Multichannel Marketing Makes Measuring ROI Difficult – But Not Impossible

Determining your return on investment can be quite difficult when it is possible to span your campaigns and efforts across a myriad of channels from television to the radio, to the Internet, in print, and more.

A study (and report) by AOL Platforms has made an attempt to corral this usage of multi-channel marketing into an understandable concept.

Of the channels there are surprising (and not-so-surprising) results:

  • Channels such as television and radio may have the widest reach but are some of the worst because of their high costs.
  • Social media, online video, and display advertising, though not as large in reach, tends to have the largest impact on getting individuals aware and to make a purchase.
  • Affiliate marketing, email marketing, and paid search tends to provide the highest return on investment due to the low costs and reach along with the notion that they are often the channels consumers notice prior to making a purchase.

Other insights from the report found:

  • While digital marketing generates positive and healthy ROIs for all industries, the reported numbers vary by product category, advertising channel, and brand.
  • Media buyers can no longer solely rely on industry-wide ROI averages or paid media channel rankings to guide spending decisions.
  • Industry and category results are helpful in providing brands with competitive context, direction and opportunity sizing, but only when broken down into ROI by publisher, placement, creative and keyword.
  • A best practice for improving ROI should include multiple buying tools, an advanced MTA methodology and an advertiser’s first-party data.

Despite the changes in ROI across the various channels (including the challenges), it’s worthwhile to note that each provide a value and none are technically better than another (seeing that it mostly depends on the efforts of your marketing).

Place two brands against another and their results, even on the same channels, will differ. Areas such as entertainment tend to show the highest ROI through email marketing while industries such as financial services tend to do better on social channels. In the end it depends on your industry and market.

“Brands have traditionally used legacy attribution models, such as last-click or first-touch, to measure and optimize their advertising strategies. While these methodologies may have been standard practice in the past, today’s landscape requires a far more sophisticated approach that takes every marketing touchpoint into account.”

In the end the conclusion of the report should reassure that although multi-media marketing can cause difficulties of measuring ROI it’s not impossible…

“Ultimately, marketers should not obsess over an ideal ROI number, but focus on moving consumers through the marketing funnel using the most optimal media mix.”

Image by Geralt

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