Marketers ignoring business value metrics at their peril – Adobe report

The majority of APAC marketers are failing to measure results from their digital marketing that relate to business value, but those who are doing so are having greater success, a new report by Adobe and the CMO Council suggests.

The ‘Adobe APAC Digital Directions Report’ findings are based on data collected from 648 respondents in Australia, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

The report found few marketers are measuring metrics such as:

  • Revenue per customer (15%, a significant drop from 36% in 2013)
  • customer lifetime value (15%), and
  • market share movements (16%).

The majority of marketers are instead focusing on measuring what the report describes as “more basic metrics” such as:

  • Click-through rates (70%),
  • campaign ROI (49%), and
  • response rates (73%).

The report states the value of measuring business value metrics with the findings that compared with those who ignore them, marketers who do track these metrics:

  • Have higher levels of confidence in digital (75% versus 59%),
  • are more likely to say that digital can grow a profitable business faster (45% versus 33%), and
  • are less likely to say they struggle to make a business case for digital spend (31% versus 40%).

19% of those marketers actively measuring business value metrics allocate more than 50% of their marketing budget to digital, making that group twice as likely to do so then those who don’t measure the same metrics (10%).

Australia is leading the APAC region for digital marketing proficiency, with 35% of Australian respondents rating their organisation as ‘pretty good’ or ‘high’, ahead of the regional average of 24%.

47% of respondents said their agency’s capabilities and experience were holding them back, an increase from 37% in 2013. 74% of these respondents were working with at least one digital agency.

78% of of respondents said their digital marketing budgets have increased in the last 12 months. Those who leverage metrics tied to the bottom line, profitability and growth, had greater success persuading internal stakeholders to increase their investment in digital.

Some other findings include:

  • 68% of respondents said digital enabled additional touchpoints,
  • 51% said it was delivers more cost-effective customer acquisition (51%),
  • 41% said it improves customer loyalty, and
  • 34% said it improves the overall customer experience and responsiveness.

Top three areas for digital marketing spend

Australian marketers are spending the majority of their digital marketing budgets in the following three areas:

  1. Website content, development and performance optimisation (72%),
  2. search engine optimisation (69%),
  3. and paid search (61%).

Top three challenges with building digital marketing teams

  1. A lack of the right talent and skills (55%),
  2. budget limitations (42%), and
  3. identifying the right tools and technologies needed to take the next step (40%).

Top three challenges with digital campaign execution

  1. Budget limitations (54%),
  2. determining the best technology solutions and services to use (41%), and
  3. making a business case for digital marketing spend (36%).

Top three digital priorities for Australian marketers

  1. Strengthening the digital content strategy (68%),
  2. richer, deeper customer profiling and insights (51%), and
  3. social media optimisation (50%).

Three digital imperatives for APAC marketers

The report recommends that marketers:

  1. Dive deeper into intelligence, insights and customer analytics to optimise strategies for engagement and enablement,
  2. boost team performance and skills, and
  3. allocate around a customer-centric business case.

Adobe Asia Pacific president Paul Robson says Australian early adopters leading the region in digital marketing proficiency are proving its value.

“These companies are using customer intelligence in an insightful way and are leading with data. They are raising the bar by measuring, predicting and using insights across multiple channels to create relevant and personalised experiences to satisfy customers.

“Digital and business transformation is a complex and challenging task, but the rewards are great.”

CMO Council vice president of marketing Liz Miller says:

“Digital has truly come of age. The challenge now, is to turn our attention to extracting greater value and insights from data to provide ideas and knowledge that improve product, services and customer engagement and provide the foundations for a stronger internal pitch to boost investment and resourcing.”

Here’s an infographic Adobe has put together drawing on the report’s findings:



Michelle Herbison
BY Michelle Herbison ON 7 May 2015
Assistant editor, Marketing Magazine.