The era of Big Data is only going to get bigger.
According to a survey of 182 marketing executives by web presence management company Conductor, 61% of marketing executives think data is “more” or “much more” important than it was a year ago. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of those executives plan to spend more on marketing technology in the coming year, with more than a quarter of them (28%) saying they plan to spent “significantly more,” as in 25% more than last year.
“There’s a [growing] number of marketing executives who are basing their performance on data,” Charity Stebbins, senior content manager at Conductor, tells Marketing Daily. “There’s a lot more pressure on these executives to manage marketing programs better and have data to substantiate that management.”
Many of the marketers also felt the need for “pre-content research” for more precise targeting was also becoming more important. Identifying differing consumer segments — and their different purchase paths — will lead to more effective content, Stebbins says.
“There’s been a real precedent among the industry to throw it against the wall and see what sticks, and not data science [applied] to content marketing,” she says. “What it boils down to is spending a lot more time [evaluating] before creating content.”
Many marketers are already catching on. According to the survey, nearly three-quarters of them are positioning their product differently based on customer “personas,” and 19% say they plan to do so within the next six months.
To ensure they’re making the most of this increased reliance on data, marketers should look to hire both creative and data-driven minds in their departments, and working inter- and cross-departmentally toward common goals in which everyone has a stake, Stebbins says.
“It’s really the onus of the marketing executive to make sure different people are working toward the same goals,” Stebbins says. “My data person should be responsible for the eyeballs on [digital] content. Otherwise, they don’t care.”