Acquisition & Engagement

30% Of Marketing Budgets Wasted? Time To Panic … Or Just Get Smart

John Koetsier

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Good news gets trumpeted from the rooftops. Bad news gets buried in the backyard.

Welcome to the backyard.

Six years ago when Scott Brinker’s martech landscape was considerably less insane — 350 marketing technology vendors rather than today’s 5,000 — and marketers were considerably less stressed out, Gartner made a prediction.

The “Martech 5000”

By 2017, Gartner said, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.

That might actually have come true.

But it may not stay true, if marketers continue to waste 30% of their budgets. That’s what  American marketers believe will happen in 2018, according to a Rakuten Marketing report that gently landed on the wires with a very light, almost inaudible mini-thud this week.

On the positive side, 30% waste is better than John Wanamaker‘s infamous 19th-century “50% of my advertising is wasted” quote. On the negative, it’s depressing that with over 150 years of technological progress since Wanamaker we’ve only seen a 40% improvement in dollars dripping out of holes in marketing buckets.

(Yep, a 20% absolute change from 50% loss to 30% loss is a 40% improvement.)

Given that marketers think they’re going to be wasting 30% of their budgets, it is not shocking that 44% of U.S. marketers are worried about being able to prove the value of marketing. Plus, 42% are concerned about challenges in establishing a positive perception of marketing as an organization discipline.

My guess is that most departments that believe they’re going to waste 30% of their budget would have similar issues.

What’s the solution?

There’s only one.

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Spray and pray?

Smart marketers know it, and have already committed to it: stopping spray and pray. Marketing that isn’t measured, can’t be viewed side-by-side with other channels in a dashboard, and isn’t attributed, is at high risk of fraud, duplication, waste, and general sub-optimal performance.

TUNE can help.

The alternative is not pretty.

We’re already in a scenario where only 9% of marketers have a marketing system of record, where global app install fraud costs app publishers up to $2 billion a year, almost nine out of ten marketers cannot consistently measure their customers’ cross-device activity, even though technology opens the door to twice as many customer journey data points.

Accurate, fast, and integrated attribution is the first key.

Engagement is the second, and mobile is a massive part of that.

But underpinning both is a commitment to measurement that guides investment. There will always be marketer dollars spent on testing new platforms, new ads, new networks, new programs. That’s not waste, however, and it’s not 30% of your budget.

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Author
John Koetsier

As Mobile Economist at TUNE, I forecast and analyze trends affecting the mobile ecosystem. I've been a journalist, analyst, and corporate executive, and have chronicled the rise of the mobile economy. Before joining TUNE, I built the VB Insight research team at VentureBeat and managed teams creating software for partners like Intel and Disney. In addition, I've led technical teams, built social sites and mobile apps, and consulted on mobile, social, and IoT. In 2014, I was named to Folio's top 100 of the media industry's "most innovative entrepreneurs and market shaker-uppers.” I live in British Columbia, Canada with my family, where I coach baseball and hockey, though not at the same time.