By Adam Fraser
The latest CMO Survey has been released and the findings are both interesting and somewhat contradictory, highlighting the ‘deer in the headlights’ flux many marketers feel when it comes to data analytics and technology platforms.
This bi-annual survey is well respected and is the longest-running survey dedicated to understanding the field of marketing. The latest edition received responses from 388 top marketing executives.
The key finding showed spending on marketing analytics (quantitative data about customer behavior and marketplace activities) is expected to grow from 4.6% to 22% of marketing budgets in the next 3 years. Yet notwithstanding this material increase, marketers say barely a third of available data is used to drive actual decision making in their companies.
Interesting contradiction. The survey participants intend to increase spend by almost 400% on something which 2/3 of the time isn’t driving business decision making. Marketers seem to be saying “we know we need data and should be using data, but don’t have access to the right data when it matters”.
The report explores in some detail why marketers are not utilisng data analytics in decision making, the top 3 drivers being:
- Lack of processes/tools to measure success through analytics
- Lack of people who can connect marketing practice to marketing analytics
- Data not highly relevant to the decision at hand.
Marketing will always be a blend between art and science, something I have often discussed on my marketing podcast. Gut feel versus hard data. Both matter.
The survey shows that marketers still need to up their game in effectively utilising technology platforms and data analytics to increase their depth of consumer insight, drive their strategy and monitor the execution.
We can argue about the appropriate balance between art and science in marketing in 2017, but taking a mature, professional and structured approached to technology and analytics as part of your marketing operations is no longer an optional extra.