A study commissioned by SEM firm iProspect found that fewer than half of search marketers are being evaluated based on business goals.
Most companies are not using the appropriate metrics to evaluate the success of their search marketing employees -- and thus their search marketing programs -- according to a study commissioned by Isobar’s iProspect and conducted by JupiterResearch.
The iProspect Search Marketer Performance Study found that only four out of 10 search marketers are being evaluated based on business goals, such as ROI or total sales generated. Instead, most marketers are being measured against intermediate metrics, like Web site traffic volume or top search engine ranking.
"It should be more like eight out of 10," Rob Murray, iProspect’s president, told ClickZ News. "I would expect more companies to look at end results than focus on the means to the end."
Murray attributes the lack of measurement of business goals to the inability of many marketers to adequately tie conversions -- especially offline conversions -- to search marketing activities. The study found that less than two in 10 search marketers are being evaluated on offline results generated by their SEM efforts.
"You can’t judge what you can’t measure," Murray said. "Most people build a Web site to have an impact on the buying continuum. If someone converts offline, and you’re not linking it with your search marketing efforts, you’re not evaluating the full returns you’re generating, and you can’t make a full evaluation."
According to Bill Muller, iProspect’s VP of marketing, that could effect not just the company, but the individual marketer. "Over time, I can’t believe there will be a lot of companies who will continue to spend money on SEM on blind faith," he said. "If I were a marketer responsible for SEM, I would want to measure my own success based on business results to justify my existence in the organization."
Much of the problems stem from immaturity of search marketing within the overall marketing organization, said Gary Stein, senior analyst for online advertising and marketing at JupiterResearch.
"Search, despite its popularity, is still a satellite, distinct from the overall business. So it’s measured solely on its own merits -- clickthroughs and conversions," Stein said. "Search needs to be considered as a core part of the marketing plan, not as a separate initiative."
Because search marketing efforts are not tied in to other kinds of marketing campaigns, they don’t always get considered alongside other initiatives, like branding campaigns, he said. "The majority only measure clickthroughs, which is kind of crazy -- clicks don’t make you any money!"
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT