Why 80% of companies are dumber than they think

Only two in 10 US and UK companies have a company-wide strategy for collecting and integrating data analysis with business objectives” – That’s according to a survey conducted by Econsultancy and Lynchpin in March and April 2011 (via marketingcharts.com)

I don’t know about you, but this came as a shock to me…what’s even more shocking is:

  • The percentage of companies with a data strategy has dropped 3% since 2010.
  • 60% of companies have 0 or 1 employee dedicated to analyzing web data.
  • The number of companies not dedicating anyone has grown more than 10% over 2010.
  • Only 45% of respondents analyzed social media metrics last year (up from 2009, but still less than half).
  • Only 48% analyzed customer engagement data in 2010 (up from 2009, but still less than half)
There are some silver linings here as those companies that have invested in a cohesive data strategy have beefed up their investments in people and what they measure. What this tells me is that it works. There is real value to be derived from data analytics not only in marketing, but across all functions of the organization. But, in terms of marketing, data analytics has become the necessary evil to prove marketing’s worth, what’s working, and what’s not in the ever growing battle for marketing investments.  Even more importantly, data is what we rely on most to best understand our target audience, develop strategies, launch new products and services, and grow the business. The problem is that marketing analytics alone don’t tell the entire story, and that is what we marketers need to do better inside the company – use integrated company-wide data to tell a better story.
Maybe that’s why 80% to 85% of new products fail, because 80% of companies / marketing departments are in essence flying blind. By the way, the opposite is true. Sometimes other departments within the company force marketing to launch a new product, failing to integrate marketing data into their thinking….the result: failure.Some companies may think they have a solid data analytics strategy. But more often than not, they may have strong data analytics within silo’d departments. The goal is to create a strategy where the data is completely integrated across departments, so that decisions are not made in silos.  Marketing data can be very strong in helping craft an awesome go-to-market strategy, but perhaps data from finance, logistics, manufacturing, etc. proves that there are holes in the overall execution of the strategy.  Hence, great products with great marketing plans can fail.
So, don’t assume the marketing analytics you use is all you need to state your case for more budget dollars, to try new things, attack new markets, develop new products. Odds are they don’t paint the entire picture, and you end up looking dumb at the end of the journey.
How is your business  integrating data analytics across the company?
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