Instinct Vs. Data -- What Marketers Choose To Use

The most interesting part of a study from Sidecar not shared on Monday in Search & Performance Marketing Daily points to the percentage that marketers rely on data vs. instinct to make marketing and advertising decisions.

Sidecar surveyed 146 marketing professionals in the retail industry. The majority of respondents were based in the U.S., with the remainder in Canada. All reported that they contribute to ecommerce marketing efforts at their company. The study was fielded between September and October of 2020.

When marketers were asked whether their team makes decisions based on data versus experience and instinct, the balanced response was 50% data and 50% instinct, with 24% of respondents reporting this way.

From here the findings become quite unbalanced. Only 1% of participants in the survey said they base their decisions on 100% instinct and zero percent data, and 1% base their decisions on 90% instinct and 10% data. Some 7% base their decisions on 80% instinct and 20% data, and 18% base their decisions on 70% instinct and 30% data.



When flipping the percentages, the findings are a bit surprising. It turns out that none base their decisions on 0% instinct and 100% data. It does get better, however. Only 4% base their decisions on 10% instinct and 90% data, while 10% base their decisions on 10% instinct and 80% data, and 16% base their decisions on 30% instinct and 70% data.

Some 62% of ecommerce marketing teams are making half or more of their decisions based on instinct rather than data, indicating significant headroom to become more data-driven.

In this new year marketers need to think differently to drive growth and connect with consumers. Thinking differently has important implications for marketers in terms of hiring.

Automation will find a home in more companies this year, from ad testing to keyword analysis, and audience segments and performance trend analysis. Among C-level executives, 82% want to automate bid adjustments, while 59% want to automate ad testing, 53% want to automate retargeting, 47% want to automate bid analysis, and 41% want to automate performance trend analysis.

What will marketing teams look like in 2021 as they reach consumers? Ecommerce marketers, for example, plan to grow their internal and extended teams. Some 66% plan to hire vendors and 67% plan to hire in-house talent.

Enterprise and small businesses plan to hire marketers with affiliate marketing and SEO experience.

Enterprise companies plan to hire content marketing to round out the top three, whereas small companies plan to hire those with video production experience.

Midsize companies are looking for specialists with experience in social media, video production and data analytics.



1 comment about "Instinct Vs. Data -- What Marketers Choose To Use".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, January 19, 2021 at 4:04 p.m.

    It would be interesting to see those Marketing Tasks assessed for Importance and then ranked by Importance.

    One would hope that the small bars down the bottom would become large bars at the top of the chart.

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