Survey results released Monday by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive found that almost 70% of companies plan to spend more on data-related marketing initiatives in 2013, with a heavy emphasis on hiring.
More than half of the respondents surveyed said they plan on adding new employees to oversee their data efforts this year, including analysts and executives.
"In 2013, brands should be taking a disciplined approach to building out their data operations,” said Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive, an Infogroup company. “Data collection has almost been the easy part; the new challenge will be connecting the dots between different types of data across multiple channels.”
According to the survey, most marketers have successfully implemented data-collection tools, but in 2013 they will focus on putting technology and people in place to use their customer information in a more sophisticated and targeted way. For example, 45% of marketers identified analyzing or applying customer information as the biggest data-related challenge they will face this year. Only 11% said data collection will be their most difficult task.
Among the report's key findings around data-related spending and hiring:
- 68% of marketers said they expect their data-related expenditures to increase greatly or slightly in 2013; only 3% said they expect data-related expenditures to decrease;
- 56% plan on hiring new employees to handle data collection or analysis, with the most common position being a data analyst (20%);
- 5% said they plan on hiring an executive to oversee data initiatives.
Companies are also starting to realize the need for more timely use of customer data to drive more personalized marketing campaigns. More than half of the survey respondents said they have already started implementing real-time data and plan to make greater use of it in 2013.
Another 30% said they plan on using it for the first time or consider using it.
The study also provided additional insights into 2013 data and marketing trends.
Among the findings:
- Almost 80% of marketers plan to make greater use of customers' social media data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels in 2013;
- The majority of marketers use insights from customer data to drive marketing campaigns on their website (83%), email (72%) and social media (59%);
- Less than half use customer data to drive marketing campaigns through the offline channels of direct mail (47%), print (32%) and telemarketing (30%);
- Almost half the respondents said their website is the best source of gathering customer data, followed by email (19%) and social media (12%); and
- More than 25% of marketers admit they don't know when they performed quality control on their customer data.