Tue, September 21, 2021


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Benefits of data analysis not felt in companies’ marketing functions

A recent study into how companies gather, process and make use of data for marketing reveals that many businesses are not making use of large volumes of data to inform their decisions and strategies.

The report, entitled Navigating Blind Spots: The State of Digital Marketing, studied 200 firms across Europe and North America with annual revenues of over $100 million during June and July 2021. The companies were evenly divided across retail and finance industries.

Of the 200 companies interviewed, researchers found that 73 percent of companies were caught off guard by new trends, despite having access to significant amounts of data on customer behaviour, purchase processes and preferences.

81 percent of the companies made significant changes to their digital strategy over the past year; yet half of all respondents did not use data to inform changes to their digital marketing strategy. Some companies partially interrogated the available data with only 20 percent fully examining all available data before making changes to their marketing practices and campaigns.

The study was conducted by Outlier, an automated business analysis platform, in partnership with Incisiv, a marketing and data insights company. Their research also revealed that nearly 65% of marketers are dissatisfied with the speed of customer data analysis.

“Our study confirms that while marketers are awash in large volumes of customer and campaign data, that data isn’t translating into timely and useful insights,” says Mike Stone, Outlier’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Given the pace of change, it’s more important than ever to be truly data-driven in everyday decisions, and that requires new approaches that can handle the high volume of analysis that is required.”

Key insights from the report include:

  • More than three quarters (76%) of companies are unable to leverage website traffic, digital advertising, paid search, social media engagement and sales data to their full potential.
  • 56% of marketers made substantial changes to their digital marketing strategies in 2020, but 67% can’t spot trends or anomalies in their data to guide accurate actions or investment.
  • 46% of those who regularly use data still can’t uncover valuable or relevant trends, and 71% are unable to consistently uncover timely opportunities for growth from customer data.

The study was featured in INFORMS’ Analytics Magazine. A webinar by Incisiv and Outlier is available here.