Study: Enterprises Want More Marketing Data, But They Don’t Know What To Do With It

Online marketers and advertising are getting access to more and more data, but that’s not enough, according to the 2012 Digital Marketing 2.0 Study commissioned by ad company DataXu.

More than 350 “enterprise decision makers” in management, marketing, communications, digital, IT and social media were surveyed, and 75 percent of them said that data will help them improve their businesses. However, 58 percent said they didn’t have the skills and technology needed to analyze marketing data, while more than 70 percent said the same about customer data.

“We know about Facebook and Google and other Internet service companies leading the charge in dealing with big data,” DataXu co-founder and CEO Mike Baker told me. Other large companies know “they need to get in the game,” but “they don’t have the training or the tools to actually realize these efficiencies.”

Perhaps related, 90 percent of respondents said that digital marketing can reduce customer acquisition costs, but 46 percent said they don’t have the tools to communicate those benefits to management.

When the respondents were asked about the biggest obstacle to the growth of digital marketing, they pointed to the lack of a single platform that reaches across all channels. With its online marketing tools, DataXu is tackling this problem, but Baker said his company hasn’t quite covered every avenue that marketers need help with — they want tools that aren’t just “multi-channel” but “omni-channel”.

“An equal challenge is ease-of-use — how to bring the power of big data to people who have never taken a stats class in their life,” he said.

The study was conducted by social media consultancy Human 1.0 and nonprofit Society for New Communications Research. You can download the related whitepaper here, and sign up for the related webinar, scheduled for March 29, here.