Report: Marketers Understand Value of Data Intelligence, Struggle to Execute on It

New research on marketing data intelligence suggests that many marketers don’t believe they’re getting the most out of their marketing capabilities and may even be limiting themselves by letting the findings live in a dashboard, rather than putting the learnings into action.

Marketing is increasingly data-driven, but what is the data actually driving?

The answer, according to recent research from Forrester, is cloudy at best. According to Marketing Intelligence: The Key To Improved Customer Satisfaction, Customer Loyalty, And Marketing ROI [registration], a report commissioned by the marketing intelligence platform Velocidi, many marketers struggle to improve their data intelligence capabilities with the times, meaning their capabilities aren’t holding up to the latest trends.

This is despite nearly three-quarters of  the 373 respondents—who were U.S. marketing decision-makers—describing marketing intelligence as an important part of their ability to meet marketing goals, but saying they struggle to get below the surface with their market-intelligence efforts.

The report gave firms a C- grade for marketing intelligence maturity, citing a lack of cross-functionality within the organization, data management capabilities, performance measurement across channels, and execution on applying lessons from data. (Part of the issue, in fact, may be the tools: 42 percent of respondents cited “inadequate data science tools and applications” as a barrier to improvement, and 61 percent said that their tools were backward-looking, rather than forward-looking.)

Additionally, the research noted that while organizations understood the value of data marketing, they in many cases underestimated it, finding its results in many instances were more successful than initially anticipated. The report, in its recommendations, suggests that this might be evidence that, over time, access to marketing intelligence tools should be spread to maximize its value.

“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,” the report stated. “However, as your firm becomes more capable with its marketing intelligence, you should look to break out of data siloes and expand access to the program across the business, in order to help drive crossfunctional transformation, rooted in customer understanding and value.”

The report also emphasizes the importance of analyzing your current marketing intelligence capabilities and expanding beyond them—with the goal of moving beyond a simple dashboard, instead focusing on how to turn the data into action. In a news release, Velocidi CEO David Dunne underlined this point.

“The growing availability of data was meant to be a boon to marketers—helping them improve campaign results, expand their capabilities, and eliminate silos,” Dunne stated. “However, we think this study shows that for many marketers the opposite has occurred. In fact, they lack the tools and applications to get the most out of their campaigns.”

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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