A report by Yesmail surveyed 700 marketers at two large conferences last October, and the resulting analysis found marketers are pretty much in the same boat as everyone else on big data. They have lots of information, but don't quite know how to make it sing.

Got Data? Now What?

Things like integrating real-time data and performing maintenance on usable data are important for marketers to improve on overall as the study found 26% of respondents said they couldn't remember when they last did quality control. 

Sixty eight percent of those surveyed at last fall's DMA2012 in Las Vegas and the Forrester Research conference in Chicago said they were planning to increase their data related spending in 2013. Twenty percent said they would increase this spending greatly, and the remaining 48% said they would increase it only slightly. 

However, nearly half of those surveyed will commit exactly zero new hires to these processes. That means marketers are pretty scattered in their approaches as to how to better integrate big data. Companies are still kind of all over the map in terms of where they are on the adoption scale, but one trait they often share is they are collecting way too much outdated or duplicate data.

Collection, Analysis + Application

Marketers depend mostly on website analytics for their data collection, but about 20% of it still comes from emails. These numbers contain information only from the Forrester conference, so while they may not be as comprehensive, it does show a likely across the board trend.

Additionally, of the companies who do plan to hire more people to help with big data, 20% said they would do so in the analytics area.


Applying real-time info is a powerful way to use big data.

One of the best ways to make use of big data is to help personalize messages. It's a basic tactic that 40% of those surveyed said they only use rarely or never. This includes the use of social media. Despite how powerful and far reaching it has become, nearly a quarter of those surveyed at the Forrester conference said they either didn't plan to or didn't know how to integrate social data into their marketing

2013 will be a year of experimentation for marketers, and as industries become more adept at using mobile and social, the most agile should begin to see real ROI. Now that we know how many will be ramping up their spending on data, this will be a fun year to follow the segment's ups and downs.