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The most important objective of data-driven marketing isn’t customer acquisition. Instead, it’s a change in the way decisions are made, according to a study [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners. In its survey of 284 marketing influencers, Ascend2 found most saying they’re looking to base more decisions on data analysis.

The results bring to mind a recent study from Chief Marketing Technologist and Third Door Media, in which respondents noted that some areas of data-driven decision-making are more art than science. So while numerical data analysis clearly is more of a scientific endeavor, finding the right questions to ask and crafting a persuasive narrative from the results lean more to the creative side of things.

Of course, new customer acquisition is also a top objective for data-driven marketing, per Ascend2’s report. Other considerations such as attributing sales revenue to marketing and aligning marketing and sales teams are less important goals.

Previous studies released a few years ago have found that data-driven decision-making is popular but informed by intuition, and that more marketers rely on experience than data in their decision-making. It’s certainly possible, however, that things have changed in recent years with the explosion of analytics tools (though they seem to still be sparingly used).

When it comes to collecting marketing data, respondents to Ascend2’s survey pointed to website/e-commerce channels as being most effective, followed by closely by social media.

All in all, the marketers surveyed appear quite confident in their data-driven marketing efforts, with virtually all (94%) tabbing them very or somewhat successful in reaching their objectives. That’s encouraging given that 99% agree that an effective data-driven marketing strategy is crucial to achieving success.

No wonder that confidence in data-driven marketing’s growth prospects has been reaching new heights!

About the Data: The Ascend2 results are based on a survey of 284 marketing influencers from around the world, 76% of whom work at companies with at least 50 employees. Respondents were fairly evenly split between B2B (40%), B2C (34%) and B2B & B2C equally (26%).

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