Call me unreasonable, but I tend to take the view that if you quote statistics to back up your argument then you should at least have a basic understanding of what they mean…
I was leafing through the soon-to-be-lamented November issue of Revolution (specifically the Insider Guide to Digital Marketing) when I came across the following quote:
“The DMA estimates that marketers gain $45.06 (£28.28) in ROI for every dollar they spend on email campaigns.”
Mike Hilts, president & general manager, Yesmail
Now, speaking pedantically, this is factually correct. But so wrong.
This (frequently quoted) statistic is a ratio, that was converted into US dollar terms to help present the finding in meaningful terms to an American audience. So far so good. But why the half-conversion? If it’s $45.06 to $1, then it’s £45.06 to £1, right?
To be fair to Mike, he’s by no means the first to make this error – but surely as an industry it’s in our interest to get the facts right?
Unless, of course, Mike is saying that we’re only getting a little better than 60% of the return in the UK that our trans-Atlantic counterparts achieve? I thought not.