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While Big Data was once more a buzz phrase than a well-understood tool, it is now becoming integral to marketers’ strategy.
An April 2013 survey of US chief marketing officers (CMOs) and senior marketing leaders from various industries by executive search consulting firm Spencer Stuart found that the vast majority of respondents considered their marketing team to have at least some lexperience with data analytics and tools. While 33% admitted to a basic understanding of data analytics, 44% thought of their group as proficient. Only 11% said their company’s data analysis efforts were sophisticated or leading edge, likely a reflection of the complexities inherent to data analysis.
Data analysis is making its presence felt in a number of marketing areas, with the granular data collected allowing marketers to better segment their target audience while crafting specific messages. Almost six in 10 respondents said Big Data largely informed marketing techniques related to search, email or SMS, while about half said they saw a large effect on customer segmentation practices. But in the future, more executives expected data analysis to play a prominent role in overall marketing strategy.
New technology requires new outlays, however, which might not have been included in anyone’s budget line. The largest problem seen by executives in using data analytics was the absence of investment in new technology.
In order to take advantage of Big Data, companies have to be willing to pay, but they may be hesitant due to a concern that a solid method for measuring return on investment (ROI) has not yet materialized.
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