Big data challenge proves key obstacle for marketers

New Economist Intelligence Unit and Lyris report finds big data skills and a lack of financial resources are hindering marketers from driving customer insights

Big data and a lack of financial resources are the biggest obstacles for marketers when it comes to driving customer insights from data, a new US report claims.

According to the latest report <i>Mind the Digital Marketing Gap</i>, produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in partnership with digital marketing software vendor Lyris, 37 per cent of marketing executive surveyed see their difficulty in interpreting big data as the biggest challenge to an effective marketing strategy, while 45 per cent claim to lack sufficient big data analytics capabilities.

In addition, just 24 per cent of marketers said they always use data analysis to develop actionable insights for their overall marketing strategy, although the majority of respondents use data analytics at least some of the time for actionable insights and to personalise consumer communications.

Other key obstacles include a lack of financial resources (43 per cent of respondents); too much emphasis on digital tools and social media; the proliferation of channels; and inadequate human resources (33 per cent apiece).

The EIU and Lyris report was based on two concurrent surveys of 409 consumers and 257 marketing executives across the US and UK.

The report also looked into marketing campaigns objectives today versus five years ago, and found the top two goals remain to expand/diversify the customer case, and enter new markets. However, more emphasis is being placed today on retaining current customers, cultivating influencers and tailoring marketing messages to specific consumer segments.

Marketers also said individualised offers and personalising marketing messages are more important today than they were five years ago.

Another example of how vital data has become is the significant rise in how marketers perceive analytical skills across marketing ranks. The ability to use data analysis to extract predictive findings from big data headed the skills list for nearly 40 per cent of survey respondents. Other skills in demand are the ability to generate insights about the drivers of consumer behaviour through data, knowledge of market segmentation techniques, and understanding best practices in email delivery.

In contrast, skills less valued than they were five years ago include media planning and buying, production abilities, and the ability to implement overall campaign strategy.

The report also highlighted a disconnect between what marketers think digital channels should be delivering, versus what consumers want. For example, while marketers place an emphasis on pricing/promotions and product features, consumers want information on tips about product use and new product referrals.

“This may indicate that marketing executives tend to focus on pre-purchase rather than longer-term engagement strategies,” the EIU report authors stated.

Despite the challenges they face, marketers are generally positive about their company’s position in the market, and claimed to be performing above average or substantially above average to their peers on areas such as competitive differentiation, brand awareness, customer engagement and profitability.

Related marketing trends research

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

What does the CMO of 2017 look like?

The marketing landscape continues to evolve, and leading marketers are working hard to ride the wave. So what does it take to stand out from the pack?

Andrew Haussegger

Co-founder and CEO, Green Hat

The real asset of small data – getting granular unearths opportunities

When most marketers use the word ‘data’, what springs to mind are large sets of numbers, Excel spreadsheets, cloud-based IT systems and complicated algorithms. Big data speak is the mot du jour. There is even a big data Week in London called the Festival of Data.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Digital Transformation challenges for CMOs

New problems are rarely fixed by applying old thinking. In the last decade, a combination of circumstances has evolved that requires new thinking from marketers. This new thinking takes advantage of the digital environment and transforms business as we know it.

Mark Cameron

CEO, Working Three

it is natural that agriculture needs innovatons. I'd say that it's a must. by the 2050 there will be 1/3 more people on the planet and no...

mariobros77

How a new digital and data strategy for agriculture is helping farmers innovate

Read more

Need to improve your customer journey? We're excited to announce that we are holding that we are holding two more sessions of our sellout...

Proto Partners

Customer journeys: The new differentiation battlefield - Customer insights - CMO Australia

Read more

Thanks Mark. A third of customers leave brands after one negative experience, thats why it is ever so important that we optimise EVERY in...

Proto Partners

Customer journeys: The new differentiation battlefield - Customer insights - CMO Australia

Read more

Hi Kyle -- great piece. I couldn't agree with you more when you say that we as marketers are in the business of choice. I actually wrot...

Matthew Willcox

Tapping behavioural science for consumer influence

Read more

Great points. When it comes to optimizing the app experience, making sure you collect rich usage data is important, but making sure you c...

Dustin Amrhein

Why app engagement must be personalised - Mobile strategy - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in