NEWS29 November 2019

Majority of marketers claim data confidence but hurdles remain

AI Data analytics Europe Media News UK

UK – While the majority of marketing directors claim to be assured in their use of data, data siloes, cost and skills shortages are still barriers to departments becoming more data-led, according to research from Allison+Partners.

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In a survey of 500 marketing directors ( 250 in the UK, 250 in Germany) working for companies with a revenue of over $50m, 87% believe that their department’s use of data was either somewhat or far above average, compared to similar organisations, and 89% were confident in their own ability to extract insights from data.

Despite this, almost all respondents ( 98%) agreed there will be obstacles in improvements to how data is used moving forward, and the main barrier is data being siloed across organisations, cited by 45% of respondents.

Cost of technology and platforms was also a hurdle ( 39%), along with a lack of in-house talent with the correct skillset ( 38%).

The survey found that the top data source for marketers is customer or prospect surveys ( 44%), followed by social listening ( 41%) and customer interaction data ( 38%).

Discussing current targeting efforts, 41% of marketers said their marketing was targeted towards audiences defined by demographics, with 30% saying it was personas based on psychographic, behavioural and demographic data.

While 81% say they are investing in augmented or advanced analytics, 19% say they have not. Justifying the cost of investment was the biggest barrier to spending money on new technology for almost half ( 48%) while the talent issue cropped up again, with the same number saying the need for additional in-house talent to use any new tools and data created an obstacle to investing.

Additionally, 71% of marketing directors said they have invested in artificial intelligence-led customer platforms, with 21% claiming they plan to do so in the next two years.

Sue Grant, managing director, Allison+Partners UK said: “What was pioneering five years ago in martech may not be serving the needs of the business any longer. With costs proving a concern, this means that marketing directors must invest smarter in any new technology or talent they bring on board. Clarifying the organisation’s goals and targets, as well as understanding what information and analysis is required to reach them, can help combat this issue.” 

The survey was commissioned by MDC Partners’ communications firm Allison+Partners and conducted in October 2019 in collaboration with Censuswide.