If Analytics Are So Important, Why Do Marketers Struggle With Them?

If Analytics Are So Important, Why Do Marketers Struggle With Them?

Marketers Struggle With Analytics

Research firm, Gartner Inc., recently conducted their 2013 Data-Driven Marketing Survey. Gartner surveyed 242 marketing analytics professionals from November to December 2012 to understand how organizations collect analyze and use customer data. The overhanging theme of the survey results showed that while companies allocate a large amount of their marketing budgets to marketing analytics, organizations are still struggling to mine value from their analytics programs. So this begs the question, why are they struggling?

I think this quote from the report basically sums it up, “Reports go unused or are misinterpreted, and the market for data-driven personalization tools is still small. Instead, there are many disconnected analytic efforts, each with their own goals, vendors and labor costs.”

Interpretation Skills Are Lacking

Perhaps we have the assumption that this technology-savvy generation naturally understands how to read data. This talent short-fall was really brought home in Jessica Donlon’s post on The Marketing Talent Gap- And How To Overcome It. Effectively mining data and identifying insights really is a skill. I would hope to see more education for marketers in the near future around the skills required to become a real “data analyst”.

Fragmented Analytic Platforms

“A typical analytic tool inventory includes multiple cloud-based tools for Web, social, search engine marketing, advertising and email marketing,” the report said. “Only a small fraction of the organizations have stepped up to the challenge of integrating the analytics process and tools to get the big picture.”

Not only is it difficult for the average marketer to analyze data, but the data sources are fragmented. The analytic platforms out there that can easily show how different streams of data interact with each other are few and far between. For marketers, this term is often referred to as “closed-loop marketing”.

gartners_marketing_survey

Where marketers look for external data (Source – Gartner Inc.)

All-in-one marketing software such as Hubspot and Marketo enable marketers to connect data streams from multiple sources and analyze the effect each data stream is having on business goals. We’ve seen a huge increase in companies using all-in-one marketing software in the past 3 years. I suspect we will see even more companies adapt in the coming years.

Gartner Inc. found that companies are spending and average of 21 per cent of their marketing budgets on analytics. Perhaps we need to be focusing on the comprehension of the data a little more as we move forward.

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