Study – Marketers are unhappy because they can now measure their performance

One great reason to use PURLs is the ability to track your marketing effectiveness down to the individual. PURLs allow you to see exactly who is responding to your marketing message, when they responded, and any activity they took once on your website.  Pretty cool right!

You’d think marketers would be delighted at the ability to track their marketing efforts down to individual responders, but that isn’t necessarily the case…


This morning I was listening to Growth Hacker on my run with Dillon.  The book mentioned a Harvard Business Review study, that found that 80 percent of marketers are unhappy with their ability to measure marketing return on investment (ROI). Which is no surprise.  But here’s the kicker…. the study points out that marketers aren’t unhappy because they can’t measure marketing performance. They’re unhappy because they now can—and they don’t like what they see.

Marketers are seeing for the first time that their marketing strategies, the same strategies that they have been pushing for decades, are simply don’t work as well as they thought they did.

The study’s findings are exactly on par from my experiences. Recently, I’ve been trying to get out of the office more and talk with PURL users (or past PURL users).

One agency that I met with recently convinced one of their long-time clients to give PURLs a try in one of their campaigns.  This particular client has been sending out the same direct mailer for years.  The only way they measured success was by the number of people that hit their home page.  If they saw an uptick in visits during a particular campaign, they would attribute the increase of visits to that campaign.

When the client sent out the campaign with PURLs, the response was actually much lower than they expected it to be.  Needless to say, there was a lot of finger pointing. At the end of the day, the client decided to discontinue the use of PURLs, and stick with being blissfully ignorant of their campaign’s response.  I’ve seen this situation play out over and over again.

So what is a marketer to do?  My suggestion would be to shift focus from the quantity of responses, to the quality of responses.  It’s far better to have 10 high quality responses, than 100 that don’t mean jack.  Treat those 10 quality responses like gold.  Then, this is very important… Create a plan to continually track and market to those individuals until they are ready to buy. Shifting focus from the quantity to the quality of responses will help set expectation for both you and your client.  It will also pay dividends as those high quality prospects that your paying so close of attention to, being to convert into paying customers.