Are Loyalty Marketers Doing Enough to Leverage Data to Enhance Customer Engagement?

Often armed with a wealth of customer data, many loyalty marketers face the challenge of transforming it into actionable insights that can be used to target consumers in a personalized manner.

But, according to a new commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Velocidi, marketers were given an average grade of C-minus for marketing intelligence capabilities.

The findings were based on a maturity model that measured firms’ capabilities with criteria such as data management, activation, benchmarking, people, and culture. The study defines marketing intelligence as “the processes and systems that can help turn information into actionable marketing decisions.”

Nearly 300 marketing decision makers participated in the study, which revealed that, although data management is foundational to marketing intelligence, table stakes capabilities aren’t being adequately covered by many companies. Firms received a D grade in the data management category, the study noted. What’s more, almost one third of firms lack experience translating their data into insight and action, adequate reporting tools, and sufficient staff.

Challenges cited in the study include a struggle to form cross-functional, collaborative organizational structures.

Consider that a staggering 74 percent of marketing firms have yet to establish a senior role such as Chief Data Officer or Chief Analytics Officer to lead their organization’s marketing intelligence initiatives. Instead, data is still controlled and applied by a select number of specialized, siloed entities within the organization.

“The growing availability of data was meant to be a boon to marketers—helping them improve campaign results, expand their capabilities and eliminate silos,” said David Dunne, founder and CEO of Velocidi. “However, we think this study shows that for many marketers the opposite has occurred. In fact, they lack the tools and applications to get the most out of their campaigns. To remain competitive and connect with consumers, marketers need to transform their organizations with intelligent systems that are more than just a source of information—but a driver of insights and actionable recommendations.”

Here are some other key study findings:

Only 29 percent of firms have a senior marketing champion for marketing intelligence, compared to just 15 percent who have turned to a senior analytics executive.

Although close to three-quarters of marketers believe that marketing intelligence is important to meet business goals, most were more likely to consider implementing basic capabilities like providing easy access to media and customer data, rather than more advanced tools that enable them to activate insights.

61 percent of firms report that their current marketing intelligence tools take a more backward-looking view than forward-looking.

Firms received near failing marks for data management in areas such as: Ownership and Access, Automation, Quality, Storage, and Accessibility.

Forrester conducted an online survey of 273 organizations in the U.S. and survey participants included decision-makers in advertising or marketing roles. The study began in July 2017 and was completed in October 2017. Questions provided to the participants asked about their challenges with and current capabilities as it applies to marketing analytics. Respondents were offered a nominal incentive as a thank you for time spent on the survey.

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