Proving the value of marketing activities with financial outcomes is the most important of 7 strategic priorities ranked by client-side marketers, details a new report [download page] from Tealium and Econsultancy. That result is fairly unsurprising in light of recent survey results suggesting that only 1 in 4 marketers can prove their impact on the business. Interestingly, though, conversion rate optimization sits at the bottom of the list of priorities, despite being deemed “crucial” by a majority of marketers in earlier research.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that conversion rate optimization isn’t important, but rather that it’s not quite as high a priority as some other strategic initiatives. Indeed, the second-highest priority is also one that marketers are struggling with: achieving a single view of customer and marketing data. Only 14% of respondents said they had a strong capability in this area; while a plurality 39% rated their capability as average, almost half rated it as weak (34%) or non-existent (13%).
The problem appears to relate to an inability to turn data into useful information and action. On a 10-point scale (where 1 means “doesn’t apply to us at all” and 10 means “very much applies to us”), respondents averaged just a 4.6 rating in their ability to extract useful insights from data, with the most common complaint being that data is fragmented. That makes sense, given that the average respondent has more than 4 marketing application data sources, with roughly 1 in 5 dealing with at least 8.
The survey results come on the heels of another study that found half of digital media and marketing professionals claiming an inability to link data to create individual customer profiles.
Many marketers see the importance of achieving a single view of the customer, per the Econsultancy report, as 47% agreed that their long-term success is dependent on it.
The study points to data unification initiatives as a potential solution. Those respondents with such an initiative (BI, cloud, common visitor file, etc.) were far more likely than those without to report an ability to associate marketing activities with financial results, turn data into useful information and action, and make the most of the tools they have.
Finally, the most important capability for tying together digital marketing applications and data is seeing how marketing channels work together to affect sales, per the study.
About the Data: The results are based on a Q2 survey of 313 client-side marketers, 31% of whom identify as B2C, 37% as B2B, and the remainder as an even mix. 40% come from companies with more than $1 billion in revenues, while 23% come from companies with $11-50 million in revenues.