45% of global marketers agree that data is the most underutilized asset in their organization, per survey results [download page] from Teradata. Indeed, while a majority currently collect a range of data types, including demographic (80%), customer service (72%) and customer satisfaction (62%), fewer report using the data. And although marketers ascribe various benefits to the use of data in decision-making, the study shows that few are able to systematically apply a data-driven marketing approach to regular tasks.
Overall, just 19% of respondents said they do so. Most commonly, their application of data-driven marketing to regular marketing tasks is seen as “ad hoc” (48%), though it’s routine for some (33%).
There are several obstacles to becoming a data-driven marketing organization, per the research. The biggest problem appears to be the lack of process by which to bring insights into decision-making (42%), although a similar proportion (39%) also complain of inadequate, outdated technology (39%). Other barriers include data-driven marketing not being a high funding priority (35%), issues with team skills and talent (31%). Only about one-quarter say that there’s a lack of knowledge or consensus around its importance (27%), that there’s an ability to show measurable benefit or ROI (25%), or that they lack the necessary data (22%).
A couple of those problems are looked at in greater detail. With regards to technology solutions, the researchers find that only about one-third currently have a big data analytics solution, but that 71% plan to implement one in the next 2 years. Even so, only 57% expect to couple their technology solution with a complementary real-time decisioning solution.
Automation solutions have seen more widespread take-up, with up to half of large companies ($10.1B+) having a solution for workflow, measurement, and data quality processes, and roughly 9 in 10 planning to have implemented one in the next 2 years.
Marketers also expect other obstacles to ease over the next couple of years. While somewhere in the range of two-thirds are satisfied with their analytics staffing needs, 9 in 10 expect to be satisfied in the next 2 years. Similarly, while 21-38% of respondents (increasing with company size) currently have marketing data scientists on their staff, significantly more plan to evaluate or add such talent in the next 2 years.
In order for data-driven processes to truly take hold, organizational structures will also require closer alignment. Currently, three-quarters of marketers report that marketing and IT are not strategic partners in their company, and only 56% of respondents routinely work with other functions as part of their regular process. As internal structures change, marketers expect to take more control of data; currently 46% say that marketing routinely controls data and implementation of a data-driven marketing strategy. By next year, 66% expect that to be the case.
About the Data: The data is based on a global survey of more than 2,200 marketers. All respondents work in the marketing function (or are executives with responsibility for marketing) in companies with annual revenues greater than $100 million. The survey data was collected March through May of 2013.