Analytics Canvas: Few Brands Qualify As Leaders, But They Are Spending More

A small minority of companies are fully deploying analytics to drive their decisions, judging by a new report from Winterberry Group and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA): From Data to Insight: The Outlook for Marketing Analytics.

Only 10% have attained leader status, while 38% rate themselves as established, 37% as progressing, 10% as emerging and 5% as laggards.  

However, the numbers vary slightly in the U.S. Here, a mere 8% see themselves as leaders. And there are more laggards — at 7%.

What are leaders? They are “truly leveraging marketing analytics to derive insight and automating the optimization of business decisions.”

Whatever the level, more money is being invested. Total spending on data and analytics infrastructure is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% in the U.S., UK and EU, from $24.4 billion this year to $25.4 billion in 2024 and $32 billion in 2026. In 2022, the total was $22 billion.

And it largely seems to be driving results so far. 



Of those polled, 78% say their performance and efficiency have significantly improved as a result of using analytics on their audience targeting. Another 20% say there is no change, and 2% admit they have regressed.

The results are similar for driving creative assets and content: 74% say analytics have greatly helped them, while 21% say there has been no change, 4% see a regression and 2% are not aware. 

What challenges do analytics users face? They cite: 

  • Lack of reliance on data-driven decisions — 29% 
  • Lack of centralized data and analytics function across the organization — 27%
  • Resource/talent limitations — 24% 
  • Lack of marketing analytics technology stack — 17%
  • Over-reliance on third-party providers for analytics support — 4% 

Drilling down, 60% of leaders say they have all the necessary skills that work together in a coordinated fashion.

In contrast, 31% of established firms say that, as do 25% of progressing companies and 10% of emerging ones. Strangely, 30% of laggards say they have the necessary resources, while 10% do not.   

Then there’s the use of third-party analytics providers. In the U.S., 29% rely on providers all or most of the time. Another 48% use them only when they have a clear need  and 24% conduct all of their analytics activities in house.  

Internally, they employ varying data structures: 

  • Important data is stored in disparate systems — 11% 
  • Individual business units manage their own data — 30% 
  • Organizational data infrastructure exists, but are not consistently leveraged within business units — 25% 
  • Organization-wide data infrastructure exists and is consistently implemented and used by business units — 34%

Again, their policies depend on the level of advancement. Of the leaders polled, 70% say their processes are well-defined and implemented across the organization. In contrast, 60% of established and 46% of progressing companies say the same. So do 40% of emerging firms. But no laggards agree.  

What do companies use analytics for? “Media measurement and attribution is one of the most prevalent areas for marketing analytics, despite the challenges posed by cookie deprecation, the resulting lack of standard identifiers and the growing number of data privacy regulations,” the study states. 

The findings are based on a survey of 204 experienced marketers across the U.S., France, Germany and UK in March 2023. 


Next story loading loading..