Thought leadership

 A new survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), shows that 45% of marketing executives are failing to use Big Data to understand consumers.

 Despite the vast amounts of consumer interactive data available, the survey released today by Lyris, Inc. reveals a disconnect between marketing strategy and what is really influencing consumers. For example, 70% of consumers believe attempts at personalisation are superficial and 63% of consumers claim that they have grown numb to it. The survey also indicates senior marketing executives fail to appreciate the most important channels influencing purchase and ROI. 

 Key Findings:

  • Big Data is Confusing Marketing Executives and As a Result it is Often Ignored

    • Marketers Are Struggling to Capture and Analyse Data: Almost half of marketing executives surveyed (45%) indicated that they lack the capacity for analysing “Big Data.”

    • Half of Marketers Don’t Have the Budgets: 50% of marketing executives said that they have inadequate budgets for digital marketing/database management.

    • Data isn’t Always Used for Insights: Despite the advantages of using data to influence conversions, only 24% always use data for actionable insight. Marketers’ limited competency in data analysis is also viewed by 45% of executives as a major obstacle to implementing more effective strategies.

    • A Unified View of The Customer is Elusive: Only 27% of the marketing executives surveyed said they always integrate customer data from different sources into a centralised customer database. Failure to capture a unified view of the customer limits the ability to create more customised offerings that drive customer loyalty.


  • Guess Work has Created a Number of Interesting Gaps

    • Marketers Underestimate the Influence of Email: While consumers ranked email as the most important channel for both pre-purchase decision and post-purchase (37% and 52% respectively), marketing budgets remain heavily skewed towards company websites–though executives agree email is becoming more important.

    • Social Media and Mobile are Overhyped:  While consumers identified social media and mobile marketing as having the least influence on the purchasing lifecycle, marketing executives ranked social media (likes/RTs) as a top 3 key performance indicator (following sales and response rates). Consumers like social media for promotions (62%), but predominantly prefer to learn about products via company websites (51%), email (19%), or independent websites (19%).

    • Personalisation is Superficial – The majority of consumers (63%) claim that personalisation is now so common that they have grown numb to it, with 33% of consumers citing superficial personalisation as one of their top annoyances and

70% of consumers surveyed said they are jaded and believe “attempts at personalisation are superficial.” However, personalisation, based on user profile rather than data, remains the second most popular marketing strategy.

  • Marketers and Consumers Have Different Views on Privacy – Nearly half of consumers (49%) are concerned about the threat of privacy online. In contrast, marketing executives believe only 23% of their customers are very concerned about privacy of their information in the company’s marketing databases. 

 The research, conducted by the EIU included two distinct surveys, one with responses from 409 consumers and the other from 257 marketing executives (CMO & VP of marketing) of consumer product companies from the United States and United Kingdom across six key consumer products industries, including:-clothing, banking, travel, media, entertainment and automotive. 

 “We have entered a new era of digital marketing that requires a smarter and more agile approach to engaging with and influencing today’s consumer,” said Alex Lustberg, CMO of Lyris. “Yet The EIU report, sponsored by Lyris, found several important gaps between what marketers think their customers value, and what they really care about. By combining these insights with data-driven best practices, marketing executives will be able to eliminate these gaps and positively impact every stage of the purchasing journey.”

 “Bridging the gap between marketers and consumers requires marketing professionals to gain a more nuanced understanding of data analytics, which would allow for more and better customisation—something customers say makes them feel valued,” said Janie Hulse, Editor with The Economist Intelligence Unit.

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