Highlights From Gartner's Data-Driven Marketing Survey, 2013


Archived Published: 09 April 2013 ID: G00251531

Analyst(s): | |

  Free preview of Gartner research

Summary

Gartner's 2013 Data-Driven Marketing survey reveals that marketers allocate 21% of their budgets to marketing analytics. Almost half of the data (42%) comes from external sources, with social networks topping the list.

Overview

Impacts

  • Twenty-one percent of the marketing budget is allocated to marketing analytics, but many marketers struggle to make analysis actionable.

  • Forty-two percent of marketing data comes from external sources, including social networks, which points to the growing influence of relationships in marketing.

Recommendations

  • Make marketing analytics a strategic advantage by focusing on strong leadership, role training, analytic skills, and tactical use of system integrators.

  • Combine an array of internal and external sources to enrich personalized offers and targeted experiences.

Analysis

This document has been made available free of charge as a promotion for the Gartner of Marketing Leaders service. For more information visit gartner.com/digitalmarketing .

Marketers have become obsessed with data. Marketing has always depended on data (such as market segmentation, panels and surveys), but its prominence has risen with new types (text, audio, video and image), new internal sources (digital lead capture, sales systems and Web analytics), and new external sources (social, behavioral and mobile). But more important than the sources is the ability to distinguish the signal from the noise.

Gartner surveyed 242 marketing analytics professionals in November and December 2012 to understand how organizations collect, analyze and use customer and market data. We define data-driven marketing as acquiring, analyzing, and applying information about customer and consumer wants, needs, context, behavior and motivations to marketing activities, and assessing and optimizing the effects of marketing programs and strategies.

Figure 1. Top Impacts and Recommendations for Data-Driven Marketing
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (April 2013)

Impacts and Recommendations

Twenty-one percent of the marketing budget is allocated to marketing analytics, but many marketers struggle to make analysis actionable

Marketers have never had so much information about the behavior of their customers and prospects. But even as the cost of acquiring such data falls, marketers' appetites are increasing even faster.

As Figure 2 shows, organizations are spending an average of 21% of their marketing budget on analytics. Figure 3 shows this averages out to 41% for labor, 15% for external data, 19% for analytics software, 14% for external marketing analytics services and 11% for consultants.

Figure 2. Marketing Budget Spent on Marketing Analytics
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (April 2013)

Figure 3. Labor Represents a Big Piece of the Marketing Analytics Budget
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (April 2013)

Marketers derive value from data when they use analysis to bring new products/services to market, understand which audiences to target, and optimize campaigns and online presence for the best conversion rate. Analytics are embedded in automated marketing systems, sending the best advertisements, recommendations and offers to online visitors. However, Gartner client inquiries reveal that many organizations struggle to get value from their analytics programs. Reports go unused or are misinterpreted, and the market for data-driven personalization tools is still small. Instead, there are many disconnected analytic efforts, each with their own goals, vendors and labor costs.

Understanding the business problem, gathering the right data, building the models to analyze the data, doing the analysis and applying trusted results requires people skills, as the hefty labor budgets indicate (see Figure 3). Many organizations see their analytics operations as a bit chaotic, because each task requires a different model to be built or has its own analytics tools. A typical analytics tool inventory includes multiple cloud-based tools for Web, social, search engine marketing, advertising and email marketing. Analytics service providers, such as data aggregators, add to the mix. Only a small fraction of organizations have stepped up to the challenge of integrating the analytics processes and tools to get the big picture.

Organizations that get the most value out of analytics have a similar profile:

  • Leadership — Marketing leaders that foster an analytics culture and seek data to solve business problems are willing to challenge assumptions and test theories instead of deciding that gut feeling alone will generally outperform competitors in campaigns, customer experience, and conversions.

  • Training — When marketers, who are the end users of analytics, use the right data analysis to do their job, decisions are more consistent with business goals. A role-based training program for those responsible for campaign or content decisions makes a big difference.

  • Expertise — Few organizations have the luxury of enough experts to rapidly create analytics models and produce good analysis. Analytics leaders foster an environment in which the limited expertise can be shared, even to the point of having an internal consulting group specializing in marketing.

