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Are we drowning in data?

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Ask most marketing experts and they’ll tell you we are currently living through “the age of data” and given the facts and figures, it’s tough to argue. The global big data and business analytics market was valued at 169 billion US dollars in 2018 and is expected to grow to 274 billion US dollars in 2022. That’s almost enough to pay for the Liz Truss energy cap scheme.

But with so much data to deal with, analyse, dissect, and make use of, are we starting to see too much of the trees and not enough of the wood?

Recession, resilience and marketing data

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According to new research from integrated marketing data platform Adverity, a third of CMOs (33%) are more focused on the impact of rising number of channels and platforms than increasingly complicated consumer behaviour (17%).

Findings also suggest that related growth in data volumes may be a significant cause behind this imbalance of priorities. Simply put, they are focusing more on the raw data than its impact on consumers.

The report surveyed 300 CMOs across the US, UK, and DACH region from small to midsize businesses. The results indicate that data handling issues could be significantly hindering efficiency. Because, while 85% of CMOs agree the capacity to make data-driven decisions is a critical competitive advantage, many are struggling to ensure effective data management.

Almost seven in ten (67%) feel the volume of marketing data available has become overwhelming, with 99% using 10 or more data sources and 52% using 14 or more.

These findings suggest many businesses are at risk of missteps as the global economy declines, with unwieldy data preventing smart pivots, and distracting CMOs from the need to align experiences with shifting consumer needs.

Bringing disordered information into order

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Although 29% of CMOs are planning to enhance internal capabilities by increasing their data operations budget through 2022, this push towards increased spending doesn’t translate across the board. Nearly as many (27%) say their budget has decreased and the majority (44%) are working with the same spending pot as last year.

Meanwhile, lack of knowledge within the business (27%), is the most common blocker to investing in data tech. This is closely followed by the perception that adopting new tech will be too complicated (23%), while only 8% indicate the main barrier to investing in tech is securing budget.

The truth is that marketers have become bogged down by data challenges and in doing so have lost sight of their core purpose: meeting the needs of the consumer.

How they got here isn’t hard to understand. As channels and platforms have expanded, so has the quantity of incoming data about audience interactions and marketing performance. Failing to implement efficient systems for managing this data, however, means they are now wary of smart tools and battling to bring disordered information into order.

Quality over quantity

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Fixing this problem is far from impossible, but marketers need to move quickly as the global market condition worsens. Combined with an existing cost of living crisis, looming recession spells a gloomy financial outlook for consumers, making it increasingly critical for marketers to offer greater value, as well as demonstrating responsibility and sensitivity.

Only with a unified supply of accurate insights can they pinpoint the best path to driving relevant, meaningful, and empathetic conversations, which fuel long-term bonds and trust. In other words, it’s going to have to be quality over quantity if we want to stand a chance of surviving the great data deluge of 2022.

Images by Eylul Duranagac Alıcı

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