Data powers the top 20 per cent

The top 20 per cent of high-performing companies are more likely to use data driven testing, targeting and automation, new research shows. What better example could there be to follow?

Michael Barnett

According to Adobe’s 2014 Digital Marketing Optimisation survey, 70 per cent of companies identified as having conversion rates in the top fifth overall are using data to perform some form of testing. Only 46 per cent of the remaining companies do the same.

The report says: “The top performers use testing to aid in decision-making, whether at an individual, team, or corporate level. Data and performance metrics are consistently used to analyze test results, evaluate the tactics used, and recommend next best actions.”

Furthermore, the top companies are also 43 per cent more likely to be using data to target their marketing content at particular audiences, and 83 per cent more likely to be using it to make decisions about or automate that content.

So far, so unsurprising, but the story doesn’t quite end here. There’s also the caveat that marketers can’t rely on establishing a data-driven culture in their department alone. It needs to permeate the entire organisation and all business areas need to contribute towards optimisation efforts.

The top 20 per cent of companies are 88 per cent more likely to involve other departments in their testing processes, and in doing so they see conversion rates at least 1.7 times higher, rising to over 4.5 per cent from an average of 2.6 per cent. This doesn’t mean it’s an easy task to achieve, and only a small minority of even the top companies (15 per cent) are actually working in this collaborative way.

By definition, not all companies are like the top 20 per cent, and most have a long way to go to be at their level. However it might well be that the first step towards emulating them – identifying the need to become data-driven, and resolving to instil it in the company – is both the easiest and the most valuable one to take.

Don’t expect ever to get it perfect. The nature of optimisation means there’s always something that can be done slightly better. But even starting out on the journey to become more like the top 20 per cent is a move in the right direction. 

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