QBR Square“Confident, yet Cautious.

“That seems to be the best way to characterize how marketers are feeling lately – based on results from the first quarter 2015 DMA/Winterberry Group Quarterly Business Review. Nearly three quarters of the panelists said they’re confident about data-driven marketing (DDM), though their level of enthusiasm dropped to a two-year low. This suggests that while marketers recognize the promise of data to unlock new insights from diverse sources, their expectations have not yet been fully realized. This has caused some marketers to take caution about what can be realistically achieved in the immediate term.The Data/Talent Development DivideSurvey responses suggest that marketers are wrestling with the alignment between new talent and new technology. This alignment is a critical element in enabling a more sophisticated approach to deriving value from marketing data investments.

  • Nearly 65% of respondents indicate that aggregating and integrating disparate data sources is a high priority. Yet, only 40% indicate that they are doing a good job when it comes to training.
  • While 81% leverage social media management tools, the majority of panelists agreed that it’s been difficult to prove value from new platforms and integrating new and existing tools has been a challenge.

The Need to Generate Greater Demand

More than anything else, DDMers said they plan to increase their marketing efforts this year, focusing on engaging new prospects and more deeply engaging with their current customer base.

  • On a 1-to-5 scale (with 5 indicating a “significant priority”), respondents assigned scores of 4.14 and 4.11, respectively, to customer retention and acquisition initiatives, representing the highest priorities reported.
  • Practitioners also said they plan to evaluate their current suite of marketing tools (index score of 3.71) as well as research new and emerging solutions (3.63).

Commitment to Continuing Development

As an abundance of data continues to accelerate business innovation and opportunity, it has also created new and ever-more complex risks and challenges. As noted in a recent article by Buell Duncan, VP Portfolio Marketing, IBM and DMA Board Secretary and Education Steering Committee Member, this further underscores the commitment needed throughout the industry in terms of marketing and business science development. DMA, among other innovators and educators, offers an extensive array of developmental products designed to enhance analytic skills while improving marketing ability in other disciplines. DMA is currently in pilot stage with a new Enterprise Talent Development Program that is customizable and scalable to marketers’ needs. For more information, contact Gina Scala, at gscala@the-dma.org.

How to Get Your Own Copy

You’ll find information about these trends, and many others, in the latest QBR. The QBR is provided as an ongoing service to DMA members. Non-members may purchase it for $49.95 in the DMA Bookstore or become a DMA member now and receive a FREE copy.

Here’s to advancing the growth and profit trends of marketing!

If you would like to participate in the next QBR Survey, let us know now, at grodriquez@the-dma.org.