Digital ROI is its Biggest ChallengeThe bottom line of marketing has always been simply this; what’s the return on investment or ROI? Before the digital age it was much easier to figure this out but, even with the amazing amount of digital technology we have today, determining the ROI of any digital marketing campaign is still difficult at best.

If you don’t believe that’s true, maybe a recent study by Adobe showing that less than 30% of digital marketers believe they are doing a good job measuring marketing performance will convince you.

The problem is that many of the digital tools used for digital marketing make it hard to quantify results, and many organizations still have the wrong expectations about digital marketing’s ROI.

Organizations need to be made aware of the drawbacks of measuring the ROI of digital marketing campaigns, according to Mitch Lapides, the president and founder of FulcrumTech. “Lots of companies don’t have the rigorous data systems to put together a metric, or set of metrics, that can accurately define the ROI of their digital marketing,” he says, adding that “It actually takes labor to analyze that data.”

Lapides believes that most organizations haven’t invested enough money into tools that will capture and analyze the data necessary to tell them what their ROI actually is. And, without the data to do it, businesses and organizations simply won’t have the information that they need to take advantage of things like customer behavior and trends.

Even with tools in place to capture data and analytics, it’s still not as straightforward to determine ROI with digital marketing as it is with traditional marketing. “Companies struggle with measuring the strategic benefit,” says Lapides. “In the old days, radio and television were seen as awareness-building tools. Many of the technologies we use today in digital marketing-social media, for instance-play that same kind of role. And it can be hard to assign specific value to those tools.”

Lapides suggests that businesses do their best to track ROI by using tangible values to determine the otherwise intangible aspects of digital marketing strategies (More of his suggestions can be read in the original story here).

At the end of the day, trying to make sense of intangible values and determine the ROI of any digital marketing strategy is one of the biggest challenges facing most businesses today. That being said, creative and strategic thinking has always been the hallmark of marketing and, when it comes to digital marketing, it’s only a matter of time before functioning solutions are discovered and put into place.