Some 57% of marketers agree that data drives higher conversion rates, and 34% said it provides insights into customer behavior -- but most don't understand how to aggregate numbers from siloed media sources to drive overall better results, according to a survey.
Data will drive the economy in 2013, but overall, marketers don't understand how to use or aggregate silos of data created by email, mobile, search, display and social media campaigns. A study from Neolane and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) finds that 61% of marketers said they don't know -- or their company doesn't support -- a big data strategy.
The research indicates that marketers know they need more education, according to Bob Traino, intern CMO of the DMA. "There's a growing gap between marketers who do and don't understand the value of data," he said. "Many are unaware of the problems that can occur when using data incorrectly."
Some 81% said they need to know more about the rules and regulations. For years, IT took responsibility for the data, but marketers want to control it now. Making the change requires a deeper understanding.
Only 23% of companies use mobile campaign data, although they realize that opportunities exist in accessing location-based stats and targeting messages through apps, according to Mathieu Hannouz, senior product marketing manager at Neolane.
Ignorance continues to feed privacy concerns that marketers have about stepping over the line. Most consumers don't realize that accepting an app on Facebook allows it to override privacy settings on the social site and collect information, which gets sent to the app's publisher -- most likely a brand, Hannouz said. "This is the same conversation we had 15 years ago for email marketing," he said. "Facebook makes it clear that the listed information will be shared with the provider of the app."
This disconnect continues to change the dynamics of marketing departments, basically because 56% of marketers are not prepared to deal with government regulations. More companies will hire data scientists to handle the influx of customer data this year.
Analyst firm Gartner estimates data will prompt the creation of jobs for people outside information technology, such as advertising and marketing -- about 6 million in the U.S. during the next four years. The biggest problem remains a lack of knowledge and talent in the industry to fill the positions, making data experts a coveted niche.