Will You Hire Employees To Manage Data From Search Campaigns?

Numbers-Data-AThe research firm IDC estimates a shortage of technology and analytics experts resulting from the mound of data produced by online technology, devices, and cloud computing. Labor constraints, or lack of qualified search marketers who can analyze data, could derail search engine marketing campaigns both for optimization and paid search.

Nearly 70% of companies participating in an Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail study plan to invest more in data-related marketing initiatives in 2013, with a heavy emphasis on hiring. More than half of the respondents surveyed said they plan to add employees, including analysts, to oversee data efforts.

The survey of more than 700 marketers attending the DMA 2012 Annual Conference and Forrester Research eBusiness Forum analyzed impacts of big data on budgets and hiring, influences of data on marketing campaigns across channels, roles of real-time data in marketing, and challenges from data-driven marketing.

It found that 68% expect to increase data-related expenditures greatly or slightly in 2013, while 3% said they expect data-related expenditures to decrease.

Some 56% plan to hire new employees to handle data collection or analysis, of which 20% will go toward data analysts, and 5% said they plan to hire an executive to oversee data initiatives.

The survey also finds that most marketers have successfully implemented data-collection tools, but this year plan to focus on putting technology and people in place. For example, 45% of marketers identified analyzing or applying customer information as the biggest data-related challenge they will face this year. Only 11% said data collection will become the most difficult task.

It turns out that email and social media have become the dominant channels for generating customer data. When asked what channel creates the best source for customer data, 49% said email, followed by 19%, email; and 12%, social.

Nearly half of the respondents said analyzing or applying data will become their biggest data-related challenge in 2013. And more troubling, about 25% of marketers can't remember the last time they performed quality control on their customer data, although nearly 80% plan to make greater use of customer social media data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels in 2013.

Less than half of marketers said they use customer online data to drive marketing campaigns through the offline channels of direct mail, at 47%; print, 32%; and telemarketing, 30%.

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