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A third of CMOs don’t trust their marketing data—or their analysts

by | Dec 7, 2021 | Marketing, Public Relations

Over a third of CMOs say they don’t trust their marketing data, according to the latest research from marketing data analytics platform Adverity. What’s more, there is a growing divide between data analysts and marketers when it comes to trusting their data.

A third (34 percent) of marketers don’t trust the data they are given to inform campaigns. And that number rises to 41 percent among their data analyst colleagues—posing a new challenge for the C-suite charged with driving marketing results. Yet, the very same divide deepens at the leadership level—with 51 percent of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) & Chief Data Officers (CDOs) lacking trust in the data compared to 34 percent of CMOs.

The new Marketing Analytics State of Play 2022: Challenges and Priorities report, with research partner Sirkin Research, surveyed 964 marketers and data analysts across the U.S., U.K., and Germany, identifying the key strategic challenges faced by marketers and data analysts as well as their priorities for 2022.

A third of CMOs don't trust their marketing data—or their analysts

For businesses, such a trust divide that becomes greater the more senior you go should cause significant alarm

Teams are failing to communicate mistrust, which results in key strategic decisions regarding spending, budget allocation, and campaign optimization being made without accuracy or confidence, potentially resulting in huge amounts of the marketing budget being misused or ultimately wasted.

One of the most likely causes of the distrust in marketing data and the number one challenge cited by both marketers and data analysts (42 percent) is the time being wasted manually wrangling data. At the C-level, this jumps to 54 percent.

“Modern marketing can’t afford to wait three weeks for someone to sift through a spreadsheet. A lack of real-time insights—as data is spread across too many siloed locations—compromises the quality of marketing campaigns. By manually wrangling data, businesses not only open themselves up to human error and inefficiency but also commit themselves to a reactive strategy,” said Harriet Durnford-Smith, CMO at Adverity, in a news release. “If CMOs don’t trust their own data, can they still be credible in the boardroom, and drive impactful activations? Being able to prove how successful their campaigns is key to driving long-term positive impact. Those who cannot keep up with the evolution or aren’t willing to embrace the new ways of working will ultimately be left behind. Moving away from manually wrangling data is the first step to becoming a data-driven business.”

A third of CMOs don't trust their marketing data—or their analysts

Demonstrating ROI

As marketing spend continues to recover to pre-pandemic levels and marketers are challenged to demonstrate the Return on Investment of their campaigns, being able to demonstrate the business impact of marketing is imperative. However, 38 percent of data and marketing professionals state the inability to measure ROI on marketing spend is one of their biggest challenges. Combined with a lack of trust in the data, this can cause significant problems for businesses.

A third of CMOs don't trust their marketing data—or their analysts

Building new audiences

Looking forward to 2022, 65 percent of marketers and data analysts state that audience-building and targeting along with personalized content delivery is their most important strategic focus. This is unsurprising given concerns around third-party cookie deprecation and the increasing strictness of privacy laws. Content in the future is likely to have to work harder for businesses to gain access to customers’ zero and first-party data. Creating a tailored and transparent value proposition is an essential strategy for achieving this.

However, businesses need to also invest in their campaign reporting capabilities. Respondents that already have strong campaign reporting are three times more likely to be strong at audience-building and targeting and delivering personalized content/customer experiences.

Shockingly, businesses that already have strong campaign reporting are also three times more likely to invest in it than businesses that said they need to improve. Meaning that the divide between those who are garnering greater insights from their reports and those who are not is only widening.

A third of CMOs don't trust their marketing data—or their analysts

Download the full report here.

In August 2021, Sirkin Research, commissioned by Adverity, surveyed 964 Marketers and Data / Business Intelligence Analysts across the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany about Marketing Analytics. The survey covered topics ranging from current capabilities, key challenges, and strategic priorities of organizations’ use of marketing data and analytical maturity. Respondents represented a large range of industries, including Technology, Marketing Agencies, and eCommerce.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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