LinkedIn, a professional networking platform, has released ‘The Long and Short of ROI’ report in India to identify how digital marketers measure ROI (Return on Investment). The survey was conducted amongst 4,000 marketing professionals across 19 countries, including India, and reveals how measuring ROI over the length of the sales cycle can lead to more accurate reporting, greater marketer confidence, and improved campaign management.
The findings of the report highlight that digital marketers deliver tremendous value to their businesses but struggle to highlight their impact or true ROI when reporting on performance. The metrics are either reported too soon or wrongly chosen to deliver quick results in order to meet business pressures.
In fact, 78% digital marketers in India claim to be measuring digital ROI long before a sales cycle has concluded. In India, only 3% of digital marketers are measuring ROI over a 6-month period or longer -- one of the lowest amongst all regions, lower than the global average of 4%. This means that many marketers are likely not measuring ROI at all.
“The Indian digital marketing industry is incredibly competitive today. As marketing campaigns become more dynamic, real-time, and data-driven, measurement is going to be a key discussion in boardrooms going forward. The LinkedIn report highlights how Indian marketers are struggling to measure the true impact of performance; they are thinking short-term and are measuring KPIs, instead of ROI. Measuring too quickly can have a poor impact on campaigns, specifically in industries such as higher education and real estate where it can take months of consideration before sale,” says Virginia Sharma, Director, Marketing Solutions - India, LinkedIn.
Here are the common behaviours of digital marketers in India, when it comes to ROI and measurement, and best practices for marketers to consider:
- 78% Indian marketers measure ROI too soon: 78% of Indian marketers measure ROI within the first 30 days of the campaign, which results in an inaccurate reflection of the actual return, considering that sales cycles are 60-90 days or longer. In fact, only 3% of Indian marketers are measuring ROI over a six-month period or longer – one of the lowest among all regions (lower than the global average of 4%).
- 50% digital marketers rely on inaccurate metrics: 81% ofIndian digital marketers claim to measure ROI today, which strongly reinforces India’s data-driven stature. However, another finding shows that 50% digital marketers - with a lead generation objective - claim to use cost-per-click as their ROI metric, which does not show impact-per-advertising dollar spent. Ideally, cost-per-lead is a better measurement metric here. This is the highest percentage among all countries, clearly indicating that Indian marketers are measuring short-term impact in the form of KPIs, which is not an accurate reflection of ROI.
- 64% Indian marketers face pressure to prove ROI: As opposed to 58% globally, 64% Indian marketers acknowledged that they needed to show ROI numbers to justify spend and get approval for future budget asks. This clearly shows how pressured Indian digital marketers are internally, hence rushing to measure and prove ROI.
- 60% of Indian marketers have to consider revising budgets: 60% of Indian marketers who measure ROI in the short term end up having budget reallocation discussions within a month, often unprepared and hence under confident. In fact, 47% of Indian digital marketers don’t feel confident about their ROI measurements today.