Marketers worldwide are continuing to invest in making sense of the surge of data produced by digital interactions with customers—68% said they will increase data-related marketing spending in 2013 and just 3% planned to decrease spending, according to a study by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive.
So, what are marketers’ best sources of customer data? As of October 2012, 49% said website analytics, 19% said data from email campaigns and 12% said data arising from social media interaction. Other data sources included SMS/phone analytics, direct mail interaction and display analytics.
But data is only as valuable as your ability to put it to work. A survey conducted in November by Pitney Bowes of its clients and prospects delved into what kinds of data marketers viewed as presenting the largest source of opportunity for their companies. The study found that marketers most commonly saw “immediate opportunity” (defined as useful within the next 12 months) for customer profile data, web data and location data—one-fifth or more see short-term opportunities for each. Despite being a hot topic, marketers are still struggling to make use of mobile data; just 10% saw an immediate opportunity to use it and just 16% saw a long-term opportunity.
Among the greatest sources of long-term opportunity identified by marketers: social media data. One-quarter of respondents saw a chance to put social media data to use within the coming years—another 19% saw opportunity in the next 12 months.
This corresponds to another finding of the Yesmail and Infogroup study, which asked marketers worldwide about their plans to use social media data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels in 2013. Of those surveyed, 36% planned to start incorporating social media data into campaigns this year, and another 42% planned to integrate social media data more deeply. Just 22% said they had no plans of any kind to put social media data to use in 2013.
Social media is a rich source of information on who customers are and how they interact, so it’s no wonder companies are beginning to make greater use of its analytic capabilities.
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