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Marketers Can't Avoid Technology Anymore

Nearly 60% of execs worldwide say big data is extremely important

October 7, 2014

Marketers are constantly striving to understand consumers, increasing data collection efforts as a result. However, professionals need to up marketing technology investments if they hope to make sense of this data, according to September 2014 research by Signal, and the majority have taken note: 53% of US marketers polled said they had increased marketing technology investments in the past three years.

Level of Integration of Marketing Technology and Data According to US Marketers, Sep 2014 (% of respondents)

Simply adding separate technologies isn’t enough. Thanks to consumer use of multiple devices each day, marketers must also focus on integrating technologies and data across channels. One-quarter of respondents said most or all of their tools were integrated, and a close percentage had at least combined their core ones. An additional 41% of respondents were making some moves, albeit slowly.

In all, 96% of marketers said that fully integrated marketing technology would have a positive, strong or very strong effect on their marketing goals, and 88% said the same about innovation. Fully 86% also believed that integrated marketing technology would improve their customer relationships and create more loyalty.

April 2014 research by Accenture also found big data was top of mind for the majority of executives worldwide, with 59% saying it was extremely important. Of course, technologies are needed to make sense of and combine all of this information, and Accenture noted that using such tools to understand big data could transform an entire enterprise—if done correctly.

Areas in Which Big Data Will Have the Biggest Effect According to Executives Worldwide, April 2014 (% of respondents)

Big data’s biggest impact was on customer relationships, with 37% citing this as the top effect and 63% ranking it in the top three. But respondents expected big data to transform their companies internally as well: Redefining product development, changing organization operations and supply chain optimization were all at the top of the list.

Companies that avoid implementing and using marketing technology to make sense of data have an uncertain future. Nearly 80% of execs agreed that companies that did not embrace big data would lose their competitive advantage—and possibly face extinction.

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