Survey Finds Majority of Marketers Fail to Utilize Data Effectively

September 17, 2012

The Harvard Business Review recently reported on the results a recent survey of nearly 800 marketers are fortune 1000 companies in the article “Marketers Flunk the Big Data Test.”

According to the article, the vast majority of marketers rely too heavily on their intuition and not enough on data and statistics. The survey found that on average, marketers rely on data for just 11 percent of all customer related decisions. On the other end of the spectrum, the few marketers that do utilize data tend to rely on it too heavily.

The article states:

“While most marketers underuse data, a small fraction (11% in this study) just can’t get enough. These data hounds consult dashboards daily, and base most decisions on data. They have a “plugged in” personality type and thrive on external stimulation — so they love data and all forms of feedback including data on marketing effectiveness, input from managers or peers, and frequent interaction with others. We call these marketers “Connectors” and they’re exactly what most CMOs are looking for. But these types of marketers are actually severe underperformers (they receive much lower performance ratings from their managers than average marketers do). The problem is, they don’t have the statistical aptitude or judgment required to use data effectively. Every time they see a blip on the dashboard, they adjust — and end up changing direction so often that they lose sight of end goals.”

It’s no surprise that marketers are failing to utilize data efficiently, since only 5 percent have a statistics background. It is important that marketers continually reiterate their business goals so they do not get distracted and make common data interpretation mistakes.

Jasmine Ashton, September 17, 2012

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