Sunday, September 15, 2013

CMOs Say Their Marketing Analytics is Sub-Par

A recent CMO Survey conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business shows there is a lot of heavy lifting to be done still to improve marketing analytics and prove the value of marketing. The research included 410 marketing executives, of which 93% were VP and above.

If this isn't a wake up call, I don't know what is:
  • Two-thirds of marketing execs say they are pressured by the CEO or Board to prove the value of marketing, and 60% feel this pressure is increasing. (Not to mention the CFO!)
  • I'm scared too since about two-thirds also say they can't prove quantitatively the impact of their marketing spend.  
  • For example, the report states that many execs feel their company's customer information is not well integrated across purchasing, communication, and social media channels, with an average rating of 3.4 on a 7-point scale (where 1=not at all, 7=very effectively)
  • While on average 5.5% of the marketing budget is spent on marketing analytics, its use in company projects is trending downwards and is only 29% today. (*SIGH*)
  • In almost every industry, marketing analytics is not being fully leveraged to answer the company's most challenging marketing questions (mean=3.7, where 1=none of the time and 7=all the time)
  • Moreover, 67% say they do NOT evaluate the quality of marketing analytics! Then it's no wonder why many believe marketing analytics does not contribute to their company's performance. As I always say, "garbage in, garbage out!"

  • And a lot of it boils down to a lack of talent...

This doesn't surprise me because I have found that despite all the hype around Big Data, many companies are still struggling with "Little Data" issues like getting meaningful website analytics or defining proper success metrics/KPIs.  It's not for lack of trying by marketing managers. I find one of the most common issues is not all marketers speak "geek" with techies, DBAs, or business intelligence analysts. The other common scenario I see is companies hiring really smart PhD statisticians and quant jocks and expect them to immediately get all the business and marketing aspects of the job. It has taken me my entire career to learn how to "translate" between business executives, marketing managers, techies, and data analysts in order to make sure we're all running in the same direction.

Marketing accountability is higher than ever, and marketing analytics is no doubt key to the solution. It's a great time to be in marketing for a data-driven thought buddy like me to help clients make sense of all their data.


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