Virtually all marketers struggle with turning data into actions, and IT support of marketing technology needs is the number one industry bottleneck, according to [pdf] a new study from marketing technology provider Unica.
Most Marketers Deal with a Wide Array of Issues
When asked which of seven issues are important to their success, marketers responded that everything is important. All answer options scored between 84% and 97% as being either very important or somewhat important.
Measuring results and increasing effectiveness had the highest combined response, with 97% of marketers saying it is very or somewhat important. However, slightly more respondents said turning data into actions is very important (70%) than measuring results (69%). Another 24% of respondents said turning data into actions is somewhat important.
Best allocating marketing budget and integrating marketing across channels were also selected by a combined 94% of respondents as important. However, the percentage of respondents rating these issues as very important were much lower (59% and 54%, respectively).
IT is Number One Bottleneck
While marketers agree that all the survey issues are important, they express less consensus when asked about bottlenecks in their business. IT support of marketing technology needs was the clear-cut number one bottleneck, selected by a combined 67% of respondents as a very big or somewhat big bottleneck.
Two other bottlenecks were selected by more than a combined 50% of respondents as being big: integrating cross-channel efforts (62%) and measurement, analysis and learning (58%). It is worth noting that 35% of respondents selected IT support as a very big bottleneck, while only 24% selected measurement, analysis and learning as very big and 23% selected integrating cross-channel efforts as very big.
Marketers Adopt Emerging Channels
IT bottlenecks could have serious consequences as more than eight in 10 marketers (84%) plan to leverage at least one emerging marketing channel in the next 12 months, according to previous results from the Unica study. Only 14% do not currently use any emerging marketing channels and do not plan to do so within 12 months.
The three major emerging marketing channels: social media, rich media, and mobile, all have high rates of current and expected usage among marketers. However, social media (e.g., blogs, Facebook, user communities), is by far the most popular of the three.
About the Survey: The Unica Global Marketing Survey was fielded to more than 150 online and direct marketing professionals in partnership with Salloway & Associates. Online surveys were completed in Q4 2009 within two geographic regions among Unica customers and prospective customers. North America represents respondents from the US and Canada. Europe represents respondents from 12 European countries that are large technology markets.