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UK marketers: Good at data analysis, still reliant on old-fashioned practices

1st Dec 2014
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Forrester and Oracle’s recent report into marketing practices suggests UK marketers are leading many other nations in the drive to become data-focused, but are still reliant on outbound marketing for the bulk of their campaigns.

In the study, ‘Why You Need to be a Modern Marketer’, Forrester surveyed 523 marketing decision-makers from different industries from across Australia, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France.

And new statistics from the research state that 96% of UK marketers are now using data to analyse customer behaviour, compared with 78% in the US and 74% in France.

The data drive is seemingly part of business-wide requirements to become more engaged with customers across multiple channels – more than a third (35%) of UK marketers said their business has a standard, fully-integrated cross-channel marketing automation platform in place to help deal with these processes, in comparison to only 5% marketers in France, 9% in the US respondents and 20% in Australia.

But while these statistics shows the advances UK marketers are making in building a data strategy for customer targeting, the research also highlights that a third (34%) of UK marketers said that their communications to potential and existing customers is still primarily outbound, focusing mostly on brand advertising and promoting their message through direct communications.

By comparison, 51% of marketers in France and 36% in Germany said they deploy outbound comms as part of a mix with “other content and information including customer case studies and high-quality thought leadership”, suggesting that many UK marketers are still bound by traditional practices.  

“To succeed in an increasingly competitive market, marketers must find a way to tie together the enormous amount of data they collect from customers and from across their organisations. This will help them to develop more engaging content which will supplement the direct communications and brand advertising that forms the basis of most marketing strategies,” said Simon Robinson, senior director marketing and alliances EMEA, Oracle Marketing Cloud.

“The research shows that UK firms are customer-obsessed, but need to adopt a more holistic approach to their marketing by considering all channels in their customer communications. It is not enough to only collect large volumes of data and expect change organically – instead companies must combine powerful technology with well-defined strategies that allow them to make the most of these resources.”

While Oracle’s statistics may paint outbound marketing practices in a relatively negative light, contrasting research from the DMA shows that the number one marketing channel is still email, contributing to 30% of all digital revenues - proof that outbound is still a vehicle for driving revenue in many organisations. 

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