Are marketers and data analysts working collaboratively enough?

Marketers are forever being told they need to understand the value of data, but at the same time data analysts need to have a good understanding of the wider business they are evaluating in order to get the best results and deliver a good return on investment.

lucy tesseras

Making sense of data is one thing, but it is also important to consider what that data is going to be used for and how it might enhance or elevate a marketing strategy.

Savvy companies are beginning to realise the benefits of a more collaborative approach and the importance of mutual understanding from both sides.

So in order for brands to successfully leverage the data they have, all parties need to work together and be mindful of what the overarching goal is.

Gemma Carver, group marketing director at Livebookings, who is a judge for the Marketing Week Data Strategy Awards 2014, says data, segmentation and personalisation should be built into the foundations of everything marketers today do. But at the same time, she stresses how important it is for data scientists to have strong commercial sense and a good understanding of the business they are working for in order to recognise where and how best the insights they gain might be used.

A lot more needs to be done to achieve this though and there is still a need for education in this area, as some recent research by data management company Rocket Fuel and Forbes Insights illustrates.

Because while 62 per cent of senior marketing executives think they are leveraging ‘big data’ just 23 per cent actually are. The vast majority are in fact only using data to influence less than half of all their advertising and marketing activity, the research finds.

Of course studies like this could be perceived as a little self-serving, so should be taken with a pinch of salt, but it does highlight the disparity between what businesses believe they are doing and what is really happening.

So while marketers might say that data underpins every marketing decision they make this is rarely the case, which again reinforces the need for marketers and data scientists to work more closely together.

Because like in most things, when people come together to share their knowledge and experience both parties gain from the exchange, which can only be of benefit to the wider task at hand.

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