UK bosses: ‘Show us the money not likes and retweets’

digital-marketing-2The majority of UK chief executives (55%) are sick and tired of how digital marketing activities are being measured, insisting that most current metrics such as likes, retweets and impressions are meaningless as they are not directly linked to sales performance.

So says a new report from behavioral targeting platform Bango, which quizzed over 200 chief executives in the UK. It found nearly two-thirds (62%) of CEOs also feel that too much marketing budget is wasted on activities that do not deliver meaningful results, while more than three-quarters (77%) expect marketing to have a measurable impact on their business’ bottom line.

The Bango “Board to Death” report suggests that too many marketers try to disguise poor digital marketing results behind a haze of “meaningless metrics” – a classic “smoke and mirrors” approach which has dogged digital for years – that are not relevant to the board.

According to Bango, CEOs have become fed up of hearing about tactical analytics such as retweets (76%), likes (65%), followers (64%) and impressions (66%), and instead want to see marketers presenting results that tie digital marketing directly to the bottom line.

To address this issue, the report suggests that marketers should focus less on using social media to gain likes and followers, and instead use it to collect insights into what customers actually buy.

Bango chief marketing officer Anil Malhotra said: “When working on digital marketing campaigns, it’s very easy to get bogged down in generating as much engagement as possible — but if that engagement doesn’t tie back to sales then it quickly becomes a huge drain on company resources. CEOs are picking up on this fact, and they want to know that their growing digital marketing budgets are being well spent.

“The best way to overcome this is through better targeting. Rather than running campaigns based on what people like or share on social media, brands need to target potential customers based on their previous purchase behaviours.

“A lot of marketers don’t realise that you can do this type of targeting on social media, but it’s by far the best way to secure paying customers and tie your social media efforts back to the business’ bottom line.”

To achieve this, the report advocates the adoption of so-called “purchase behaviour targeting”, a function introduced by platforms like Facebook which can be supplemented with past online purchasing data.

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