Organizations Struggle to Use Data Effectively

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Digital marketers often discuss getting their hands on more consensual customer data. Especially in the wake of privacy changes by Google, Apple, and state governments, marketers have been focusing on how to gather accurate information at scale.

But the question facing marketers is not just how to get data; it’s how to use it. And a new report by the CDP Amperity conducted by Forrester finds that many organizations are struggling to use data effectively.

Marketers need to strengthen their data strategies

Organizations are working hard to collect data. Forrester found that 80% of enterprise companies collect demographic, sentiment, and identity data. On top of that, 63% want to collect even more customer information.

But 77% of decision-makers say they underutilize the data at their disposal, and 81% say they could do better.

This gap between performance and potential is affecting the bottom line. Fifty-four percent say they are missing market opportunities due to data underutilization. Fifty-two percent cited lower engagement and 56% loss of revenue as data underutilization-related problems.

What’s the big picture about data usage?

Organizations need a few different layers of solutions and approaches to foster effective data strategies. They need systems in place to collect data at scale, verify its accuracy, ensure consent, transform reams of data into actionable insights, and get those insights into the hands of those who can act on them.

Marketers can use point solutions for this — for example, identity martech providers that help brands and retailers use identity information, such as data on customers’ careers, to target them with promotions. But many will also turn to comprehensive CRM and CDP solutions that help them understand their customers as a whole.

Why is understanding customers and using data effectively getting harder? Because privacy regulations and data fragmentation across proliferating platforms and channels are making it more difficult for organizations to collect, centralize, and streamline information.

The technology providers and data management companies that can put the picture together and help marketers transcend those obstacles will be the ones who last.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]