More than half of Australian CMOs not equipped to deal with big data onslaught

New research of senior marketers in Australia finds most see the value in improving relationships between marketing and IT as they strive to bring data analytics and insights into their organisations

A new report on Australian chief marketing officers (CMOs) has found most see a closer relationship between marketing and IT to be vital as they grapple with building better big data strategies.

The new The big and small of big data report produced by consultancy Torque Data and Sweeney Research, together with ADMA, found just 10 per cent of senior marketers are using data well and 9 per cent are driving significant results from big data marketing programs.

However, 27 per cent are doing nothing at all with data, and nearly one in 10 marketers dismiss big data as ‘the next big fad’.

Of the 78 per cent of marketers who do believe big data is critical and the 72 per cent who claim to be using big data, the vast majority are focused on reporting, rather than forward-looking insights driving genuine value. According to the report, 42 per cent are using big data initiatives for customer acquisition, 34 per cent for retention. Only one-quarter were looking at the benefits for cross-selling and upselling.

The report also found that there is little correlation between the size of company, marketing or IT budget and the success of big data initiatives. In fact, smaller companies are performing just as well as their larger and better equipped counterparts.

For example, 38 per cent of companies with less than 500 staff are using big data either ‘a lot’ or a ‘fair amount’, compared with 30 per cent of those with more than 500 employees.

Not surprisingly, skills gap emerged as a major barrier, and just over half of all respondents claimed a lack of internal expertise is hindering their data efforts. Sixty-nine per cent of senior marketers cited a real skills shortage, and 72 per cent said big data and marketing analytics experts will be one of the hottest talent areas over the next 12 months.

In addition, 54 per cent of marketing departments admitted they were not equipped to implement programs effectively.

What was encouraging was the realisation that IT departments play a role in improving this situation. Ninety-two per cent of respondents agreed marketing and IT should work more closely when it comes to big data.

Related: CMO-CIO relationship is improving; technology union has a way to go
CIO should be the CMO's best friend: Sephora marketing chief
Why you should bother with the CIO

“Many may be surprised that we have some world-leading, data-based marketing in Australia, but those businesses that are unlocking the secrets are treating it like fight club and not telling anyone,” Torque Data CEO, Oliver Rees, commented.

“Too many Australian marketers are verging on complacency, feeling that since no one really knows what to do they can sit back and wait. The first these marketers will know of their competitors’ capability is when it negatively impacts their own business performance, and by then they’ll be well behind.”

Rees also pointed out many marketers are confusing analytics with a comprehensive data strategy, or are being stymied by poor relationships between marketing and IT.

But Sweeney’s managing director, Erik Heller, was encouraged by those organisations jumping in and having a go. The report also found 82 per cent of Australian marketers expect big data marketing budgets will increase in the next two years.

“While resource constraints certainly shone through, many marketers are not allowing this to hold them back and are adopting quite an experimental approach,” he said. “They are happy to start small, test and learn and not worry too much about this like ROI at this stage. In true Australian spirit, they are simply ‘giving big data a go’.”

The research was based on surveys and interviews with more than 70 senior marketers in Australia, 60 per cent of which worked in organisations with more than 500 employees.

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

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Why app engagement must be personalised

Research from Nielsen late last year reported Australian smartphone users over the age of 18 spend 33 hours per month in apps, and a mere four hours per month in browsers. But what does it take to actually maintain an app customers will engage with?

Rob Marston

Head of Airwave, A/NZ

Customer experience investments more vital than ever

The global commodity slump has hit Australia in the last few months. Companies that obsess over these developments might be tempted to cut spending on customer experience (CX) programs. Here's why that's a a terrible idea.

Harley Manning and Thomas McCann

Research leaders, Forrester

Managing brands in a digital world

With digital integration at the core of customer management, many marketers have been questioning whether the principles and approaches to branding are fundamentally different in a digitally led environment.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Rob - great article. Here at Pure Oxygen Labs we could not agree more. When considering retail mobile apps deep linking is woefully unde...

Scott

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

Read more

Project Leader?? Kim Portrate is one of the most ineffective leaders I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. She single-handedly cost...

Anonymous

Helloworld scraps CMO role

Read more

What tripe. This article conveniently makes no mention of her lies and bullying tactics and how she had placed everyone off-side with her...

Anonymous

Helloworld scraps CMO role

Read more

You mentioned cashback sites giving "immediate earnings" for transactions through their site. Cashback sites can take a couple of months...

RG

Are points-based customer loyalty programs on the way out?

Read more

Hi Jody,great post thank you. I think you're right in regards to the marketing evolution underway right now. I think it's incredibly inte...

Clinton Mancer

Tackling the skills shortage of the modern marketing age - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in