Marketers Struggle with Big Data: Nearly Half of Marketing Executives Don't Use Big Data to Understand Customers

By Minsker, Maria | CRM Magazine, September 2013 | Go to article overview

Marketers Struggle with Big Data: Nearly Half of Marketing Executives Don't Use Big Data to Understand Customers


Minsker, Maria, CRM Magazine


As the amount of customer interactive data continues its tremendous growth each year, marketers are finding themselves paralyzed by the sheer amount of available information, and admit that they are unable to use it effectively.

According to a survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and released by digital marketing solutions provider Lyris, 45 percent of marketing executives are failing to use big data to understand consumers.

Key survey findings demonstrated that 50 percent of marketing executives have inadequate budgets for digital marketing/database management, and despite the advantages of using data to influence conversions, only 24 percent always use data for actionable insight. Forty-five percent of executives also view marketers' limited competency in data analysis as a major obstacle to implementing more effective strategies, according to the survey.

Though somewhat troubling, the results are not entirely surprising. According to Dale Renner, CEO of Redpoint Global, a marketing campaign and big data management software provider, today's marketers have an unprecedented challenge on their hands: "Marketers are constantly dealing with a variety of channels and a significant amount of information coming out of each of these channels, and because this data is so spread around, there's isn't what we call a 'database of record,'" he explains. "One person can have five email addresses and three separate Twitter handles, and for this information to be usable, it has to be brought together. There's got to be one version of the truth."

To make data usable rather than overwhelming, Renner suggests taking it through a cycle of four steps: data capture, distillation, integration, and cleansing. "You have to gather data from all your sources. Anything the customer touches is fair game," he says. "What you'll end up with is some usable material and some unstructured big data, such as photos and videos. …

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