5 hurdles companies face when investing in data-driven marketing


In my role as a customer intelligence advisor, I have the privilege to work with a wide variety of organizations. From retailers to the banking sector, whether ‘B2C’ or ‘B2B’ oriented, one constant is the increasing adoption of data- driven marketing. But even so, we still come across the occasional "strange situation."

Often, such "strange situations" happen when we're working with marketers that prefer following their gut-feeling versus analytics when important decisions need to be made. Some of the worst offenders are the ones that are either unable or unwilling to track the return on investment from their marketing efforts.

I have worked with banking institutions that have state of the art analytics departments, but when asked how scoring was integrated in their marketing campaigns it became clear that the scores weren’t used by the marketing department. And it was simply because the marketer believed that his gut feeling was better than the analytical model.

I just can't appreciate that line of thinking, so I have to ask, "Why do some marketers not use these important sources of information, and hurdles do they face in order to leverage new technology and adopt more data-driven marketing?"

From what I've seen in my work, there are 5 possible hurdles that impede organizations from going to the next level:

1.  Having a clear vision on what data-driven marketing can mean for the organization,

Organisations need to have a clear vision of what data-driven marketing offers and how it's going to improve insights and interactions. Both realisations come at different maturity levels. Once the vision is set it’s very important to align, not only marketing, but the whole organization on it. Without alignment you end up in long implementation cycles - as some stakeholders may not acknowledge the importance of the project.

2. Getting access to data,

Data (online and offline) is often available for the taking, but it’s not always easy to locate precisely or to know how access to it. Data is a precious source that some stakeholders prefer to keep under their control - as it is an open door to a lot of information. Organisational structures of global companies often play a role, as the access to data could be kept hidden centrally or even divised across entities, which can prove frustrating to change agents in marketing.

3.  Having a unified and global vision of the measurement of marketing efforts,

Sometimes it’s a struggle to get a unified marketing metric system in place that is accepted and supported throughout the entire organization. Being able to compare marketing efforts and results across entities and/or the entire organisation is an important enabler of the alignment necessary to move towards a data-driven business.

 4. Skills in the organization,

Becoming more data-driven has an impact on the skills needed within the marketing department. Traditional marketing skills are very valuable for maintaining the current marketing results of an organization. But for the marketing to become more data-driven, organisations need to re-skill their teams or hire talent that comes with a deep understanding of digital analytics, multi-channel data-driven marketing and predictive analytics.

5.  Allocating budget and time for the right goals,

It’s easy to keep investing in the things that appear to be 'working' over the long run and producing certain results. It is only when taking risks and trying to innovate that you will become more successful.  Allocating more than 50 % of the marketing budget to data-driven initiatives is not only a strategic choice for a company, it's an organisational change.

So once these hurdles are cleared, the organization is ready to adopt the data-driven approaches that enable the use of marketing analytics to realize the opportunities hidden in customer data. So the questions I have for you are, which challenges do you face in becoming more data-driven? And how are you going about finding a solution? Contact us - I'm confident we can help you.


About Author

Steven Hofmans

SAS CI Subject Matter Expert in South West Europe Region

As a CI Subject Matter Expert I help companies doing better data-driven marketing with the solutions offered by SAS. The business cases I often face are very diverse, they require a broad but well defined marketing strategy based on marketing analytics and real-time, Omni channel driven engagements. Working in this role I have the chance to meet many different companies, which allows me to accumulate experiences and share them in my blogposts. As a background I hold an MSc in Business administration with a major in marketing. After my first marketing lesson I was impacted by data driven marketing and I have been attracted to this field ever since. Before joining SAS I worked a few years as a SAS consultant to understand which problems companies are facing when working with data. Please follow me on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/hofmans_steven Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=69592066&trk=spm_pic

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: From Mad Men to Math Men - Customer Analytics

Leave A Reply

Back to Top