71% of marketers feel overwhelmed by data and 69% feel it's distracting them from their core marketing duties

Data DilemmaA survey of senior marketers has revealed that 80% are increasing their time spent working with data and almost three quarters (72%) feel that it is negatively affecting the creative aspects of their role. In addition, 69% feel that data is distracting them from their core marketing duties and a shocking 71% feel overwhelmed rather than empowered by data. 

The study of 151 UK senior marketers, commissioned by Callcredit Information Group, found that for 70% of respondents, data is a valuable asset that is not being fully exploited in their organisations.   One explanation for this could be the fact that only 29% of marketers believe they have the necessary skills to analyse data, with 44% planning on investing in further training over the next two years.

Other findings include:

  • Quality over quantity – Marketers are using an extraordinary amount of data currently. And while transactional data remains the most popular (38%), other sources are growing in use. Unstructured data is also common (31%), despite the fact that it is harder to work with. In addition, only 36% of marketers are currently satisfied with the quality of their data, highlighting the need to focus on quality over quantity.
  • Data anxiety – 82% of our respondents predicted that digital intelligence will be the new battlefield for marketers, however a lack of confidence prevails, with 72% feeling more anxious in their role than they did a year ago because of the expectations and pressures around how they should be using big data.
  • Out of time – Nearly a third (29%) of marketers believe they aren’t spending enough time on analysing their data. Currently marketers are spending, on average, five hours and 36 minutes a week working with customer data. The research shows that some marketers believe they are spending too much time on data (13%), while others agree that the amount of data they have to analyse means they cannot spend the time they need to on it (29%).

Steve McNicholas, Managing Director, Marketing Solutions, Callcredit Information Group, commented: “Despite the fact that marketers are overwhelmingly accepting data as an integral part of marketing, our research shows that many feel that more can be done. The advantage data gives businesses is not driven by how much they can collect, but rather how effectively it can drive insight, and greater revenues. The challenge for marketers is to manage the sheer amount of information available, and to translate that data into meaningful insight for their business.

“The next step for marketers is to implement a number of processes, tools, and ways of working, that can improve the quality, not just the quantity of their data, and bring clarity to complexity. More businesses need to find their ‘sweet spot’ of data that helps define customer segments and acquire new, more profitable ones. An external perspective can often help companies bring the right amount of insight and creativity to the process.”

A full copy of the 'The Data Dilemma' report can be downloaded for free.

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Research Methodology

The Data Dilemma research was commissioned by Callcredit Information Group and conducted in August 2016 by Loudhouse Research, an independent research consultancy headquartered in the UK. 151 marketing professionals with responsibility for decisions around customer insight and the analysis of B2C marketing data completed a survey to reveal their attitudes towards data. All respondents were from UK-based organisations across a multitude of sectors.