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Marketers Scramble to Unscramble Customer Data

Data collection up in an effort to create individual customer profiles

July 16, 2014

As more tools come out that help them gather data, marketers are upping such efforts. In Digiday and Neustar polling conducted in June 2014, 77% of US digital media and marketing professionals said they had increased their data collection process over the past year.

Reasons that Data Collection Changes Have Occurred According to US Digital Media and Marketing Professionals, June 2014 (% of respondents)

Why the rise in data collection? The study found that marketers were looking to better understand their customers—the most popular response, cited by 57%. To gather this information and form customer profiles, respondents had expanded the data types and quantity collected, gathering everything from location information to demographic, psychographic and social details.

Despite these improvements and the emphasis on linking data to create individual customer profiles, 50% of respondents were still struggling to integrate everything. And even for those who could, traditional data points such as location information and demographics were the main sources, limiting the formation of full profiles.

Q2 2014 polling by Econsultancy and Tealium found similar results, with more than half of US client-side marketers saying that the desire to build a single customer viewpoint was a key priority of unification—combining data from all applications that help with marketing today. This was the second-biggest reason for ramping up data aggregation, only trailing data integration to justify marketing’s impact on the overall business.

Level of Marketing Data Capabilities According to US Client-Side Marketers, Q2 2014 (% of respondents)

However, just 14% of marketers said they were strongly capable of creating a single view of the customer. Though nearly 40% said they were doing an average job at creating individual customer profiles, a close 34% reported being weak in this area.

Marketers are likely feeling the pressure, as the emphasis on a single customer view isn’t going away anytime soon. Nearly half (47%) of respondents said that achieving a single customer view was critical to long-term success.

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