Marketers agree customer data drives marketing decisions. Good thing, because advertisers continue to collect mounds of it from mobile, search, social media and more. The problem is that marketers often fail to use this data properly.
In a recent study of 253 corporate marketing decision-makers by Research Now on behalf of Columbia Business School and the New York American Marketing Association, 36% said they have "lots of customer data," but just "don’t know what to do with it." Thirty nine percent of marketers admit they cannot turn their data into actionable insight, which presents a major problem. In many companies, the effective use of data for marketing decisions lags behind the desire to do so.
It turns out one of the biggest obstacles to turning data into actionable insight is that companies don't share data across departments and partners effectively, a topic we will tackle on an OMMA Global panel next week. In the past the departments like sales, marketing, customer service, public relations, and supply chain typically used their own datasets, keeping the information in silos.
The promise of big data analytics is based on the ability to link together the silos to better understand interactions between firm, customer, and business partners. Enterprise companies have been doing this for years. Now it's time for online marketing to join in.
The study also found nearly all corporate marketers participating in the survey -- 91% --believe successful brands use customer data to drive marketing decisions. This sentiment remains consistent, with no industry measured below 83%. Among respondents who are at the CMO level of their organizations, agreement rose to 100%.
Some 74% of survey respondents admit their companies collect demographic data, 64% customer transaction data, 60% customer use transactional data, 35% social media content created by customers and targets digital data, and 19% collect customer mobile phone and device digital data. 29% said that their marketing departments have "too little or no" customer data.