Digital Marketing Tools Not Yet Providing Key Strategic Insights

dataxu-digital-marketing-data-attitudes-march2012.jpgAlthough the vast majority of marketers agree that digital marketing can reduce customer acquisition costs when properly used, existing tools are not providing the leverage needed in a number of key areas, details DataXu [download page] in a March 2012 report. Indeed, just one-quarter of respondents said the software tools they currently use allow them to determine if they are efficiently allocating their digital marketing spend, and only one-third say their tools provide insights into variance of demand in real-time.

Most Not Fully Leveraging Data

This information gap is limiting ROI measurements, too: just 28% of respondents disagreed with the statement that they do not possess the information needed to confidently tell their leadership which digital marketing efforts have the highest returns. Similarly, only 23% indicate that they have real-time awareness of which customers exhibit the greatest demand for their organization’s products and services.

This trend has been seen in other reports, too: according to a survey released in March 2012 by Columbia University’s Center on Global Brand Leadership and the New York American Marketing Association (NYAMA), 42% of senior marketers indicate that they are unable to link data at the level of an individual customer. At the same time, Acxiom and Loyalty 360 survey results released in March 2012 found that just 49% of company executives agree that they know who their most loyal customers are, and the best way to reach out to them and get them to engage with their brand.

Overall, 70% of respondents to the DataXu survey feel they are not making adequate use of the customer data their organization gathers.

Vast Majority Agree Potential is There

Data from DataXu’s “Marketing in the Digital Age” indicates that although many marketers feel unable to effectively leverage their data, they see the promise that digital marketing data offers. 8 in 10 either strongly agree (47%) or agree (35%) that digital marketing has the potential to provide a better understanding of their customers’ behavior than other forms of marketing their organization uses. Similarly, more than three-quarters believe that the effective use of the customer data generated by their organization’s digital marketing has the potential to dramatically improve their commercial success.

In fact, digital marketing can complement other activities, too: two-thirds agree that the customer data their digital marketing activities generate are valuable to other executives and functions outside of their organization’s digital marketing group. This aligns with survey results released in February 2012 by Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe, in which 90% of global company marketers said that using online data to optimize the offline experience will be either very important (51%) or quite important (39%) in the next few years.

Other Findings:

  • Most DataXu respondents either agree (32%) or are neutral (45%) about the analytical skills possessed by their agency that can help them allocate marketing spend appropriately. The majority are neutral about their agencies’ capacity to provide them with the tools needed to optimize their digital marketing efforts.
  • Marketers are more than twice as likely to disagree than agree that their agency of record is effective in driving down the cost of customer acquisition (39% vs. 18%) or that their agency has played an important role in improving their digital marketing efforts (37% vs. 18%).

About the Data: The 2012 Digital Marketing 2.0 Study was conducted online between December 2011 and February 2012 among 350 enterprise decision makers. The survey, commissioned by DataXu (www.dataxu.com), was conducted by Human 1.0 and the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR). Respondents included decision makers in management, marketing, communications, digital, IT and social media functions.