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The 4 Roadblocks to Measuring Martech ROI

Kevin Schofield, Digital Strategy Director

With every new martech solution comes an opportunity to improve measurement, scale marketing activities, increase personalization, streamline data management, and more. These are the means to returns on your martech investments and the reasons why the martech landscape can support over 7,000 distinct brands.

As a result, marketing technology has become the largest area of investment for CMO budgets (29%). But much to the dismay of business leaders, Gartner found that CMOs value awareness over both ROI and market share.

The problem isn’t that CMOs don’t care about finding a return on martech investments. Rather, there are 4 key roadblocks standing in the way of measuring the ROI of martech solutions.

1. Insufficient Resources and Expertise

The ever-increasing percentage of marketing budgets being allocated to martech investments has come at the expense of both internal staffing and agency partnerships. As the martech landscape continues to change rapidly, marketing teams are stretched too thin to keep up with the latest systems, solutions, and technologies. One report found that over 35% of U.S. companies see a lack of staff expertise as the primary challenge in measuring martech ROI.

This issue isn’t one of measurement alone. While many marketers have struggled to stay ahead of the rising demand for analytical skills, martech ROI also depends on effective deployment. For marketing automation systems, specifically, 60% of companies have trouble allocating enough resources to ensure proper deployment. Problems in deployment can result in workforce productivity disruptions, inaccessible features, and outright downtime—all of which will reduce the return on your investment in the short and long terms.

Without the right staff training and resources devoted to deployment, you’ll be left guessing at martech ROI as you continue to purchase more systems and solutions.

2. More Data, More Problems

If there’s one thing marketers know how to do, it’s collect data. For a long time, one of the biggest challenges to improving CX was gaining enough insights into customers to make more informed decisions. Now, we have more data than we know what to do with and that’s causing problems for measuring martech ROI.

Despite ongoing efforts to improve governance, 34% of marketers struggle against messy data in their organizations. And because of that messy data, just 50% of B2B businesses actually trust the customer data they have on hand.

Problems with data collection leave you with two options. You can ignore messy data and try to analyze customer insights anyway. Or, you can take the time to weed out bad data so that insights are more accurate. In either case, you’re reducing the returns on martech investments. And with marketers analyzing just 20% of the consumer data available to them, it’s clear that there’s plenty of room for improvement to get the most out of martech solutions.

3. Lack of Discipline in Setting KPIs

You can’t measure the returns on martech investments without setting clear KPIs across your marketing department. Most martech solutions won’t directly impact the company’s bottom line, so you have to come up with more attainable KPIs for your team to strive for. But for over 40% of U.S. companies, determining which KPIs will be most effective is a significant challenge in measuring martech ROI.

In many cases, marketers avoid the KPI challenge by focusing on metrics that are easiest to track for a specific solution. Just because you’re able to track an increase in follower counts with a social media analytics tool doesn’t mean the vanity metric points to meaningful ROI. Maintaining discipline and setting clear KPIs means focusing on overarching business goals and going beyond vanity metrics to come up with the most valuable data to measure against.

4. Failure to Map Out Marketing Attribution

Marketing attribution is far from a new challenge. Especially as businesses become more data-drive, C-level stakeholders expect you to be able to attribute every marketing activity directly to business outcomes. Unfortunately, marketing attribution hasn’t become any easier with martech innovation.

One Demand Gen report found that 48% of marketers struggle to track and measure granular customer activity at different stages of the buyer’s journey. And to add to those challenges, 47% feel they don’t have the in-house expertise to measure how marketing impacts business outcomes across channels.

From social media to content marketing, you know that top-of-the-funnel marketing activities can have a positive impact on business outcomes. And in your mind, that justifies investments in innovative martech solutions. But if you’re not thinking of attribution at every step of the martech purchase and deployment processes, you might struggle to build support within your organization.

Connect the Dots Between Martech and Business Outcomes

One way to make it easier to measure returns on martech investments is focusing on the customer experience. By putting the customer at the epicenter of all marketing activities and martech investments, you’ll be able to find common ground with business stakeholders that expect clearer measurement than you can deliver when focusing only on high-level awareness.

When customer experience drives martech purchase decisions, you gain a midpoint between marketing activities and business results that will help connect the ROI dots. The real challenge is building and orchestrating marketing, technology, and CX strategies.

That’s where Verndale can help. We help clients connect the dots of the customer journey by designing tech-driven experiences that deliver business results. If you want to learn more, contact us today and let us know how we can help improve your ROI measurements.