Marketers have data, but unsure what to do with it: Unica study

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Although marketers collect large amounts of data, they struggle to apply that information to their campaigns, according to a study of global marketers by Unica, an analytics and integrated marketing firm.

“The State of Marketing 2010” survey found that 70% of marketers say the data issue is “very important,” while 24% said it is “somewhat important.” Unica and independent research company Salloway & Associates surveyed 200 online and direct marketers for the report.

“This proliferation of channels is creating a lot data, but marketers don't always know what to do with this data,” said Jay Henderson, director of product marketing at Unica. “They have plenty of data and not enough insights, and they struggle to turn them into action.”

The study also found that marketers are readily adopting emerging channels, such as mobile, rich media and social media. Almost half of the marketers surveyed said they are doing some social media marketing. However, the marketers surveyed said that they need to better integrate social media with other marketing tactics.  

North American marketers are more quickly adopting social media. More than half of companies (58%) of companies are using the tactic, versus in Europe, where only 34% are doing so. However, its use in Europe is expected to grow at a faster rate this year. Unica predicts that Europe will grow its social media marketing by 30% this year, whereas North America will only see 18% growth.

Mobile marketing continues to grow in use, according to the study, which found that more than one-third of marketers already conduct some type of mobile marketing. For marketers already using mobile, rich media applications are as appealing as text messaging, the study found.

The survey also highlighted that many marketers use both aggregate Web data and offline data when making decisions about marketing offers. This trend will likely grow in the next year. E-mail is the most common channel used to tie together online and offline data.

The study also found that 75% of marketers are using customer-initiated interactions to serve marketing messages and offers. More offers are happening through call centers and online than in bricks-and-mortar stores.

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