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Research Results: 53 % of Marketers Say They Don't Collect Enough Data

Study Finds 53 Percent of Marketers Say They Don’t Collect Enough Customer Data

Annual Infogroup survey of DMA conference attendees shows data-related investment will continue to increase in 2015, but brands still struggling to build complete customer profiles

OMAHA, Neb. – Mar. 2, 2015 Despite significant investments in data-related marketing solutions over the past few years, an annual Infogroup study released today finds that most marketers think they still don’t collect enough customer data. 

The Infogroup report, “Big Data’s Big Payday,” reveals that 53 percent of marketers still crave more information on their customers. Only 10 percent think they collect too much data, and a little more than a third say they collect the right amount. The results of the study are based on a survey of almost 600 marketers at the DMA Annual Conference & Exhibition, the third year in a row that Infogroup has polled attendees on site.

The findings come as investment in data-driven marketing reaches a tipping point. More than three out of five companies (62 percent) have started investing in data marketing solutions. Investment in data-as-a-service or software-as-a-service (DaaS or SaaS) is up from 54 percent in 2013. And almost half of brands (47 percent) are already seeing a positive return on data-related investments, with another 15 percent expecting to see a payoff for the first time in 2015 – meaning the majority of marketers will be seeing ROI this year.

Even as brands approach an ROI milestone, the Infogroup study suggests marketers realize that the data they have on hand doesn’t yet provide a complete view of their customers.

“Although data-driven marketing is now the norm, marketers still thirst for more data,” said Gretchen Littlefield, President of Infogroup Media Solutions. “Even as they invest in DaaS and SaaS and execute more sophisticated multi-channel campaigns, brands are seeking to continually deepen their understanding of customers by acquiring more meaningful data from multiple sources.”

Marketers surveyed at DMA2014 admit that their customer data falls short. Only 21 percent of respondents said they are “very confident” in the accuracy and completeness of their customer profiles, and 15 percent said data collection will be their biggest data-related challenge this year, following only analysis (21 percent) and application (16 percent).

Additional findings from the report show that many marketers haven’t moved beyond the basics when it comes to data collection:

  • Marketers rely primarily on data sources like customer purchase history (48 percent) and third-party lists (44 percent). Digital sources such as web browsing history (16 percent) and social media posts (12 percent) are far less popular.
  • The majority of marketers primarily rely on names (55 percent) and demographic information (53 percent) to personalize campaigns, while less than a third use consumer interests, transaction and event triggers, or consumer interactions with brands.
  • When asked what stands in the way of implementing personalized campaigns, marketers blamed difficultly integrating across channels (40 percent), lack of quality customer data for segmentation (35 percent), and fragmented systems (32 percent).

The Infogroup study is based on the results a survey of 584 marketers conducted on handheld devices at the 2014 DMA Annual Conference & Exhibition in San Diego on Oct. 27-28, 2014. To download the complete report, “Big Data’s Big Payday: Marketers Approach ROI Tipping Point in 2015,” click here.