Market Data

Return on Effort Study

By Stefan Tornquist,

More budget is hard to come by…more time is impossible. One aspect of digital marketing is that marketers have more to do, smaller teams and less time, within a landscape of multiplying channels, emerging technologies and scattered audiences. The Return on Effort Study was fielded to help organizations put hard figures around the time component of common tactical activities.

The primary goal of this study was to quantify the effort that marketers expend on fundamental and emerging marketing tactics. By comparing the time invested in these tactics with their ROI and brand impact, we hope to help marketers in two ways. First, by guiding managers in evaluating tactics for future consideration and second, in helping teams compare their own effort to return ratios with those of the industry.

Another important element of the study was to explore how skill sets are aligned for emerging and inbound tactics. Since social tactics rely so heavily on the capabilities of team members in-house and occasionally at partner organizations, it’s valuable to set benchmarks for comparison and the planning of future training and hiring.


Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Introduction from HubSpot
    1. About Hubspot
    2. About Econsultancy
  3. Research aims
    1. Methodology
    2. Survey Demographics
    3. Who is this report for?
  4. Tactics compared; ROE, ROI & brand
    1. Business to Consumer Tactics
    2. Business to Business Tactics
    3. Return on Effort, ROI and Brand – Table Data
  5.  Emerging needs in marketing skills
    1. Business to Consumer Skills Evaluation
    2. Business to Business Skills Evaluation

Table of Figures

Figure 1: Which of the following statements best describes your organization?                
Figure 2: Primary target segments (over 25% of 2009 revenue)                                    
Figure 3: Primary product type.                                                                                  
Figure 4: 2009 revenue                                                                                             
Figure 5: Organizations’ monthly lead goals.                                                               
Figure 6: Comparison of tactics in B2C by time & brand                                                
Figure 7: Comparison of tactics in B2C by time & ROI                                                   
Figure 8: Comparison of tactics in B2B by time & brand                                                
Figure 9: Comparison of tactics in B2B by time & ROI                                                   
Figure 10: Traditional skills evaluation – B2C                                                               
Figure 11: Inbound skills evaluation – B2C                                                                  
Figure 12: Traditional skills evaluation – B2B                                                               
Figure 13: Inbound skills evaluation – B2B                                                                  

Who is this report for?

This is primarily a report by client-side marketers for client-side marketers, specifically at small and medium-sized organizations that engage in digital marketing and are currently or planning on using socially-driven, content focused “inbound” tactics. However, many findings and takeaways apply across company size and target markets.

The report is also intended to inform non-digital marketing specialists such as senior managers who need to understand the similarities and differences between established and emerging digital channels.

In addition, the report will help agencies understand their clients' challenges and thought processes and assist them as they design future marketing services and refine their current ones.


  • Pdf SAMPLE: Return on Effort Study (426 KB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled Return on Effort Study (534 KB PDF)

Access the full report

Econsultancy subscribers have full access to all our online research as well as a host of other services designed to help save you time, make better decisions and look smart in meetings.

Learn more and buy today