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Data Marketing by the Numbers

12.27.2015 Josh Schwartz
What are marketers doing with all of this data?

We came across a nice little infographic on Adweek recently that sheds some light on the Data-Driven Marketing world. The numbers come from surveys of marketers conducted by Teradata, GlobalDMA, and the Winterberry Group. Let’s walk through the graphic and see what the numbers say about how the marketing community is responding to this data stuff. Go ahead and open the graphic in a new tab so you can follow along.

Right off the bat we see major buy-in among 77% of marketers that data is a thing. That’s good news, and hopefully the flood of infographics and articles and blog posts will help convince the remaining 23%. Of the three quarters who are convinced, 74% of those are planning to increase their investment this year. Folks are putting their money where their marketing is.

Biggest Drivers of Increased Data Marketing

The top five reasons that marketers are getting into the data game are:

1. 53% of marketers are recognizing the need to engage consumers in more personal, timely ways. Doing that requires data. It’s no different than getting to know someone in your personal life. If you take the time to ask the right questions (collecting data), your interactions will that person will be more thoughtful and they will probably enjoy your company, and your company, more.

2. Nobody likes to waste time and money: not agencies, and certainly not clients. The more informed we become by allowing data to cut out guesswork, the more money everyone saves. 49% of agencies said this was a motivator for them.

3. For 33%, it’s the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the people who make up our fancy demographics and market segments. We throw around abstract terms like "Gen Xers" and it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we’re talking about real people. Rounding out our picture with more comprehensive behavioral data can help us get closer to a holistic, human view of our target audiences.

4. There’s a lot of freakin’ data out there! For 24% of marketers, the feeding frenzy itself is enticing enough to take the plunge. (Taking the plunge into a feeding frenzy? That was a weird metaphor…)

5. Data is changing the rules of the game. 20% of marketers can sense that they are losing touch with an increasingly digital world by ignoring the digital data frontier.

Where Data Efforts Are Being Focused

So if those are the reasons why agencies are getting involved with data-driven marketing, what are they using that data for once they start collecting it?

1. At 69%, the most common use of data is to hone audience-targeting capabilities. This gets back to the waste-reduction we mentioned. The more you know about your market ahead of time, the fewer misfires you’ll have eating up your budget.

2. Next at 52% is the ability to mine consumer behavioral data for use informing project design, development, and strategy. In the process of building a product or service, the less you have to rely on assumptions about people want and how they behave, the more likely it is that you will ship something successful.

3. 49% of marketers want to know how their clients can improve their customers’ experience. Pay attention to how often companies ask you to complete a survey about your experience. That’s them asking for your help making things less of a hassle. They know that your satisfaction good for their bottom line, so consider taking a minute to fill out that survey. It could make telemarketers less…telemarketery.

4. Tied at 44% are the basic science of measuring market segments, and the arcane, crystal ball-gazing dark art of predictive analysis. Basically, if my target market is middle-aged urban Hispanic women, I need to know stuff about that group. Likewise, it’s good to know stuff about that group as it is predicted to be five or ten years from now.

Top Data Marketing Priorities

Since your efforts tend to follow your priorities, it’s unsurprising that this list matches the one we just covered:

1. 66% want to further customize and polish their customer interactions.

2. 40% recognize the need to learn what the numbers mean. Remember The Matrix? If you don’t know how to make sense of it all, data marketing can feel like staring at that screen full of green hieroglyphs.

3. 36% simply want to catch more fish and keep them from flopping back out of the boat, and the same number want to become more efficient.

What’s Being Collected? / Most Popular Channels for Consumer Engagement

These parts are pretty self-explanatory. Marketers are collecting all of the data they can find, and digital channels are growing in popularity while traditional channels are shrinking.

Marketers are creative folks, and they’re finding all sorts of creative uses for data, and ways to collect it. Data is making agencies more efficient, and helping companies interact with their customers like, well, humans. Who knew staring at a bunch of numbers would teach us about people?

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