13 April 2016

Most companies either have no formal approach whatsoever to using data in marketing programmes (23%) or are working towards a strategic approach, but haven’t arrived at one yet (51%), according to new research published today by Econsultancy and Adobe.

The latest Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing, called ‘The Pursuit of Data-Driven Maturity’, has found that only 26% of responding organisations have a solid data-driven marketing strategy in place.

According to the research, based on a global survey of more than 3,600 marketers, even among those who adopt a strategic approach, few have incorporated many of the elements that make for the most effective strategies.

While marketers report that ‘better customer experience’ is a top driver for their data-driven marketing efforts, only a fifth of respondents currently have an actionable single customer view. The prospects over the next year are not much better, with less than a third saying this is currently being implemented (13%) or it’s a budgeted priority for the next 12 months (15%).

This comes as no surprise when taking into consideration that the online/offline divide still exists in 60% of organisations surveyed and 83% struggle with merging their data points.

Despite developments in technical capabilities, adoption of more advanced techniques, such as audience amplification and predictive analytics, is still quite low. Only 7% of those surveyed exploit audience amplification as much as they can, while 13% are doing some work, aided by external support. Less than a fifth (19%) indicate they have technology and processes designed to predict the needs and behaviours of customers and prospects.

Encouragingly, 61% of organisations using audience amplification to some extent have seen ‘vert high’ or ‘strong’ ROI from their data-driven marketing efforts.

John Travis, VP, EMEA Marketing at Adobe, said: “When it comes to strategy, companies are trying to think further ahead and to integrate partners and tools into their planning. But while they realise that using data to be customer-centric requires sophistication and the buy-in of people across the enterprise, only 26% are satisfied with the strategies they have in place.”

He added: “Data-driven marketing has already made a difference to many businesses, but we’re still in the early days. Nearly 40% of respondents don’t have enough information to evaluate the impact of their data-related investment. Others still haven’t taken their first steps.”

The research also found that:

-) When asked where they are in their journey to digital maturity, a scant 16% of responding organisations describe themselves as close to, or at the finish line.

-) Two in five (41%) report that marketing takes a back seat to IT/tech groups in managing its data, with 45% suggesting that marketing can’t make decisions on new technology investments.

-) More than two-fifths (43%) are not using mobile data in any meaningful way, while only a fifth collect data on how mobile affects the customer journey. Even smaller proportions are using mobile data for geo-targeting (17%) or uncovering differences between customers (16%).

-) A third (34%) of responding companies rely on individuals/teams separately managing point solutions and delivering insights to a central repository. At the other end of the spectrum, only 13% are using cloud-based technology that includes solutions across marketing goals.

Get this report:
The full report is available on the Econsultancy website here: https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-pursuit-of-data-driven-maturity/

For more information about this report, contact:
Monica Savut, Senior Research Manager, Econsultancy
monica.savut AT econsultancy.com
+44 (0) 207 269 1450

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Published on: 12:05PM on 13th April 2016