Mind the gap: Marketers expose the great data divide

angry laptopData might be the lifeblood of marketing but it is facing major trust issues across the board, with more than a third of chief marketing officers, two in five data analysts, and over half of chief data officers having major misgivings about the customer information they hold.

So says, the “Marketing Analytics State of Play 2022: Challenges and Priorities”research commissioned by data analytics platform Adverity, which quizzed marketers and data analysts across the UK, US and and Germany to identify their key strategic challenges as well as their priorities for 2022.

For businesses, such a divide that becomes greater the more senior you go should cause significant alarm, the report’s authors reckon, especially as the separate teams are failing to communicate this mistrust.

This can result in key strategic decisions regarding spending, budget allocation, and campaign optimisation being made without accuracy or confidence, potentially resulting in huge amounts of the marketing budget being misused or ultimately wasted, Averity reckons.

One of the most likely causes of the distrust in marketing data and the number one challenge cited by both marketers and data analysts (42%) is the time being wasted manually wrangling data. At the C-level, this jumps to 54%.

Adverity chief marketing officer Harriet Durnford-Smith explained: “Modern marketing can’t afford to wait three weeks for someone to sift through a spreadsheet. By manually wrangling data, businesses not only open themselves up to human error and inefficiency but also commit themselves to a reactive strategy.

“Those who cannot keep up with the evolution or aren’t willing to embrace the new ways of working will ultimately be left behind. Moving away from manually wrangling data is the first step to becoming a data-driven business.”

As marketing spend continues to recover to pre-pandemic levels and marketers are challenged to demonstrate the ROI of their campaigns, being able to demonstrate the business impact of marketing is imperative. However, nearly two-fifths (38%) of data and marketing professionals state the inability to measure ROI on marketing spend is one of their biggest challenges. Combined with a lack of trust in the data, this can cause significant problems for businesses.

Looking forward to 2022, nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketers and data analysts state that audience-building and targeting along with personalised content delivery is their most important strategic focus.

This is unsurprising given concerns around third-party cookie deprecation and the increasing strictness of privacy laws. Content in the future is likely to have to work harder for businesses to gain access to customers’ zero and first-party data. Creating a tailored and transparent value proposition is an essential strategy for achieving this, Adverity maintains.

However, businesses need to also invest in their campaign reporting capabilities. Respondents that already have strong campaign reporting are three times more likely to be strong at audience-building and targeting and delivering personalized content/customer experiences.

Businesses that already have strong campaign reporting are also three times more likely to invest in it than businesses that said they need to improve, meaning that the divide between those who are garnering greater insights from their reports and those who are not is only likely to widen.

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