Data Challenges have created Significant Gaps in Marketers’ Understanding of Consumers. [REPORT]

A new survey released by Lyris, Inc. and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), shows that 45% of marketing executives are failing to use Big Data to understand consumers.

Despite the vast amounts of consumer interactive data available, the survey reveals a disconnect between marketing strategy and what is really influencing consumers. For example, 70% of consumers believe attempts at personalization are superficial and 63% of consumers claim that they have grown numb to it. The survey also indicates senior marketing executives fail to appreciate the most important channels
influencing purchase and ROI.

Key Findings:

— Big Data is Confusing Marketing Executives and As a Result it is Often Ignored

— Marketers Are Struggling to Capture and Analyze Data: Almost half of marketing executives surveyed (45%) indicated that they lack the capacity for analyzing “Big Data.”

— Half of Marketers Don’t Have the Budgets: 50% of marketing executives said that they have inadequate budgets for digital marketing/database management.

— Data isn’t Always Used for Insights: Despite the advantages of using data to influence conversions, only 24% always use data for actionable insight. Marketers’ limited competency in data analysis is also viewed by 45% of executives as a major obstacle to implementing more effective strategies.

— A Unified View of The Customer is Elusive: Only 27% of the marketing executives surveyed said they always integrate customer data from different sources into a centralized customer database. Failure to capture a unified view of the customer limits the ability to create more customized offerings that drive customer loyalty.

— Guess Work has Created a Number of Interesting Gaps

— Marketers Underestimate the Influence of Email: While consumers ranked email as the most important channel for both pre-purchase decision and post-purchase (37% and 52% respectively), marketing budgets remain heavily skewed towards company websites–though executives agree email is becoming more important.

— Social Media and Mobile are Overhyped: While consumers identified social media and mobile marketing as having the least influence on the purchasing lifecycle, marketing executives ranked social media (likes/RTs) as a top 3 key performance indicator (following sales and response rates). Consumers like social media for promotions (62%), but predominantly prefer to learn about products via company websites (51%), email (19%), or independent websites (19%).

— Personalization is Superficial — The majority of consumers (63%) claim that personalization is now so common that they have grown numb to it, with 33% of consumers citing superficial personalization as one of their top annoyances and 70% of consumers surveyed said they are jaded and believe “attempts at personalization are superficial.” However, personalization, based on user profile rather than data, remains the second most popular marketing strategy.

— Marketers and Consumers Have Different Views on Privacy — Nearly half of consumers (49%) are concerned about the threat of privacy online. In contrast, marketing executives believe only 23% of their customers are very concerned about privacy of their information in the company’s marketing databases.

The research, conducted by the EIU included two distinct surveys, one with responses from 409 consumers and the other from 257 marketing executives (CMO & VP of marketing) of consumer product companies from the United States and United Kingdom across six key consumer products industries, including:-clothing, banking, travel, media, entertainment and automotive.

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