The marketing industry needs better analytics to turn data into business, according to IBM's annual survey of marketers. And while mobile and social marketing are on the rise, the hype doesn't yet match the results.
The study, “The State of Marketing 2011,” reflects the sentiments of nearly 300 online and direct marketers across a wide range of industries, geographies, and company sizes that were surveyed on key technology trends in their organizations.
The research revealed a number of key findings, including the need for deeper analytics to "turn data into action" as the highest priority for marketers. Among other top trends, the study explored the growth of mobile technology, the challenges of social media marketing and an increasing desire for more integrated technology solutions.
Study highlights include:
- Marketers Need to Bridge the ‘Data Analysis to Action’ Gap: Nearly 60 percent of respondents listed “measurement, analysis and learning” as their top information technology (IT) bottleneck. More than 60 percent identified “turning data into action” as their top organizational issue.
- Mobile Marketing Continues to Rise: More than 40 percent currently use mobile marketing tactics. Another 20 percent plan to do so within the year, as more consumers rapidly adopt connected mobile devices.
- Social Media Growing Pains: A record 53 percent of marketers use social media, but their enthusiasm has tempered, suggesting that the peak of inflated expectations has passed. Marketers are focused on finding the value that social channels can yield with more analytical insights and actions.
- Technology in Demand for Increased Productivity: Nearly 90 percent of respondents expressed interest in an integrated marketing suite, as the industry's need for technology grows and adoption matures. More than half of marketers cited technology as the key to productivity; to resolving the challenges of meaningful measurement and analysis; and to choosing the next best course of action.
- Measuring Marketing Effectiveness is Critical: Marketers are getting more serious about using cross-channel attribution to understand marketing effectiveness. In the ranking of top marketing issues, “attributing success to marketing” took the second spot. Those marketers who adopt an interactive marketing strategy will have a centralized view of marketing touches or one view of the history of marketing interactions with customers.
"As our annual survey reveals, the proliferation of technologies such as mobile and social media combined with the explosion of data pose a wealth of transformational opportunities for marketers in 2011,” said Yuchun Lee, vice president, Enterprise Management Marketing, IBM. “Marketers are looking for ways to turn more marketing possibilities into better business results.”
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