Data-Driven Marketing Seen Most Useful for CX

Marketers are generally happy with the overall success of their data-driven marketing strategy in achieving objectives, though only 1 in 5 rate it as “very successful,” according to a report [pdf] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners. About half of respondents reported that budgets for data-driven marketing initiatives will increase in the year ahead, with the customer experience (CX) appearing to be a strong reason why.

Currently data-driven marketing is most useful for CX and journey mapping, with 48% of respondents tabbing it as such. More than 4 in 10 also see data-driven marketing as being useful for email marketing and personalization, though fewer see the most useful current use cases being for forecasting results/performance and omnichannel marketing.

Looking to the year ahead, marketers believe that the data-driven marketing trend most critical to the decision-making process will be improving the customer experience. This is a key area that other research has likewise found to be one in which marketers want to improve.

Other data-driven marketing trends that respondents believe will be critical to the decision-making process will be increased personalization, improvement of data tools and integration, and use of predictive analytics.

As for predictive analytics, the part of their data-driven measurement approach that marketers would most like to predict is customer lifetime value. That is followed closely by sales close rates and customer upsell/cross-sell.

For now, those efforts will not be aided too much by machine learning. Only 1 in 7 (14% of) respondents say they’re currently using predictive analytics with machine learning capabilities in their data-driven measurement approach. And while an additional 27% have plans to do so in the coming year, the majority (59%) have no plans to do so, whether or not they would like to. Indeed, using AI/machine learning was the trend that was deemed the least critical to respondents’ decision-making processes in the year ahead.

Other Findings:

In other highlights from the report:

  • Almost half (48%) of marketers disagreed that they have prepared their data-driven strategy for the potential impact of the loss of 3rd-party cookies, with more strongly disagreeing (16%) than strongly agreeing (12%) that they have done so.
  • Virtually all (93%) either strongly or somewhat agree that having the ability to predict the impact that changing circumstances would have on their business would improve their data-driven strategy.

About the Data: The results are based on an August survey of 419 marketers targeting B2C (52% share), B2B (25%) and B2B and B2C equally (23%). Some 68% work at companies with fewer than 50 employees.

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