  • Consultants — Successful analytics teams leverage external experts to deploy analytics tools and transfer the knowledge to operate them effectively. When well executed, this provides faster time to value and less need to invest in skills that are only useful during the deployment and ramp-up stages.

  • Promotion — Analytics teams need to market themselves — getting a broad audience involved in the metrics and showing case studies where analytics-driven decisions led to business value gains.

  • Partnership — Successful digital marketers build mutually beneficial data relationships with trusted partners. They commit to ensuring privacy, security and data usage rights are monitored and enforced.

Recommendations:

  • Make marketing analytics a strategic advantage by focusing on strong leadership, role training, analytic skills, and tactical use of system integrators.

  • Model your marketing analytics programs after leaders.

Forty-two percent of marketing data comes from external sources, including social networks, which points to the growing influence of relationships in marketing

Gartner's survey found that 42% of data consumed by marketing organizations is sourced from external entities, including channel or agency partners, and data licensed or sourced from data specialists, digital tools, and social network providers that track detailed user data. Figure 4 illustrates the proportion of data sourced internally and externally, as reported by our respondents.

Figure 4. Internal Information Represents the Largest Source of Marketing Data
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (April 2013)

The fact that marketing sources much of the data from external sources isn't particularly surprising. The surprise is in the source of the data. Apparently, a lot can be learned from the company we keep, according to our survey. Of all external data sources, social network providers like Google, Facebook and Twitter share the top ranking along with external aggregators like Nielsen and comScore and marketing research companies like DataLogix and Vizu. Figure 5 illustrates from which external sources marketers purchase data for marketing analytics.

Figure 5. Where Marketers Look for External Data
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (April 2013)

Why do social networks rank so high? Because the data they collect can reveal a lot about consumers that marketers can leverage to tailor and target offers, and experiences in digital and offline channels. Social data can reveal sentiment, preferences, history, location, and relationships. Privacy controls, however, present limitations. Facebook, for example, publishes the Graph API for application developers, but enforces strict control over what data is made available outside of its ad network, granting access to only an exclusive number of media partners. By contrast, Twitter offers its Firehose data feed through resellers, providing a more widely accessible data torrent to brands and media companies.

To improve the relevance of its data to marketers, on 27 February 2013 Facebook announced partnerships with four vendors that track detailed consumer and behavior data: Acxiom, a marketing service provider that amasses consumer data; BlueKai, which collects cookie data generated by Web activity; Datalogix, which mines the spending habits of 100 million U.S. consumers; and Epsilon, which collects retail transaction data.

More-sophisticated marketers treat social data as just one input in a rich contextual mosaic that includes internally and externally sourced data. This enables personalized offers and experiences that drive brand engagement and conversion (see "Personalization and Context-Aware Technology's Impact on Multichannel Customer Loyalty" ).

Recommendations:

  • Look to social data as a key input into your segmentation and analytics strategy, but recognize that its value is as much for spotting trends as targeting ads.

  • Combine an array of internal and external sources to enrich personalized offers and targeted experiences.

Recommended Reading

Evidence

Gartner surveyed 242 marketing analytics professionals in November and December 2012 to understand how organizations collect, analyze and use customer and market data.

Respondents were screened for active involvement in their organization's analysis of customer and market data — either as an individual contributor or at a management level. Companies were required to have 2012 annual revenue of $500 million or more, and primarily operate in one of the following industries: high-tech providers, financial services, retail, manufacturing or consumer packaged goods healthcare, or media.

We define data-driven marketing data as acquiring, analyzing, and applying information about customer and consumer wants, needs, context, behavior and motivations to marketing activities, and the assessing effects of marketing programs and strategies.

This research represents two of seven findings from the survey results. Look for our upcoming research, "Presentation of Key Findings From Gartner's Data-Driven Marketing Survey, 2013," for an in-depth look and analysis from the survey results.

© 2013 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

Why Gartner

Gartner delivers the technology-related insight you need to make the right decisions, every day.

Find out more

Call +1 855-515-4486 or contact us

to become a Gartner client.