According to a new study from Velocidi, commissioned to Forrester Consulting, to evaluate how mature companies’ marketing intelligence capabilities are today, when driving towards Marketing
Intelligence, (“the processes and systems that can help turn information into actionable marketing decisions”) firms must take direction from their customers. Enabling this kind of
customer navigation requires sophisticated processes and systems that can help turn information into actionable marketing decisions.
The Forrester study, conducted online with 273
organizations in the US including decision-makers in advertising or marketing roles, found that many firms realize the importance of Marketing Intelligence, as respondents acknowledged that marketing
intelligence is an engine for the bottom line, including improving customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and marketing ROI.
However, marketing decision-makers report that marketing
intelligence initiatives are hindered by several factors, including insufficient data science tools and applications, and a disconnect between marketing planning and execution.
- Marketers know that the marketing landscape is changing, but are not sure how to respond. Almost three-quarters of marketers believe that marketing intelligence is
important or critical to their companies’ ability to meet its business goals, yet were far more likely to conceptualize marketing intelligence tools in terms of basic capabilities, like
providing easy access to media and customer data, rather than more advanced tools that enable them to activate insights.
- Firms earn a C grade in marketing intelligence maturity, and
struggle most acutely with data management. (The evaluation is based on a 100-point scale and reflects the grading format used in the American education system) Overall, firms in the study
earned a C-minus grade (73) on their capabilities. What is troubling is that firms rated themselves most poorly in terms of Data Management, a foundational capability where they earned a nearly
failing 66 score.
- Firms need more than dashboard tools to keep up with the future of marketing. Too many marketers see marketing intelligence as a reporting dashboard, a source of
information, more than insight and actionable recommendations. This holds them back from truly optimizing their marketing intelligence capabilities, says the report.
- Most marketers are
using backward-lookingmarketing intelligence tools. 61% of firms say their marketing tools are more likely to look backwards at marketing performance, rather than looking forward and
supplying insights on how programs should be improved.
- Firms underestimate marketing intelligence initiatives’ benefits. Firms that were actively running marketing intelligence
initiatives were more likely to say they saw improvement in both customer KPIs and business metrics, compared to what those firms who were planning or discussing an initiative told us they were hoping
The in-depth study of marketing decision makers about their marketing intelligence initiatives yielded several important recommendations, says the report:
data access and empowerment leads to more powerful, efficient data activation. At the very early stages of marketing intelligence maturity, it makes sense to keep close control of data and have
insights and plans disseminated from a core team. As firms become more capable with their marketing intelligence, they should look to break out of data siloes and expand access to the program across
the business, in order to help drive cross-functional transformation, rooted in customer understanding and value.
- Understand that marketing intelligence has hit an inflection point. A
majority of firms are aware that marketing intelligence is crucial to their companies’ ability to succeed. Set the stage by discussing current trends in customer data collection, management and
activation with peers and relevant stakeholders in your organization, including other marketers, data analytics teams, and line of business leaders. Identify senior executives to serve as a champion
for your marketing intelligence initiatives, in order to help secure the budget and organizational buy-in necessary for the program to succeed.
- Plot your marketing intelligence journey by
assessing your current capabilities and prioritizing your steps. Begin by clearly defining and determining your specific areas of strength and weakness, and attack your organization’s plan
for improvement accordingly.
- Put data management at the core of your marketing intelligence program. Data management is a core capability of marketing intelligence programs, yet
marketers are nearly failing at this crucial point. Organizations must place the highest priority on shoring up their data intake, management, and hygiene if they are going to build upon their
collected data in an effective way. Taking this crucial step is necessary if marketing teams are to stand as a credible source of insights, analysis, and customer-focused recommendations and
- Seek partners that provide more than just a backwards-looking dashboard. While it’s both good and important to use marketing data to look at and understand how past
campaigns have performed, marketing intelligence programs ultimately should be delivering insights and recommendations that will help companies better plan and optimize future campaigns. When looking
to partners to help drive marketing intelligence programs, seek ones who are committed to closing the loop between insight and action, who will help with future decisioning to improve the overall
performance of marketing initiatives.
To access the full report and additional information from Velocidi, please visit here.