Are you overwhelmed by real-time data?

Research reveals Australian businesses believe brands should be more active in digital

A recent survey found Australian businesses are investing more in data-driven digital platforms, but majority are unable to integrate multi-data sources.

According to the TNS Marketing Monitor, 72 per cent of Australian businesses believe their brands should be more active on digital platforms. Yet 68 per cent are unable to integrate multiple data sources such as social media, blogs, website traffic and search data - leaving them unsure about what actions to take.

The survey, which monitored 2,700 marketing professionals across Asia Pacific, found the volume and variety of data is obscuring valuable insights and making it harder for businesses to use it to their advantage. With so much data available, marketers know they should be able to make decisions in real-time, but the survey showed many are struggling to integrate traditional and digital measurements.

Current market research methods are not helping marketers make quick and informed decisions, the research showed. Analysis is viewed as ‘not actionable enough’ (72 per cent) and ‘too slow’ (65 per cent) to be of use.

The survey also revealed because of the difficulties with real-time data, many marketers are falling back on traditional measurements. According to the report, sales uplift metrics are still used as the number one way of evaluating the success of marketing campaigns. Despite their importance, the report revealed these metrics are retrospective and do not empower businesses to track the ongoing reception of campaigns, react to live issues and make the changes that could nudge their marketing activity in a more favourable direction.

TNS Australia's managing director, Tania Kullmann, said many businesses are now overwhelmed by the volume of data.

“Despite the emphasis on ongoing social engagement and staying innovative, many marketers do not have the resources at their fingertips to leverage the data and build a fast-paced, real-time marketing function,” she said.

TNS Asia Pacific's managing director of brand and communications, Nitin Nishandar, said the difficulties in extracting valuable insight from data means that marketers have a rear-view mirror approach, only understanding their performance and brand equity weeks or even months afterwards.

"Real-time data needs to deliver real-time value -otherwise it’s just distracting noise,” Nishandar said. "As the pace of change accelerates across the region, we need to start using data to gaze into the future, not just measure the here and now. Tracking social and search data to form the basis of a predictive spine delivers insight months ahead of survey data or sales figures. This gives marketers the power to anticipate changes to brand equity in time to actually do something about it. In such a volatile environment, having a telescopic view into the future is an invaluable competitive advantage, and one that businesses can’t afford to overlook.”

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

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