Data-Driven Marketing: Oxymoron or Reality?


Data-driven marketing seems to be more panacea than reality. Despite the fact that 78% of more than 1,500 marketers surveyed by Teradata for its “2015 Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey” claim that data-driven marketing is either embedded in their organization or is strategic, only 50% routinely use it to personalize their marketing messages and offers to improve their customer experience.  Yet, 87% of respondents consider data to be the most underutilized asset in marketing organizations.

Further, 38% of marketers surveyed say their biggest challenges are customer acquisition and retention, followed by proving their support of corporate goals (29%), and meeting regulatory compliance (26%). And, for two thirds of respondents, one significant benefit of using data is faster, more accurate decision making. In fact, 45% leverage data to measure ROI and 41% believe that using the insights from data-driven marketing would help better allocate budgets for marketing activities. But only 3% of those surveyed consider proving the effectiveness of marketing a priority.

Is it surprising, then, that 90% of respondent say that individualized marketing should be a priority? Perhaps “should” is the key word here.

According to the report, responds claim that they want to use data-driven marketing “to move beyond segmentation to true one-to-one personalization in a real-time context.” Clearly, this is a long-term goal. At least the passion for relevant marketing is there.

But, there’s action too; it’s not just rhetoric.

Marketers surveyed have more than doubled their use of data-driven marketing over the past year and a half. And, 78% of those surveyed are using data systematically. One advantage that some respondents have in terms of making data-driven marketing a reality is data ownership: 43% say they control their company’s customer data.

Even so, although 83% of respondent marketers claim that they take an omnichannel approach to reaching their customers, 44% admit inconsistency in their omnichannel marketing efforts. Further, 80% say that silos within the marketing organization prevent them from determining how campaigns are performing across the different channels they’re using. But 43% of respondents say they’re satisfied to have achieved a fully integrated view of the customer across different teams.

Despite the extent to which marketers are currently using data-driven marketing, many of them are feeling the heat. Nearly half (49%) of marketing executives surveyed say they feel significant pressure to become data-driven.

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