In the arena of top marketing firms, data-driven marketing seems like the key buzzword of the past few years. In fact, it’s no passing fade. Leveraging analytics to reach target customers has become a key component of any successful digital campaign. According to a recent survey by the Global Alliance of Data-Driven Marketing Associations, employing a data-driven approach has become the backbone to just about any campaign or messaging—whether it’s targeting the right audience, or even predicting potential success. And as marketing technology continues to make inroads across the industry, it’s should not be surprising that more businesses want to take a data-driven approach to their marketing.
The use of data to improve the effectiveness of marketing, and to measure it, is virtually universal these days. In fact, a recent study found that the number of marketers who still don’t use data are now just one in 10. In addition, even more complex data techniques, such as integration of third-party data and cross-channel measurement, were found to be widely used.
The survey found that more than nearly 80 percent of advertising and marketing professionals are now using data-driven techniques to maintain customer databases, measure campaign results across multiple marketing channels, and segment their data for proper targeting. Again, for those of at the top digital marketing agencies, this finding makes perfect sense. Marketing automation platforms, when configured properly, can easily deliver this type of feedback, and those platforms have been aggressively showcasing these capabilities.
The survey, which targeted both advertising and marketing executives from a wide variety of industries, notes a clear shift in spending patterns. The survey respondents reported a strong expectation that spending on data-driven efforts would continue to rise. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents said their spending on data analytics for marketing would rise, while only seven percent said they expected a decline in spending the coming year.
While data-driven marketing is not quite yet a flawless solution, that’s not unexpected for a relatively new approach that relies on new technologies, data-driven marketing isn’t a perfect solution, at least not yet. A recent analysis from Square Root found a challenge for many companies is gathering the type of high-quality data that is necessary to optimize results. Data analysts are searching to find more effective ways to collect, manage and understand data. Forty-four percent of the survey respondents reported that they were still using outdated tools. A similar amount believed they could make decisions without in-depth data. According to the survey, over a quarter of respondents cited other time wasters from data source overkill to bad numbers. Square Root’s study, in particular, found more than half of data professionals felt they could use better training, closely followed by another 49% who desired more user-friendly or updated data tools.
But chief marketing officers and other executives wouldn’t be making these investments if they didn’t think they deliver results. They recognize the benefits to the bottom line.