One of the holy grails for digital marketers is to be able to calculate the effectiveness of each stage of a customer journey and to optimise it to increase sales.

While some would have hoped that the often-cited quote attributed to Lord Leverhulme would become a relic of the past, unfortunately companies are still struggling to measure their customer journeys.

For Econsultancy’s Online Measurement and Strategy Report, published in association with Lynchpin, we asked marketers whether they had a framework for analysing customer journeys that cross online and offline.

Although having a framework in place doesn’t necessarily mean that a company will suddenly gain insights that have an effect on the bottom line, it is a sign that there has been some thought on what questions need to be asked, along with what data is to be collected, and how it will be processed and interpreted in order understand what is happening during the customer journey.

Disappointingly, the proportion of companies who state that they have such a framework in place has decreased from 22% to 19%

Following the question about analysing and offline journeys, we also asked companies whether they (or a supplier on their behalf) perform any attribution modelling.

With increasing device and channel proliferation and consumers researching their products in often non-linear ways, being able to attribute marketing efforts properly allows the effective targeting of marketing budgets across various media.

Unfortunately, the proportion of companies performing attribution modelling has not significantly increased in the past year, with just 25% of companies stating that they do any kind of attribution modelling.

In order to gain a better picture of what might be holding companies back from moving towards best practice, we asked respondents to state what their main frustrations in managing web analytics. As well as the ‘poisoned chalice’ of increasing data, resourcing (both in terms of staff and budget) came up as a common theme.

While finding the right staff has been also highlighted as a limiting factor in the report, one other issue that emerges after looking into the responses is that organisational issues are another common frustration.

There is one team in charge of web analytics – not a marketing team – so for the marketing colleagues it is a fight to try and extract data from the analytics team.

Huge and siloed organisations, complexity of aged infrastructure and sites, legal policies

Getting management agreement on goals.

Education of senior management in understanding the benefit of an integrated digital performance management process.

In order to track the customer journey across multiple channels (whether online or offline), and attribute a value to each stage of the process, different departments and stakeholders need to come together to identify what data needs to be shared and interpreted.

In large organisations with multiple brands and products being managed by different departments, all of whom may be using different combinations of channels and media, this task can easily become very complicated. Companies need to consider their organisational structures when it comes to gaining insights and making decisions based on data.

What are your thoughts?

Does your company or client have a framework for analysing customer journeys that cross online and offline? Do you or your clients perform any attribution modelling? What challenges have you faced, and what strategies and tactics can you recommend? Share your views below.