Board to Death.

Why digital marketing is failing to impress in the board room.

Bango research with 200 US and UK CEOs


Nobody cares about likes

Everyone wants to be liked, but does that magical thumbs up mean anything when it comes to your bottom line?

Well, according to the world’s CEOs… no.

Marketers need to realize that board-level executives aren’t interested in vanity metrics like shares, likes, and retweets… and don’t even get them started on “impressions” and “engagement” levels.

From the CEO’s perspective, until these metrics can tie back to the business’ bottom line, they’re not worth talking about. So if it doesn’t come back to revenue, don’t try selling it to the board!


of CEOs think marketers focus too much on tactical analytics and not enough on business results


of CEOs consider digital marketing metrics that aren’t associated with sales to be meaningless


of CEOs aren’t interested in likes


of CEOs aren’t interested in retweets


of CEOs aren’t interested in impressions

Shock! CEOs want sales

If CEOs don’t care about social media metrics, then what do they want from marketing?

Well, it should come as a huge shock to no one at all to learn that CEOs want digital marketing to deliver… wait for it…. sales!

Yes, new customers, increased profits and sales lead generation are all top marketing outcomes for the CEO.

That means that anything digital marketers do (including social media marketing) needs to directly tie back to one of those three key objectives.


of CEOs expect marketing to have a measurable impact on their business’ bottom line

CEO’S top objectives for marketing:

1. New customers

2. Increased profits

3. Sales lead generation


Money down the drain?

For all the promises made about digital advertising and social engagement, it seems that CEOs are still struggling to buy into the dream.

While almost all of our CEOs have signed off budget for both social media marketing and paid social ads, the overwhelming majority struggle to understand how these channels feed into their specific business goals.

Now, with marketing budgets tightening and the average cost per click increasing across most platforms, digital marketers need to find new ways to spend on marketing and prove that their efforts secure new customers and benefit the bottom line.


of CEOs believe that social is good for building reputations, but not for generating sales


of CEOs think too much digital marketing budget is wasted on activities that don’t deliver meaningful results


of CEOs think the marketing potential of social media has been exaggerated


of CEOs think Facebook ads aren’t effective at acquiring new customers


of CEOs think LinkedIn ads aren’t effective at acquiring new customers


The great ad crash

At the heart of CEOs’ skepticism is paid social ads.

More than anywhere else, digital ad spend is where CEOs see their money pouring out, but not nearly enough coming in. With as little as 3% of ads converting, 97% of digital ad dollars are effectively wasted in the eyes of the CEO.

But digital marketers aren’t solely to blame for this disconnect. All too often, the social media advertisers who overstate the targeting abilities of their platforms. What people like or follow or search online isn’t a strong indication of what they will buy.

Faced with this challenge, many CEOs are seriously considering winding-down their digital ad budgets — declaring them the first marketing activities to go if they hit hard times.


of CEOs don’t see digital ads as a key source of new customers or sales


of CEOs say ‘social’ marketing is the very first thing they’d cut from their budgets

Tightening belts


of CEOs would not endorse further spending on Facebook ads


of CEOs would not endorse further spending on Instagram ads


of CEOs would not endorse further spending on search ads


of CEOs would not endorse further spending on Twitter ads


of CEOs would not endorse further spending on LinkedIn ads

A good idea, missing the mark

In the eyes of the CEO, digital marketers are spending a small fortune on paid ads and returning with little more than a handful of likes and a spike in engagement rates.

That may be enough to excite some marketers, but today’s boards are bored to death with such meaningless metrics.

The sad thing is that social media advertising has the potential to significantly contribute to the bottom line, but right now it’s missing the mark.

If digital marketers are to justify their ad spends (in terms that matter to management), they need to find a better way to target their activities. They need to focus them less on what people like, search for, or follow and start to look at what they buy.


of CEOs would increase marketing budgets if their activities could be more directly targeted towards those who buy

Purchase behavior targeting

Today, a new way to target digital advertising is emerging. Rather than targeting existing customers based on what they’ve previously bought, or targeting new users based on what they like on social or search on Google, purchase behavior targeting is helping marketers find new users who buy similar products elsewhere.

Drawing on consumer payment data from millions of transactions, Bango purchase behavior targeting lets digital marketers target their online ads towards the customers who already buy similar products, so are more likely to spend.

If digital marketers are ever going to stop boring the board with meaningless metrics, they need to make sure their paid, digital and social campaigns drive more than just likes. Using purchase behavior targeting to go straight to people who buy is the simplest way to acquire new customers, build revenue, and justify social spend to the board.

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