- Openprise’s 2016 State of B2B Marketing Data Management report found that B2B marketers find data to be a challenge, while data skills are undervalued in the workplace. Only 10% of respondents considered data skills to be a high priority, but over one-third believe that a lack of data skills is a barrier to success.
- The report also found that the B2B marketers surveyed believe the most effective way to use marketing data is basic campaign targeting, which "reinforces the notion that some sophisticated marketing technologies haven't yet gained widespread adoption."
- "In aggregate, the report highlights the need for deeper investment in data management," according to a release. B2B marketers' top data management goals include improving ROI measurability (72% of respondents), improving data quality (65%) and increasing data use and accessibility (63%).
Not all that long ago, marketing was more art than science. But with the advent of data-driven digital marketing, the discipline of marketing is going through some growing pains. Dealing with data can be daunting for marketing, but it doesn't have to be and it can reap rewards rewards in the workplace.
In the survey, data was seen as important for making business decisions, with 60% reporting the greatest benefit of using data for decision making was making more accurate decisions. However, the flip side of that is "analysis paralysis" — the main pitfall marketers have with data, according to experts.
"When marketers have access to diverse sets of data, they often experience more difficulty interpreting it and turning it into action," James Smith, CMO at cloud-based software company OneLogin, told Marketing Dive.
Due to the abundance of data, marketers often are trying to deal with more than they can handle, he said. Smith offered three tactics B2B marketers can use when dealing with data: Constantly test and measure effectiveness to find the most impactful strategies; since different organizations have different sales and marketing priorities, steer away from benchmark bias; and despite the promise of marketing technology, start slow with any adoption to make sure it has the desired outcome.
In the Openprise survey, an overwhelming majority of respondents advocated at least some use of in-house resources for data management, with 53% citing a combination of external and in-house resources, 43% opting for solely in-house, and only 3% saying they should outsource to data specialists.
“Data management is often the unsung hero in the world of marketing operations, taking a backseat to the hottest new technologies. But clean data is what fuels martech," Allen Pogorzelski, VP of Marketing Openprise, said in the report. "Over half of the companies surveyed outsource data management. However, many of the companies who depend on manual data management methods via an army of seemingly inexpensive offshore labor don’t have a good understanding of the price they pay in terms of data quality, and the cost of waiting overnight for a potentially hot lead to get processed.”