Marketing and Sales Measurement Data Cleanliness Remains A Challenge

Marketing is becoming more data-driven, but the extent to which such efforts can achieve results is very dependent on the quality of the data at hand. According to new research from Allocadia [download page], some companies have it figured out, but many are still struggling with messy or silo’d data.

Allocadia’s survey was fielded among 217 respondents from B2B and B2C companies, the majority of which have annual revenues greater than $50 million.

When they were asked which statement best described the state of their company’s marketing and sales measurement data, a plurality (40%) indicated that “it’s a challenge right now, but we’re starting to clean and reformat it.” Another 9% noted that “it’s silo’d and messy – ultimately not useful.”

In sum, then about half of respondents find their marketing and sales measurement data to be messy, with most of those working to clean it. Just 8% (the smallest portion) reported that marketing, sales and finance data exist in one data warehouse that acts as a “single source of truth.”

Last year, a survey from Ascend2 found that improving data quality was one of the top goals of a marketing data management strategy. Various studies in the past couple of years (such as this one and this one) have noted that marketing data quality has been worsening and “questionable.”

The Allocadia analysts link poor data quality to restrictive reporting methods. Indeed, 42% of companies said that they’re only able to run baseline reports on past marketing performance, and another 13% admitted that they don’t know where all of their data lives so are unable to leverage it. That leaves fewer than half starting to or actively using advanced modeling, though that figure was higher among high-performing organizations.

Respondents are also using fairly basic tools for marketing performance management, per the study’s results, with Excel (82%) and PowerPoint (62%) the most commonly-used technologies. These also appear to be leaned on for budgeting and planning, with fewer than 1 in 8 respondents using purpose-built tools and having a roadmap for future technologies.

The existence of a common set of tools can also help bring disparate teams together: a recent study found that technology is one factor hindering marketing and finance from making more collaborative decisions. The marketing and finance relationship certainly has room for improvement, per the Allocadia survey results: respondents were twice as likely to say marketing’s relationship with finance is minimal to non-existent (28%) as they were to describe finance as a trusted strategic partner (14%).

About the Data: Allocadia, in partnership with market research firm Researchscape, surveyed over 200 respondents using an online study fielded in the fall of 2016. The study analyzed 13 different industries, both B2B and B2C organizations, at companies of all sizes, from under $20M to over $2.5B. Respondents were located primarily in North America, with some responses from European organizations.