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Businesses are finding that being able to personally engage their customers throughout their buying journey is the way to gain and retain customers. However, to do this, marketers need data and, according to a survey [download page] of more than 150 business professionals by Arm Treasure Data, there are challenges in gaining insights from it.

So what is getting in the way from tapping into a potentially rich seam of insight? Almost half (47% share) of the respondents say that their biggest challenge to gaining insight from marketing data is that data is siloed and is difficult to access. This is reflected in an earlier study by Evergage which found that 3 in 10 respondents said access to data was standing in their way of personalization.

A much smaller share (20%) of respondents say that a lack of internal know-how/capacity to extract insights from their data is their biggest challenge. Lack of data analytics talent is not a new challenge. In fact, well over a year ago, the IAB found that analytic skills were the most in demand by data-driven companies.

The problems don’t stop with accessing the data itself. More than half (54% share) of those surveyed say that the biggest barrier to leveraging the data they do have their hands on is that it too is fragmented or siloed. Another one-fifth (20% share) say they don’t understand what the data means while a 17% share say they don’t have the ability to act on the data and make decisions on the trends they see in the data.

The Customer Journey Is a Long One

While a 16% share of respondents say that their typical customer journey (from first customer engagement to purchase) is one month, it appears that most respondents are seeing the customer journey taking much longer that that. Most respondents say the journey is either 4-8 months (20% share) or 9 months or longer (20% share). However, the largest share (23%) of respondents had no idea how long their typical customer journey takes.

About the Data: The survey report is based on an analysis of the full and partial results of the 158 respondents to the survey. The majority (65%) of respondents work at companies with 2,000 or fewer employees, 26% work at companies with 5,000+ employees.

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