Data-Driven Marketing: Where Are We Now?

By | January 29, 2016

When we look around, it feels as if there is more personalization occurring in marketing today. We hear more about it. We see it more in our inboxes and mailboxes. But what’s really happening on the ground?

According to Forbes Insight’s new report: “Data-Driven and Customer-Centric: Marketers Turning Insights into Impact,” based on a survey of U.S.-based senior executives, most marketers (large marketers at least) are still focused primarily on knowledge gathering and developing strategies. However, those that are engaged in data-driven marketing are seeing results.

  • 61% say they are seeing “some” business outcomes.
  • 44% say they are seeing “significant” business outcomes.
  • More than half (57%) said it had measurably increased the ROI of their marketing campaigns.

Notable is that more than half (54%) said they had deployed two or more data-driven marketing initiatives. Considering that all of those surveyed were from companies with $250 million+ in revenues, I was, frankly, surprised this wasn’t higher.

Here are three tables that tell a powerful story of where we are with data-driven marketing initiatives. For the full report, click here.

How far along is your organization in leveraging data for marketing purposes? What about in two years from now?

Still focused primarily on knowledge gathering 72%
Developing strategies and a roadmap based on business needs and challenges 62%
Most marketing initiatives are data driven, seeing some business outcomes 61%
Piloting data initiatives to determine value and requirements 58%
Deployed two or more data-driven marketing initiatives, and continuing to apply advanced analytics 54%
Marketing is fully data driven, achieving significant business outcomes 44%

Source: “Data-Driven and Customer-Centric: Marketers Turning Insights into Impact” (Forbes Insights 2016)

Which best describes how well prepared your organization is to take a data-driven approach to marketing?

Mix of technologies is available to various lines of business, with a little coordination 33%
Common set of tools is emerging to support data gathering, analytics, insights, programmatic advertising and planning 29%
IN addition to tools, a single platform is emerging to support data-driven marketing initiatives 24%
Portfolio of tools that enable analysis and planning is well established and fully supported by a single platform and best practices 14%

Source: “Data-Driven and Customer-Centric: Marketers Turning Insights into Impact” (Forbes Insights 2016)

What has been the impact of data-driven marketing on your organization?

Changed our organizational structure 60%
Freed up strategic employees from administrative tasks 60%
Measurably increased the ROI of our marketing campaigns 57%
Automated ability to collect insights 50%
No measurable impact at this time 1%

Source: “Data-Driven and Customer-Centric: Marketers Turning Insights into Impact” (Forbes Insights 2016)

Does this data match what you see? How does it line up with what your customers are doing?

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One thought on “Data-Driven Marketing: Where Are We Now?

  1. Harvey Hirsch

    Heidi, I maintain that this industry is still in its infancy. Corporations are still learning how to properly capture and use data, designers have no clue how to develop emotionally powerful personalized communications and printers are still held hostage by that infernal triangle. Once they get the right combination working they should be able to beat any control and remove all stress from their jobs. As you know, my experience with VDP gives me a unique perspective in how to weild this powerful weapon in my clients’ marketing battles. Stay tuned. It will be fun.

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