It is widely accepted amongst marketers that making decisions backed by data can help improve marketing performance.
But how are marketers updating their data-driven strategies to navigate a changing landscape?
To help answer this question, Ascend2 and our Research Partners fielded Data-Driven Marketing survey. We thank the 485 marketers who responded to this survey between September 20, 2021 and September 28, 2021.
- The unpredictability of consumer behavior is making an impact. Changing consumer behavior has had a major impact on data-driven marketing strategies according to nearly half of those surveyed.
- How often is customer data being used? A 60% majority of marketers say that customer data is a driving factor behind their decision-making most or all of the time.
- So where will the focus be in the year ahead? Marketers will be focusing on improving both personalization and data quality to improve their data-driven strategy.
When executing a data-driven strategy, what are marketers up against?
Half (50%) of marketing professionals surveyed find that collecting quality data is the greatest challenge to executing a data-driven marketing strategy. Identifying the right solutions to execute a strategy is also a top challenge for one-third (33%) of those surveyed. Removing data silos is the least reported challenge amongst marketers who might be gaining better access to solutions that help centralize data.
How successful are marketers at making data-driven decisions?
Are marketers experiencing success from their data-driven marketing strategy? Close to one-third (29%) of marketers say yes, their strategies are very successful, or best-in-class, compared to the competition. There is still room for improvement with a 62% majority of those surveyed reporting just some success and another 9% naming their strategy unsuccessful at achieving strategic goals set for it.
In which areas is data-driven marketing currently most useful?
Data can be applied to a strategy throughout the marketing funnel and across a wide variety of marketing channels. While personalization is the most reported area for data-driven marketing use, marketers also say that email, content, and product or services development are also areas where they are seeing the most impact according to 38%, 36%, and 36% of those surveyed, respectively.
What has most impacted data-driven marketing in the last year?
The marketing landscape is fast evolving and impacting the way that marketers execute their data-driven strategies. Nearly half (48%) of marketing professionals report that changing consumer behaviors has had the most impact on their data-driven marketing in the past year. Over one-quarter (27%) of those surveyed say that changes surrounding data and privacy regulations have also impacted their strategy.
How often is data utilized?
How often is customer data a driving factor in marketing decision-making? Nearly one-quarter (24%) of all marketing professionals report that collected customer data is always a driving factor behind their marketing decisions. Another two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed say that data drives some or most of their marketing decisions.
How satisfied are marketer’s with their team’s ability to use data to make more effective decisions?
Marketers have a mostly positive perception of their ability to make effective decisions based on customer data. A 79% majority of marketing professionals surveyed said they are satisfied to some extent with their competence at applying customer data strategically to make better marketing decisions. Only 17% report dissatisfaction to any extent when it comes to their team’s data-driven capabilities.
How is the budget dedicated to data-driven marketing changing in the year ahead?
Data-driven marketing budgets are trending up in the year ahead. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketers are planning for a moderate increase in their dedicated data-driven marketing budget in the coming year, while 17% report their budgets dedicated to data driven marketing will be increasing significantly. Another 17% predict a budget decrease to some extent.
How to improve a data-driven strategy
In the coming year, marketers will be focusing their efforts on improving personalization and the quality of data in order to better their data-driven strategy according to 45% of those surveyed. Utilizing more available data is also a top initiative to address in the year ahead for 38% of marketing professionals. Interestingly, we see less of a focus here on technology consolidation and data centralization.
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