Marketers Crave Customer Data

Data-related marketing solutions have made great strides in recent years; however, more than half of marketers believe they fail to collect sufficient customer data.

In its third annual “Big Data’s Big Payday” report, Infogroup says that 53% of marketers yearn for more customer information. In addition, 10% feel they collect too much data and slightly more than one third say they collect just the right amount—a venerable Goldilocks situation.

The report, which polled 584 marketers at the 2014 DMA annual conference, paints a robust picture of the state of investment in data-driven marketing. Sixty-two percent of companies have started investing in data-marketing solutions, with investment in DaaS and SaaS up from 54% in 2013. Just under half (47%) of brands are already seeing a positive ROI from data-related investments, and another 15% expect to see a payoff for the first time in 2015.

Despite the extreme ROI, the report suggests that marketers know that their data doesn’t yet provide a complete view of their customers. With regards to customer info, marketers lament their data doesn’t stack up. Just 21% of respondents say they’re very confident in their customer profiles’ accuracy and completeness, while 15% say data collection will be their biggest data-related challenge this year behind analysis (21%) and application (16%).

“Although data-driven marketing is now the norm, marketers still thirst for more data,” says Gretchen Littlefield, president of the marketing services and analytics provider. “Even as they invest in DaaS and SaaS and execute more sophisticated multichannel campaigns, brands are seeking to continually deepen their understanding of customers by acquiring more meaningful data from multiple sources.”

Additional findings from the report show that the majority of marketers haven’t evolved past the basics when it comes to data collection. Such as:

  • Marketers rely too heavily on data sources like customer purchase history (48%) and third-party lists (44%). Digital sources—such as Web-browsing history (16%) and social media posts (12%)—are much less popular.
  • The lion’s share of marketers relies on names (55%) and demographic information (53%) to personalize campaigns. Less than a third use consumer interests, transaction and event triggers, or consumer interactions with brands.
  • When asked what hinders the implementation of personalized campaigns, marketers blame difficulty integrating across channels (40%), lack of quality customer data for segmentation (35%), and fragmented systems (32%).
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