Recently, we explored the different ways digital marketers use Twitter. Now, a new survey shows us how marketers are leveraging data and the challenges than can result.

More Data, More Challenges

According to the Teradata Data Driven Marketing Survey 2013, marketers are relying more and more on and using common, simple, and easily accessible forms of data to drive their marketing initiatives. In fact, 75% or more of those surveyed use customer service data, customer satisfaction data, digital interaction data (e.g., search, display ads, email, web browsing), and demographic data, with more than half using data such as customer engagement (e.g., product usage or preference data), transactional (e.g., offline purchase behavior), or e-commerce data.

But when it comes to the different types of tools being used and what marketers are doing with the information, the survey tells a different story. First, only 33% of marketers believe they have a true data-driven marketing culture embedded into their standard marketing processes. Further more, 42% of marketers say that lack of process is the number one obstacle to using data in decision making, so much so that less than 10% of companies said that they use the data they currently have access to in a systematic, strategic way. Finally, 45% of all marketers agreed that data is the most underutilized asset in the marketing organization. 

Teradata Data Driven Marketing Survey Results Infographic.jpg

Executive Support, Strategic Alignment Necessary

With so much data available for marketers to dive deeper into their relationships with target audiences, why are so many struggling to put it into action? The survey points to issues aligning business outcomes across departments. Results show that only a quarter of marketers surveyed believe their marketing and IT departments are strategic partners in achieving marketing objectives, while 50% of marketers say that marketing and IT are not strategic partners in their company. 

A lack of alignment can hinder even the most basic customer experience goals. While most companies say that using data to improve customer experience, only 33% of companies surveyed say they routinely use data to drive marketing to improve their customer interactions. And it all seems to be connected. Without executive leadership, integrating marketing support into all facets of an organization is unlikely and a result, most companies are not doing much to create an environment where delighting the customer is a top priority.

Without executive support, it's up to marketers to demonstrate the value of data-driven marketing strategies. Yet, it's a catch-22, because without executive support, it's much harder to find the ROI -- most marketers trying to calculate ROI report having problems because their systems do not allow them to manage and consolidate the data they need. 

Marketers are behooved to leverage data in realtime to create and deliver relevant interactions for each of their customers, but without the proper support and tools, most organizations are paralyzed by indecisions, poor workflows and a lack of executive leaderships to put data into action so as to affect customer experiences, improve sales and increase the bottom line.