Are businesses failing to track the return on digital marketing spend?

And so most businesses will think nothing of investing in a website analytics package in order to review its performance. This only offers a partial insight though, which means there are a lot of businesses out there that are failing to properly track the return on their digital marketing spend.

How businesses track marketing impact

A recent study from Ruler Analytics found that while almost all businesses (92%) use some kind of analytics software to review the performance of their website, fewer than half (42%) felt it gave them the necessary insight – the reason for this appears to be that businesses only track a few of the key metrics required to make informed decisions.
So while more than three-quarters (78%) of businesses will track the number of visitors to their site, this number drops to just under two-thirds (64%) when it comes to tracking web form submissions and leads generated.

And that’s where the data collection really drops off, as less than a quarter (21%) use analytics to assess the return on their digital spend, while fewer than one-in-five (18%) track the volume and outcomes of telephone calls.

Then there are those one-in-seven (14%) businesses who don’t regularly track any of these performance indicators, meaning there’s little, if any, point in setting up analytics package in the first place.
And of all the analytics tools a their disposal, call tracking was the least likely to be utilised – meaning there are a lot of businesses out there with massive holes in their data sets.

How call tracking can give a 360-degree view

A good use of analytics is crucial to the development and success of any marketing campaign, but unless you track the success of the leads generated by people who prefer to do business over the phone, you’ll not have a complete grasp of your lead and conversion data – even if you track all of your online activity.

Ruler Analytics call tracking research also found that lead generation websites in the UK receive three-quarters (75%) of their inbound leads over the phone, compared to just a quarter (25%) through form fills. And over half (56%) of those phone leads come from a desktop search rather than a mobile device. So those businesses who aren’t using call tracking aren’t getting anything like an accurate reading on how their campaigns are performing.

How call tracking works

Call tracking works in tandem with your online analytics packages to give you a 360-degree view of customer behaviour and an idea of just how effective your PPC, SEO and even any non-digital campaigns really are.

Inbound calls are tracked by assigning each marketing campaign with a unique number which is then used by the call tracking software to report the source of each lead, as and when customers use any of those numbers. And because most customers will interact with your business in more ways than one – perhaps finding your business through Google Adwords, clicking on the ad to browse your site, then coming back in a few days by directly typing your address into the URL – it’s important to make sure your call tracking package has multi-channel attribution.

If your business isn’t using multi-channel attribution you’ll only see the channel that generated the first lead – Google Adwords in the example above. With multi-channel attribution enabled you’ll have a view of every touch point, meaning you can see exactly which campaigns are driving conversions.

And if your business doesn’t have this insight, it can’t fully track the return on investment of its digital marketing campaigns.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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