Marketers struggling to use data despite stressing the importance of insight

While the majority of CMOs recognise the importance of using data in building relationships with consumers, many don’t believe they are capable of doing so according to a survey from EY and Forbes Insights.

The survey of over 300 marketing, IT, finance and management executives in the US found that only 37% of CMOs feel they are capable of using analytics to tailor their communications to consumers.

Further, while 87% highlighted the role of customer experience, data and analytics in building “credibility” and relationships with consumers, less than a third (30%) are confident that their company has a grasp on where that trust is breaking down.

The news comes despite the fact that personalisation has become a top priority in marketing, with 81% of CMOs stating that data and analytics will be an important tool in building and measuring trust over the next two years.

Speaking at the Marketing Week Live event in March, marketers from the BBC, BT, Mothercare, Google, Argos and TfL highlighted the need for brands to embrace a culture based on data-driven insight in order to understand “crunch points” in the customer journey.

They added that this understanding allows brands to target the likes of emails and events in order to reach consumers “at the right time”.

Woody Driggs, EY’s global advisory leader of customer practice, says: “Consumers have become more sophisticated. Their expectations are higher, they want a personalised experience and they want two-way communication.

“Companies need to leverage real-time data and analytics to enable them to be forward-looking and predictive, to know what the customer wants even before they do.”

In order to improve their customer experience capability, marketers are looking to cross-business collaboration. Some 67% of respondents stated that getting a better handle on data and analytics requires collaboration outside of their marketing teams.

Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer at Forbes Media, says that while executives know there is room for improvement in their use of analytics, they “need to remember that the data they acquire via the customer is a privilege, and use that approach to build trust”.

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