Study: Data Helps Sell Marketing Programs To C Suite

Data doesn’t only drive marketing. It also helps the people in the trenches make their case to the C suite, according to The Freeman Data Benchmark Study, a report from Freeman and Chief Marketer.

Of the executives surveyed, 97% say data is important when communicating with C-level people programs and results. And 98% use data to secure their budgets.

But how you measure things depends on where you sit. In general, the top data points collected and measured by participants are the total number of qualified leads (37%), total overall sales (31%), web site traffic (30%) and brand awareness (30%). 

The C suite has a slightly different outlook. Senior marketers weigh: 

  • Total sales over product/service cycle—44%
  • Total number of qualified leads—36%
  • Sales directly from partners and other sources/platforms—31%
  • Brand awareness—29%
  • Digital impact, web site traffic, social media activity—20% 



Otherwise, data is used by firms for these strategic purposes:

  • Make important strategic decisions—89%
  • Data for corporate database/CRM efforts—76% 
  • Business intelligence—75%
  • Customer experience enhancement—71%
  • Leads for sales group---71%
  • Product development—70%
  • Competitive analysis—65% 
  • Market research—64%

Moving down to tactics, marketers employ data for uses that often align with their primary marketing channel, which could include email. When measuring individual programs, they rely on data for these purposes:

  • Inform marketing strategy, objectives and planning—65%
  • Measure overall marketing strategy and goals success—54%
  • Leads for sales team—45%
  • Budget justification—37% 
  • ROI tracking—37%

Measurement of marketing program—34%

Their biggest challenges? They are:

  • Analyzing the data effectively—46%
  • Cost/budget restraints—41%
  • Time/resources required to work with the data and information—37%
  • Data quality, completeness—37%
  • Availability of data/right data—34%

Here’s one finding that might give pause: Only 25% are increasing their budgets for data capture and measurement-related activities, while 48% are holding them to the same levels. However, only 5% are reducing them.

Asked their primary campaign objectives, 62% cite increasing sales and 60% to drive client/customer relationships. Generating new lead is a distant third at 33%.


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