CEOs are beginning to question the analytics marketers use to target campaigns and instead want what they think are clearer links to business goals.

A study of behavioral targeting platform Bango, which surveyed more than 200 business executives, found that 55% believe digital marketing metrics are “meaningless” if they are not directly linked to sales. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of CEOs also believe too much marketing budget is wasted on activities that don’t produce meaningful results, while 77% expect marketing to have a measurable impact on the bottom line of their business.

The Bango report argues that digital marketing has lost its way, with many marketers trying to mask poor results behind a haze of “meaningless metrics” that don’t matter to the board.

According to Bango, CEOs are tired of hearing about tactical analytics metrics like retweets (76%), likes (65%), followers (64%) and impressions (66%), and instead want marketers to present results that directly link digital marketing to the bottom line.

To solve this problem, Bango’s Board to Death report suggests that marketers focus less on using social media to get likes and followers and instead use it to gather information about what customers are actually buying.

Anil Malhotra, CEO of Bango, said: “When working on digital marketing campaigns, it’s very easy to get bogged down in creating as many engagements as possible – but if those engagements aren’t related to sales, they quickly become a huge drain on company resources. CEOs are aware of this fact and want to know that their growing digital marketing budgets are being spent effectively.

“The best way to solve this problem is to target more precisely. Instead of running campaigns based on what people like or share on social media, brands should target potential customers based on their previous buying behavior. Many marketers don’t realize you can use this type of targeting on social media, but it’s certainly the best way to attract paying customers and connect your social media efforts with the bottom line of your business.”

To achieve this goal, the Bango report suggests using “Buying Behavior Targeting,” a niche targeting feature introduced by platforms such as Facebook that can be augmented with past online purchase data.

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