Data-Driven Marketing: Somewhere John Wanamaker is Happily Crunching Numbers

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.
– John Wanamaker

In the more than 100 years since marketing pioneer John Wanamaker uttered this famous complaint, more than a few of his followers have probably fallen back on it to justify their own lack of insight into how well their marketing dollars are performing.

“If Wanamaker could build an empire without knowing how well his advertising dollars were spent…” Well, you get the gist.

But if Wanamaker were alive today, chances are he would be among the growing number of marketers who are increasing their investments in data-driven marketing technology. According to research by my Marketing ID colleagues, marketers boosted their budgets for data-driven marketing solutions over the past year, and anticipate making even larger investments in the next 12 months.

Some of the key findings of the 2015 State Of Data-Driven Marketing Survey Report included:

  • 64% of marketers will increase their data-driven marketing budgets over the next 12 months.
  • More than a third of marketers expect to boost their investment in data driven efforts by 10%.
  • Just under half (48%) plan to allocate more than 10% of their budget to data and analytics in the next year.

Marketers are already using a variety of data-related tools to fortify their efforts. Half of the survey’s respondents listed web analytics as having the greatest impact on their business. More than a third said the same about campaign reporting and metrics tools.

A Good Future For Predictive

Generating even deeper insight into the data marketers collect is a major initiative moving forward. Predictive tools topped the list of budget priorities. Planned investments in customer data analytics, web analytics and attribution analytics solutions are clear indications that marketers recognize the value of having deeper insight onto their data.

Investments in marketing data analytics have been paying off. Respondents said that by crunching the numbers, they are boosting campaign performance, driving efficiencies and improving targeting. Over the next year, they expect to see the following benefits:

  • Faster response times: More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents said they expect to data-driven marketing to support more nimble response to market needs.
  • Improved decision-making: Nearly two-thirds (61%) said that data will enable them to make more accurate decisions.
  • More consistent messaging: More than half (59%) of respondents expect data-driven marketing to support more consistent messaging as they incorporate more platforms and mediums in their programs.

No Time For Efficiencies

Ironically, one of the biggest barrier to becoming a data-driven organization is not having enough time to make the transition. Whether it’s a perception of the effort required to transition to marketing analytic processes, use them in daily practices or simply to get management buy-in, 54% of the respondents said “lack of time” was keeping them from becoming more data centric.

Considering that the same percentage of respondents cited “lack of internal processes” as a problem, marketing teams may need a better understanding of how to efficiently weave marketing analytics technology and best practices into existing processes.

What do you think? If you’re making the transition to being a data-driven marketing team, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

In the meantime, if you want to see all of the results of the 2015 State Of Data-Driven Marketing Survey Report, you can download it here.

Terry Moffatt is Content Strategist for Content4Demand. Every day, he helps clients discover great stories about their brands and businesses and convey these stories through different content formats. He especially enjoys telling buyer-centric marketing stories through video. When he’s not creating killer content, Moffatt is building things, such as small structures, stone walls and even interiors. Creating something that has utility and provides value gives him an incredible sense of accomplishment, so you can count on him to create effective content!


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