CMOs in the US report using available or requested marketing analytics in almost half (48.9%) of their projects before making a decision, marking an all-time survey high, according to the latest edition [pdf] of The CMO Survey.
The last time this question was asked, in February 2020, respondents estimated using analytics in just 37.7% of projects before making a decision. The previous high was reached in February 2019 (43.5%), while the lowest use of analytics was registered in both August 2013 and February 2015, when just 29% of projects used analytics for decision-making.
An earlier edition of The CMO Survey this year found 77.5% of respondents saying they had invested in analytics for a digital marketing performance boost, with this representing a significant 37.5% increase over the share of respondents (56.5%) who said the same a year earlier.
According to the latest survey, use of analytics tends to be higher in B2C than B2B companies: B2C Product companies are using analytics for decision-making in 59.4% of projects, and B2C Services companies are using analytics in about half (52%) of projects.
Companies are using analytics to drive decision-making most commonly in digital marketing (83.2%) and customer acquisition (71.7%), with many also pointing to social media strategy (69.1%) and customer insight (64.4%) as areas of use. Fewer are using analytics for marketing mix analyses (48.7%) or for their pricing strategies (42.4%).
Analytics Budgets Are Rising
At the same time, analytics budgets are trending up. This latest survey finds respondents estimating that they allocate 8.9% of their budgets to marketing analytics, up from 6.1% the last time this was measured, in February 2020.
Prior to that, the share of marketing budgets dedicated to analytics had hovered in the 4.6-7.2% range going back to 2012.
Looking ahead, CMOs expect to spend 14.5% of their budgets on analytics in the next 3 years.
Contribution to Company Performance Improves
Not only are budgets and usage rising, but so is analytics’ contribution to company performance. This is measured on a 7-point scale, where 7 is equal to a very high contribution. In this latest survey, respondents rated analytics’ contribution an average of 4.5 on the 7-point scale. This is the highest level in the survey’s history, with the previous high being 4.1.
Once again it’s B2C Product companies leading the way: not only are these companies using analytics in their decisions more commonly than others and devoting more of their budgets to analytics, but they also perceive a much higher contribution, with an average rating of 5.6 on the 7-point scale.
Finally, the talent gap in data and analytics may be slowly closing. Asked to what extent their company has the right talent to fully leverage marketing analytics, respondents averaged a 4.1 score on a 7-point scale, where 7 is equal to “has the right talent” and 1 to “does not have the right talent.”
Five years ago, in August 2017, that average score was 3.7, while in August 2013, the average was 3.4.
For more, check out the study here [pdf].
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 273 marketers at US for-profit companies, 95.6% of whom are VP-level or above.