Although marketers are incredibly aware of this, they are still caught between hoarding large volumes of consumer data and actually extracting useful insight from this information.

One of the 35 roundtables at Digital Cream this year was on this very topic and a full Trends Briefing on Data-Driven Marketing sponsored by Oracle Marketing Cloud is available free to download now for all registered users.

For anyone who has not attended an Econsultancy Digital Cream event before, it consists of three sessions of roundtables on a variety of topics, attended by marketers and ecommerce heads who share insight and issues on the topics they’re interested in.

Here is a brief overview of some of the key trends that emerged during the discussions on Data Driven Marketing.

Co-ordinating the dynamics between teams often proves to be the biggest challenge

The consensus during this year’s Digital Cream event was that the road to data-driven marketing is long and bumpy. Despite the promise of the value that it can deliver, there is a significant level of resistance within many organisations. 

As is often the case in digital, people are part of the bigger problem. Dealing with the fundamental changes necessary to an organisation is not something many marketers are ready to do, as it involves a lot of hand holding and change management.

It may sound obvious, but if there’s no plan to get all the teams to work together towards a common goal, no value can be created. 

The most commonly cited challenge was related to the degree of collaboration between IT/data, marketing and sales teams, with many saying that siloed organisations stifle progress.

There’s no denying that a cultural change is needed in companies which want to become more data-driven. A constant line of communication between various teams needs to be established, as they often have access to large volumes of data, but all this data doesn’t trickle through the entire organisation.

Data management platforms break silos for a single customer view

Data management platforms (DMPs) have been around for many years, but the focus on data driven marketing has recently brought them into the spotlight.

They have gradually evolved into solutions which help companies create enhanced customer profiles and facilitate delivery of consistent customer experiences across multiple channels. 

Organisations of all shapes and sizes are now realising the benefits of investing in a DMP and many are already reaping the rewards. 

Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud research published earlier this year revealed that the proportion of organisations planning to increase investment in data management platforms has doubled in the last 12 months, from 15% to 30%.

Proportion of companies planning to increase investment in digital marketing technologies:

There’s no ‘performance scorecard’ in data-driven marketing

What senior management sometimes fails to understand is that there’s no such thing as a completed data project. 

There are always improvements to be made and there’s no ‘performance scorecard’ that organisations can rate themselves against. You can of course create your own metrics or benchmarks, but you can never fully ascertain the extent to which you are doing well.

This is where the illusion of ‘big data’ comes into play: the prospect of having so much data to work with is exciting, but the deeper you delve, the easier it is to lose focus of the bigger picture and feel that what you can never grasp what your business needs.

One of our Digital Cream delegates stated that they hated big data and prefers small datasets, which lead to incremental changes that can have a real impact: “Having a huge stockpile of data only keeps data scientists happy, it doesn’t make us money.”

For much more insight, download the full Trends Briefing on Data-Driven Marketing for free.