Marketers Struggle to Share Customer Data Effectively

March 15, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Mobile Phone | Personalization | Social Media

nyama-challenges-big-data-use-march2012.jpg51% of senior marketers say that the lack of data sharing across their organization is an obstacle to measuring the ROI of their marketing, according to [download page] a survey released in March 2012 by Columbia University’s Center on Global Brand Leadership and the New York American Marketing Association (NYAMA). This ranks as the biggest challenge among respondents to their use of “big data” for marketing, and is more likely to be indicated by marketers below the VP level (56%) as opposed more senior marketing leaders (32%). The report suggests this discrepancy may be due to sharing difficulties being less visible to CMOs and heads of marketing.

Effective Use of Data Remains Elusive to Some

Many marketers also appear to be having troubles making effective use of the data that they are able to collect. For example, 45% say they are not using their data to effectively personalize their marketing communications, and 42% indicate that they are unable to link data at the level of an individual customer.

These concerns appear to be prominent in the retail space: a November 2011 report from the e-tailing group, sponsored by Bronto, indicates that just 28% of merchants say their data allows them to currently receive a 360-degree of their customer’s engagement with them.

Data Collection Problems Remain

nyama-types-of-data-collected-by-marketers-march2012.jpgNYAMA’s “Marketing ROI in the Era of Big Data” also suggests that although more than one-third of respondents say they have lots of data and do not know what to do with it, the opposite problem exists for a significant proportion. In fact, 29% of respondents said they have too little or no customer data, while 39% said their data is collected too infrequently or not real-time enough.

Part of the problem may be that marketers appear much less likely to collect new forms of digital data such as mobile device data (19%) and social media data (35%) than they are to collect traditional customer survey data on demographics (74%), usage (60%), and attitudes (54%). This gap is narrower among larger firms, though: 40% of respondents from companies with more than $25 billion revenues say they collect mobile data, while 42% collect data on social media conversations.

About the Data: The 2012 BRITE-NYAMA Marketing in Transition Study was conducted by Research Now between January 27 and February 8, 2012. 253 corporate marketing decision makers, director-level and above, were surveyed online. These professionals are employed at large companies (90% have a global annual revenue of over $50 million; 45% are over $1 billion). Respondents were from diverse industries: 42% were from companies that were primarily B2B, 28% primarily business-to-consumer B2C, and 30% a combination of B2B and B2C.

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