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IBM survey finds increasing problems with data silos

While 85% of marketers acknowledge the need for an integrated suite to analyze customer data across multiple channels, up to 27% don’t perform attribution at all and 35% do so manually through spreadsheets, according to IBM’s survey “The State of Marketing 2012, IBM’s Global Survey of Marketers.” 

One of the drivers for this need is the sudden prevalence of mobile communication channels. “As channels and devices proliferate, it creates additional complexity for marketers,” says Jay Henderson, strategy program director at IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management Group. IBM’s survey found that 41% of marketers identify the fragmentation of channels and mobile devices as their top challenge.

“Marketers have experienced problems for a long time, but the trend is growing and problems are more acute,” Henderson says. “The situation today is that channels are emerging quickly and can either explode or they can die off and be completely irrelevant. Marketers must focus on ‘How do I not miss the next Facebook?’ and understand that the complexity associated with channels and devices is only accelerating the rise of marketing.”

Henderson states there are certain steps that marketers can take to maximize business and avoid non-communication between enterprise departments. In IBM’s survey, 60% of participants stated that lack of alignment with IT departments inhibit technological investments. “Marketers need to become stewards of the brand, tearing down existing silos and also making sure that as new channels come on board, they coordinate the two without creating new silos,” Henderson says.

Though silos can occur — 79% of marketers state that mobile is an isolated channel — it is important to work together in order to see more gains for the company, Henderson says. “Marketers will see more results by partnering with IT. Both must be flexible with each other and adapt to working with one another.”

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