Are Marketing Budgets in a Free for All?

Despite tremendous advancements in both standalone analytics solutions as well as those offered through critical technology like content management systems, ecommerce platforms and social media management platforms (and the networks themselves), marketers are actually far less accountable for showing their return on investment (ROI) than they were just one year ago.

As part of a 2016 planning report from Leapfrog Marketing Institute marketers were asked to what degree their budgets must produce measurable ROI, only 1 in 10 said 75 percent or more of their budget is accountable. This is a dramatic drop from 2015, when 40 percent of marketers stated they were planning to measure ROI at that same quartile. So what gives?

"The reality is that everything is measurable and there is always a proxy," stated Allstate Senior Director of Marketing Roger Tye in the report. "Part of the issue may be that proper success measures were not set. As an example for social - what do 'likes' represent? Where do they fit into the overall conversion funnel? It is on us as marketers to test and innovate, but measure the right business goals and KPIs."

Other budget insights from the Leapfrog report include:

1. The budget process has not changed for 67 percent of marketers since last year
2. Sixty percent of respondents built their 2016 budgets with a primary focus on prospects and/or customers with the majority of those efforts shifting toward "consumer life stages"
3. Eighty-four percent of brands' mobile marketing initiatives are combined in a larger marketing budget - a mere one percent increase since 2015.
4. Close to 60 percent of respondents stated that millennials are both a target segment for their business and have changed how they budget.