Digital Marketing: Making Future Decisions on Gut Feel?

Digital Marketing: Making Future Decisions on Gut Feel?

We’ve come a long way, it’s true.  But we’re not there yet.  A large percentage of marketing decisions continue to be made on gut feel – despite the volume of rich data available to most companies today.  Teradata recently posted some great perspectives on this trend as they released a new survey that finds marketers are struggling to find the best technology path to build personalized customer relationships. It says marketers still rely too heavily on gut instinct versus data when making marketing budget decisions.

Marketers understand that customer data provides insights about behavior and preference, yet data integration and access remain a challenge.  Without the data and systems in place, marketers fall back to traditional decision processes based primarily on past experience.

Our clients talk to us about this challenge every day.
They want more data. They know they need it.  But they also need processes and training on translating the new customer-based data into strategy.  They’re looking for ways to streamline old approaches and jump-start the process, using the insights on customer demographics, behavior and travel intent from nSight data. We’ve been doing more, sooner than we had initially expected with our data as clients have asked us to build custom reporting to answer key marketing questions.

nSight data is being activity used not only for marketing budgeting but also for data-driven marketing including:

  • target marketing by source market and demographic
  • marketing by lead time for need periods
  • media buying targeting
  • revenue management by geography
  • promo pricing by market and demographic
  • content management and social media by source market and demographic

The Teradata report stated that digital will be a key strategy for marketers in 2015 with content marketing and display advertising as top areas of increase. At the other end of the spectrum, paid search budgets will continue growing but incrementally, with 37 percent planning some increase, but only 14 percent predicting a significant one. More than half (51 percent) of companies are focused on personalizing the customer lifecycle (e.g., key phases of the purchase process – such as search to book).

The study also reported that by 2019, the average investment in digital marketing will be approximately 40-50% of companies’ total marketing expenditure, up from about 25% today.

We’re excited to see marketers striving to elevate their game in 2015. Decisions about marketing investment and execution should be more data driven.  And the best data to use for marketing-related decisions, especially in the growing areas of digital and customer lifecycle engagement marketing, is active travel consumer data.