Data explosion What keeps the world’s CMOs up at night? Recently, researchers at IBM asked around and got answers from over 1,700 chief marketing officers around the world. One of the most fascinating insights came from asking the participants which key change they felt underprepared for. So what turned out to be their top concern? The data explosion. (Sounds pretty scary to all of us, quite frankly.)

The Data Explosion

As businesses gain access to more and more data , it seems many of them haven’t yet figured out what to do with it. Over 70% of CMOs reported feeling unprepared to harness the power of their data to make intelligent marketing decisions . This is a huge number. One respondent explained, “We’re drowning in data. What we lack are true insights.” Another noted, “In this coming age of complexity and uncertainty, there is a serious risk of ‘losing our north’' of being intoxicated by data overload and suffering from indigestion.”

This isn’t just affecting small businesses with one person marketing teams. It’s happening at businesses of all sizes. A CMO of a consumer products company in the U.S. noted, “One of our biggest challenges is in data analysis . For the complexity and size of our organization, we are way behind.”

Marketing Takeaway: Data is Critical for Marketing Decision-Making

Whether your marketing team is one person or one hundred, data collection and analysis has become a critical component to successful marketing, enabling you to learn from your marketing efforts and make better decisions about how to approach future initiatives. And while analysis might appear to be a daunting task, there are some great tools out there that can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. HubSpot’s Sources application, for example, is a tool that I use daily in order to track the effectiveness of all of my marketing efforts .

Regardless of which tools you decide to use, it’s important to make strides in this area. Your competitors are likely already leveraging their data or making plans to. The report noted that over two-thirds are looking to invest in new technologies for managing their data. Similarly, nearly two-thirds want to add more brainpower to the issue by shifting the mix of skills within their marketing team.

Do you feel ready for the data explosion?


Originally published Oct 26, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016


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