Data management remains poor across marketers: Report

New Teradata Data-Driven Marketing Survey finds marketers still don't have a single view of the customer and CMO warns problems continue as big data looms

Marketers are continuing to struggle to make greater use of data within their function, according to the new Teradata Data-Driven Marketing Survey 2013.

The global survey of more than 2200 marketers investigated how companies are using data to drive marketing and create sustainable competitive advantage. It found almost half of respondents believed data was the most underutilised asset in their organisation, with fewer than 10 per cent indicating data was used in a systematic way.

And despite marketers reporting that a single integrated view of customers was one of their top priorities, only 18 per cent had achieved this goal.

According to the chief marketing officer (CMO) for Teradata Applications, Lisa Arthur, much of the problem stems from marketers not seeing themselves as strategic partners to the IT function in their organisation.

“There are a lot of organisational silos, there are a lot of cultural barriers, and that is either slowing down or stopping marketers in their tracks,” she said.

The survey also highlighted the propensity of silos to develop within the marketing function itself, with systems such as email marketing often disconnected from related tools for campaign management or marketing workflow. Fragmented marketing systems led to 75 per cent of marketers being unable to report on their return on marketing investment.

Speaking at the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) Global Forum in Sydney on 8 August, Arthur outlined a five-point plan she claimed would assist marketers in making better use of data, including becoming more strategic in their planning, tearing down silos, untangling their existing data resources, becoming more focused on metrics, and investing in processes.

Of these, she highlighted the third step of untangling data assets as vital, especially given 71 per cent of marketers surveyed by Teradata plan to implement big data analytics in the next two years.

“If they can’t untangle the data hair ball they already have, and big data is piling on that hairball, it is going to be really hard to make the best use of that big data,” she said.

Arthur also advised marketers to not self-sabotage by inadvertently creating barriers to their own success.

“We often use words like ‘brands’, ‘conversions’, ‘click-throughs’, and other buzzwords that are marketing specific,” she said.

“These often don’t mean a thing for CEOs, CIOs and CFOs. So in strategy setting and driving forward with plans, talk in terms of business value and building business cases, and be more like a business person than a marketer.”

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