Amount of Available Marketing Data Overwhelms CMOs

Amount of Available Marketing Data Overwhelms CMOs

Study by Adverity examines the biggest challenges in data-driven marketing.

Marketing departments are finding it increasingly difficult to adapt quickly enough as the pace of change accelerates. A study by Adverity shows that most CMOs in small and midsize businesses already recognize the role data plays in ensuring operational survival. When companies base their strategies on data, they are better able to absorb economic shocks and weather recessions more easily. In fact, 85 percent of the 300 CMOs surveyed believe data-driven decisions are a key competitive advantage, according to the study. 29 percent plan to increase their budgets for data projects this year.

Flood of data as one of the biggest challenges

At the same time, however, many companies are struggling to cope with the ever-growing volume of data. Many marketing managers lose track of all activities and platforms. One-third of respondents see the increasing number of platforms and channels used as the biggest external influencing factor in marketing. The crux: 99 percent of CMOs say their marketing team works with at least 10 data sources. For 52 percent, it was as many as 14 or more sources. In addition, 32 percent said their teams use external data sources for marketing analytics. By comparison, a similar study from 2019 found that nearly half of respondents had only 6 or fewer data sources.

And it’s precisely because of this flood of data from very different directions that teams are reaching their limits, however: 67 percent of CMOs admit they’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of marketing data available in recent years. This could also explain why the unpredictability of black swan events – events that are actually improbable but, contrary to all expectations, occur abruptly and result in lasting effects – and the increasing complexity of audience behavior are the second and third most important external influences on marketing, at 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Surprisingly, concern about regulations on data privacy landed in last place.

Lack of qualifications as an obstacle to technical progress

By far the biggest barrier to investment is the lack of knowledge within the organization to use tools. Even though many companies are gradually moving away from filling skills and knowledge gaps with new hires alone, there are still significant gaps in many marketing teams. Companies need to use their budgets not only in technology, but also to build data literacy. Only then can they unlock the true value of their technology capabilities and get long-term value from their data strategy investments.

“Companies can have the best tech stack in the world that gives them all the information and forecasts they need on ad spend, as well as real-time performance data. Yet they are useless if this data cannot be analyzed and appropriate actions derived from it,” explains Alexander Igelsböck, CEO of Adverity.

About the survey
The survey was launched in April 2022. It surveyed 300 CMOs from SMEs in the US, UK and DACH regions. Respondents represent a broad range of industries – for example, technology, marketing agencies and e-commerce.