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WebTrends: Despite Net Ad Boom, Confidence in Web Metrics Shaky

Although one of the main reasons marketers cite for the growth of spending on online ads is that they can be better measured, a WebTrends survey of marketing professionals found that most businesses aren't too confident about measuring their online marketing - and it points to cookies as the reason. eMarketer reports that only a small proportion of marketers are "very confident" in the measurements of their web marketing efforts: 43 percent of marketing professionals said they were "fairly confident," while only 5 percent said they were "very confident." The remaining marketers were split, with 26 percent "moderately confident" and 26 percent admitting to "flying blind."

The causes of uncertainty are several - and related to the use and misuse of cookies (see links, below, for recent coverage). The WebTrends survey reported that 39 percent of respondents said they have "no idea" what method their website is using to identify unique visitors; only 19 percent use legitimate first-party cookies; 13 percent identify visitors by IP address only. Only 20 percent have a comprehensive set of metrics to measure campaign performance. And 52 percent are still only looking at click-through rates or nothing at all.

The WebTrends study notes that cookie-dependent analytics solutions rely on cookies to identify one unique browsing session from another, which is tough to do when third-party cookies are being rejected or deleted on a regular basis.

Recent Coverage: The Cookie Imbroglio

- Burst Cookie Survey: Consumers 'Don't Understand, Say Maybe Useful, But Some Delete Anyhow

- Study: Quadruple the Number of Visitors Rejecting Third-Party Cookies
- Safecount Launched to Save Cookies, Back Safe Measurement
- Study: 27 Percent Weekly Clearing Cookies
- InsightExpress: Rumors of Cookie Demise Still Greatly Exaggerated
- Cookie Death Small Potatoes, More Product of Spyware Measures
- Atlas: Cookie Deletion Figures Exaggerated Wildly by Self-Reported Data
- Macromedia CTO: Yeah, Flash Makes for Good Cookie Replacements
- Cookie Death Causes Search for Successor
- Cookie Death Partly Due to 'Anti-Spyware' Tools
- Tacoda Tech Replaces Deleted Cookies
- Many Delete Cookies, Invalidate Ad Measurements
- House Removes Threat to Cookies in Spyware Bill

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