Digital marketing is supposed to be entirely measurable, but we all know that in reality that’s not the case.

The proliferation of digital touchpoints has made the path to purchase incredibly complex, which means marketing attribution and measuring ROI has also become more difficult.

A new report from Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud investigates marketers’ ability to measure ROI from a range of digital channels.

Results from the Marketing Budgets 2015 survey show that paid search and email marketing have maintained their status among the top three digital channels for ability to measure success.

Just over half of respondents (52%) rated their ability to measure ROI from PPC as ‘good’, while another 35% rated it as ‘okay’.

For acquisition-focused email marketing those percentages were 44% and 41% respectively.

How do you rate your ability to measure ROI from the following digital channels or disciplines?

Among the worst performing channels were engagement-focused social media, mobile, and content marketing, although it’s surprising to note that video advertising achieved the lowest rating for ‘good’ (13%).

Results from a separate question show that there will be increased investment in content marketing this year, even though it achieved the lowest rating for measuring ROI (43% rated their ability as ‘poor’).

Important areas of focus for 2015

Respondents were asked to identify the single most important area of digital focus for their organisation in 2015.

This word cloud reveals the most common answers from client-side respondents, with customer experience appearing as the main focus along with content and lead generation.

These areas are also mentioned by agencies, but measuring ROI and joined-up data feature more prominently.

What is the single most important area of digital focus for your organisation in 2015?

And to finish, here are a few of the verbatim answers we received to this question:

  • “Full customer journey management and personalisation across all channels to fully understand ROI at customer level.”
  • “Providing a consistent experience across all digital channels for our prospects and existing clients.”
  • “Being able to better measure ROI, so that we know where and what to spend on in the digital world.” 

The Marketing Budgets 2015 Report looks at the extent to which companies are increasing their budgets across a range of channels and technologies.

Almost 600 companies participated in this research, which took the form of an online survey between December 2014 and January 2015.