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The State of Data-Driven Marketing

In a new report, the British data-based digital agency Jaywing shows brands failing to take advantage of marketing tech innovation.

Among the key findings of the “2017 Data-Driven Marketing Report“:

  • 82% of marketers still use single touchpoint atttribution
  • 65% of marketers do “none, basic or only segment-based personalisation of communications”
  • 61% of marketers rate CRM as the most important marketing skill
  • 23% of marketers rate data science/analytics as the least important marketing skill 

The findings are based on a March, 2017 survey of over 250 managerial/C-suite marketers, primarily from the following verticals: financial services; travel and leisure; retail, wholesale and distribution, and telecoms or utilities.

As the report notes, the discrepancy of ranking between CRM and data science is startling, given the centrality of data to any CRM operation which is not wholly primitive. Content marketing and influencer marketing rated almost as low as data science among skill-sets.

2017 priorities for the marketers surveyed were improving customer contact and retention strategies (62%, 56% respectively), while access to data/analytics expertise and adopting or improving marketing automation were bottom of the list (20% and 7%).

Only 8% of respondents claimed to deploy true one-on-one personalization in marketing communications, the largest segment (35%) going only as far as “Hello, first name.”

Significantly, 92% claimed that data management was a top priority for the year. Aligned with the low rating of data science as a skill-set for a marketer, and 42% claiming to have dedicated, internal data/analytics teams, one possible takeaway from the report is that senior marketers regard data as important — just not central to the marketing function. It also seems likely that marketing departments are finding a shortage of data/analytics talent when it comes to hiring.

As Jaywing says, “with further developments in AI and machine learning, the pace of change shows no signs of slowing.” The question is whether a broad range of brands will cease viewing innovative marketing technology as the preserve of a few, tech-savvy verticals, or as a necessity for all.

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