Marketing professionals are struggling to practice what they preach, with new research finding that they are the worst at measuring the ROI of their own activity.

New research, from Ruler Analytics, showed that on an index of 100, marketers and PRs scored the lowest for embracing analytics with 28.6.

The survey polled 1,000 business owners and marketers across the UK asking if they used analytics and if so what they tracked and whether it told them exactly what they needed to know.

Retailers topped the list as the most likely to be using analytics in some form. However, despite this less than a third of said retailers analysed the impact of digital marketing spend and just over one in five tracked resulting calls (22%).

Travel and tourism was second likely to use analytics with 82.6, followed closely by leisure (78.6) and property (75). Professional services and health and beauty were middle of the road, scoring 64.3 and 42.9 respectively.

Although 92% of the businesses surveyed did use some kind of analytics software to review the performance of their website, more than half (58%) of businesses were unsatisfied with their current analytics software.

The research clearly showed that many businesses track only a few of the measures needed to give them confidence to make informed decisions.

The majority (78%) tracked the number of visits to their site and just under two thirds also tracked web form submissions or leads generated (64% each). However, relatively few used their analytics to also tell them the return on their digital marketing spend (21%) or the volume or outcomes of resulting telephone calls (18%). Worryingly, one in seven businesses (14%) did not regularly track any of these indicators.

Ian Leadbetter, director at Ruler Analytics, said: “For the marketing and PR sector, lead generation and analytics is a vital part of proving the ROI to clients. However, many marketers admit that they neglect their own marketing because they focus so much on their day-to-day work.”