New research from online visibility management platform SEMrush reveals a serious gap between companies’ marketing data strategies and where their resources are actually being focused.

The research, conducted by Forrester Consulting among marketers from companies of varying sizes and sectors—including retail, finance and technology from across EMEA and the U.S.—suggests that this gap is limiting these companies’ ability to understand and support their customers across channels.

For example, SEO data is only used in slightly more than 50 percent of marketing campaigns

And this despite being ranked in the top three marketing channels by almost 90 percent of respondents.

Pay Per Click and SEO data, meanwhile, are shared across wider marketing teams less than half of the time, despite being considered most useful in supporting marketing decisions. This supports the perception that search marketing often exists within its own silo.

“Marketers say data from various channels is important to their marketing strategy, but they aren’t putting their money where their mouth is. In fact, they’re only utilizing cross-channel data to support and enrich efforts in other channels about half the time,” wrote Forrester Consulting in the study. “These siloes limit the impact of marketing efforts by preventing companies from building a more comprehensive profile of their customer.”

Marketers admitted to not being very effective at applying data across channels, with less than half claiming to be “very effective” in any marketing discipline.

Many companies surveyed for the study attribute this lack of effectiveness to an overall lack of tools and defined processes in place to enable data sharing

As a result of this, they often question the validity of the data that they do share, and express concern that the lack of data quality hinders their ability to learn about target audiences.

“In our view, it is clear from this study that most marketers see the value in using data in a joined-up way across marketing disciplines to drive smarter, more strategic campaigns, but lack the resources to do so,” said Olga Andrienko of SEMrush, in a news release. “Without improvements in communication across silos and open access to data across channels, however, most efforts will be doomed to failure. By taking a more pragmatic approach to data sharing and analysis and not trying to run before it can walk, the marketing industry will reap the rewards of truly effective unified marketing.”

This Opportunity Snapshot was commissioned by SEMrush. To create this profile, Forrester Consulting supplemented existing Forrester research with custom survey questions asked of 171 marketing/SEO data decision makers at companies in the US and EMEA, with 500+ employees in a variety of industries. The custom survey began and was completed in August 2018.

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