Not too long ago, Seth Godin said marketing was “no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell”.
Increasingly, however, telling stories takes a back seat to analysing data, and new research from Data Dilemma and Callcredit Information Group reveals that marketers now spend an average of five hours 36 minutes a week crunching numbers.
Speaking to over 150 UK marketers, the study found many fighting a losing battle – 80% believe they need to invest heavily in data analytics tools in the coming two years in order to avoid falling behind the competition.
And whilst 47% rate their company’s capacity to collate data as extremely effective, when it comes to using data to understand their customers better, just 33% said they were effective.
“While marketers are prioritising the management of data, there is an overriding feeling that it should be delivering better business outcomes for them,” says Steve McNicholas, managing director for marketing solutions at Callcredit Information Group.
“At the same time, they know there’s a wealth of untapped opportunity to use data to extract more value but a lack of resource, and in some cases, expertise, is preventing them from unleashing it.
“The urgency to improve data analytics processes can be hard to reconcile given the high number of other priorities marketers are required to juggle on a daily basis.”
71% of respondents stated they felt overwhelmed rather than empowered by the data they had available to them.
Out-of-date, incorrect and poor quality data is also causing major headaches for marketers. In a recent study from Royal Mail Data Services and DataIQ, it was discovered that UK brands may be losing an average of 5.9% in annual revenue as a result of bad customer data.
In 6.2% of companies, marketers reported customer churn of over 41% annually, as a result while churn is between 20-40% for 7% of businesses. Worryingly, 26.8% of marketers admit that they are unaware how many customers their company is losing, with a lack of data often the critical component.
Interestingly, 69% of Data Dilemma’s study felt that data was distracting them from core marketing duties, such as the creative projects and storytelling Seth Godin championed.