Survey: Marketers Fail to Optimize On-Site Media

A survey of marketing executives found that two in three allocate less than 10 cents of every marketing dollar to optimize on-site media to encourage Web site visitors to “convert” or take an action such as make a purchase or download a white paper.

Of 1,050 marketing executives surveyed, 42 percent said they are spending less than five hours per week optimizing advertising media such as search, e-mail, and display advertising, according to Omniture’s Online Conversion Benchmark Survey released this week. “This may be too low, considering many companies are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in advertising,” the study suggests.

The survey defines conversion optimization as “the process of monitoring conversion events on your Web site (e.g., from landing page through checkout)” and identifying improvements to make in calls-to-action, page layouts, and other variables. Optimization technologies are defined here as multivariate and A/B testing, targeting, site search, recommendations, and other personalization technologies.

When marketers were asked what areas they are conducting online tests, they said: display media (23 percent); e-mail (48 percent), and paid search ad copy (54 percent).

Of those responding, 70 percent said one person in an organization — most likely a senior marketing executive — single-handedly determines promotional content, such as calls-to-action and offers, on a Web site. “Those decisions are not being made based on metrics or data,” said Mikel Chertudi, Omniture’s VP of online marketing and demand generation.

As for the rule of thumb regarding the portion of the marketing budget that should be allocated to optimization, Chertudi said that some agencies, such as WPP, have stated that it should be 15 percent of an advertising budget.

The survey was conducted online by Omniture and MarketingExperiments. About 60 percent of respondents were from business-to-consumer Web sites and the rest were from business-to-business sites. According to Chertudi, most respondents were not Omniture customers.

Marketers can complete the survey here to see how their organizations compare to others participating in the survey.

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