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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in