Marketers and Their Problems With Data

November 19, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Digital

Domo-Daily-Checking-Marketing-Data-Sources-Nov2013For all the talk about “real-time” insights, it turns out that very few marketers are actually looking at their data sources every day. At least that’s one of the takeaways from a new Domo-sponsored report [download page] that presents study results suggesting that marketers are disconnected from (drumroll…) data. Domo’s survey of 301 marketers indicates that no more than one-third of respondents are checking – on a daily basis – any of the data sources they use.

Elsewhere in the survey, 83% of respondents agree that it is important to have access to real-time marketing data, but only 37% agree that they can access the marketing data they need in real-time.

So why the lack of access to all that data with all its potential? Most marketers say they’d consume more marketing data if they had more time (69%) and if they could see it all in one place (66%). Some would also like to see the data on any device, and some would just like to see the data in real-time.

While the survey is sponsored by Domo (which provides dashboards, so there’s always that to consider), the issues dealt with in the study are topical, and the results are generally in keeping with other research. A study released last week by the CMO Council found fewer than 1 in 10 B2B marketers definitively agreeing that their current customer information system acquires and delivers real-time account-related news, social insights and customer-related developments to the sales organization. While that study mainly discussed the marketing and sales relationship, deficiencies in technology were once again a pain point.

All this comes at a time when marketers are feeling more pressured than ever to prove the ROI of their efforts. So the result from the Domo survey that shows only 37% of respondents knowing the ROI of social doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Nor it is too much of a surprise to see email marketing top the channel list with 72% feeling they can measure its ROI. But only about half say they know the ROI of banner ads, live events, and SEO.

Put that all together and 82% say they’re held accountable for the return on their spending, but only 33% have access to marketing contribution to revenue.

There is a silver lining, though. Unlike other pieces of research – which have tended to portray marketers as being well aware of their shortcomings – 9 in 10 respondents to the Domo survey agreed that they’re confident in their abilities as marketers, and about the same proportion agreed that their CEOs are confident in their abilities as marketers.

But then, back to the data. More than 6 in 10 respondents disagreed that they can handle the volume of marketing data that’s available for analysis without feeling overwhelmed, bringing to mind IBM’s headline finding on the topic that garnered some buzz. Marketers may be reeling from the volume of data (yes, gaining insights are just as important), but then there’s this, from a recent Forrester study: B2B marketers were twice as likely to say that the CEO does not use marketing data at all (16%) than to believe that the CEO relies on marketing data to make decisions (8%).

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