Lack of data insights hitting marketing in time of crisis

data_driven1Marketing chiefs are finding it virtually impossible to adapt, adjust and make tactical and strategic decisions about their activities during the Covid-19 lockdown due to a dearth of on-demand data insights to show them the way forward.

So says a new study by the the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, which surveyed its members last week to understand the global pandemic’s impact on the global strategies, operations, budgets and outlook.

The findings from the organisation, which 16,000 members in 10,000 companies worldwide, make worrying reading for those marketers who are keen to “keep calm and carry on”.

The vast majority (84%) of global marketers expect the pandemic will multiply business disruption globally, while even more (90%) expect to make changes to their marketing plans.

However, two-thirds (66%) said they do not have enough real-time visibility and insight into the pandemic’s impact across both the demand and supply chains, while a similar number (695) are not satisfied with the quality, timeliness and usefulness of decision support data.

Instead, the CMO Council says marketers are being forced to make decisions the “old-fashioned” way, tapping into their experience and knowledge about customers and the market, rather than following the data.

Even so, most marketers feel they are addressing customer consternation and concern either extremely well (36%) or moderately well (56%).

Internally, CMOs said they are faring even better, with two-thirds insisting they are safeguarding employees and support staff extremely well, and 27% moderately well.

CMOs also feel relatively confident about their company’s ability to weather the storm. Nearly three-fifths expressed moderate confidence in their company’s contingency, containment and recovery plans, while nearly a third (31%) are extremely confident.

Marketing budgets might not be so solid. Nearly half of marketers are bracing for marketing spending cuts; however, a further quarter (26%) have no idea what is going to happen.

CMO Council executive director Donovan Neale-May said: “Companies with real-time visibility into supply and demand chains are better prepared to make informed decisions, as well as adjust, redirect or moderate marketing activity. Unfortunately, not enough do, and so many are struggling to re-calibrate operations and spend.”

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