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The “Big Data” conversation has gained momentum since late last year. An October 2011 study from McKinsey & Company found the greatest number of marketing executives worldwide (32%) felt the ability to generate and leverage deep customer insights was the most important digital challenge they faced.
Since then, discussions have become intense as marketers learn more about Big Data's holistic, integrated approach to marketing.
Unfortunately, most companies are still in the early stages of Big Data integration. A February 2012 survey from DataXu showed just 30% of US executives reported the ability to leverage the value of their customer data.
But May findings from CMO Council were more optimistic: 51% of marketers worldwide said they leveraged data moderately well, with 7% reporting that they did so extremely well.
The majority of marketers worldwide (65%) used customer profile data to enhance their marketing programs. Social media data and marketing campaign response and engagement data were also used by 61% and 51% of respondents, respectively.
Though marketers are making the most of customer-provided information, less than half (40%) had access to purchase history, and just 12% had access to loyalty and rewards information—two data types instrumental for personalizing marketing communications based on past customer actions and anticipated future activities.
The study found 72% of marketers worldwide used data to craft more timely, targeted messaging, and 58% of respondents used it to build richer customer segments and profiles, allowing them to create more targeted, nurturing campaigns.
More than half (52%) also used customer insight and intelligence to directly influence the bottom line by cross-selling or upselling customers. However, just 28% used that information to go after higher-value sales and repeat purchases. This is indicative that while the majority of companies can market to customers at the group or profile level, only a select handful are able to do so at the individual customer level.
Marketers looking to leverage “Big Data” to reach and resonate with customers at the individual level must be able to track, aggregate and analyze all customer-related data throughout the product lifecycle, but CMO Council found few respondents (30%) had a key tool—a customer relationship management (CRM) system—in place to do so. Most marketers did, however, utilize the three critical marketing platforms and applications: email (75%), website analytics and optimization (72%), and social media monitoring (56%).
Marketers will need to collect and utilize the broad array of Big Data information and monitoring tools to truly deliver a personalized campaign message.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Social Media Customer Service Faces a High Bar” and “Mobile Set to Reshape Canada’s Marketing Landscape.”
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