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50+ Data-Driven Marketing and Personalization Stats Marketers Need to Know

Last updated: November 20, 2019

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Marketing teams are facing increased pressure from consumers and C-level executives to keep pace with the demands to deliver personalized customer experiences and show definitive campaign ROI. With consumer demands changing so rapidly, and the strategies to keep pace with them constantly evolving, it can be challenging for marketing teams to keep up with where the industry stands, and what they should be prioritizing to achieve success.  

To help marketing teams keep track of key trends in the realm of customer experience, customer journey mapping, and how to consistently measure the impact of marketing efforts, we have compiled an in-depth list of marketing analytics statistics. These insights will help marketing teams benchmark their own efforts, and determine where they need to be investing more time and resources to ensure campaign success. To create this list, we looked into studies around:

  • Data Quality
  • Marketing Attribution 
  • Data-Driven Marketing
  • Marketing Analytics 
  • Brand Marketing
  • Customer Experience 

Customer Experience is Top Priority 

Modern consumers demand a high-degree of personalization when it comes to brand engagements. If marketing teams are not targeting customers and prospects with messaging that speaks to their interests, purchase history, and location on the path to purchase, consumers will tune out. With this in mind, marketing teams aim to understand consumers at an individual level.

  • 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. 
  • Two-thirds of marketers say they largely compete on the basis of customer experience. 81 percent of marketers say they expect to be competing largely or entirely the basis of customer experience in the next two years. 
  • Customer experience is becoming increasingly important for organizations. In 2017, about 20 percent of CX programs fell below customer expectations. In 2019, 96 percent of organizations met or exceeded consumer expectations. 
  • 3 out of 4 CX leaders (75 percent) note that they have seen a positive correlation between customer satisfaction and business objectives.
  • Budgets are increasing for CX. In 2017, only 47 percent of survey respondents expected their budgets to increase for customer experience. In 2019, that number has risen to 74 percent.
  • 74 percent of consumers are annoyed by ads that are not relevant to their needs or interests. 
  • Consumers are inclined to switch brands to those that speak to their needs – with 52 percent stating said they would switch brands if they were not getting custom messages and offerings. 
  • As many brands turn to automation to reach consumers in real-time, customer experience mapping and personalized content are considered the best ways to optimize automation initiatives. 
  • In the past year, there were 2.5 billion visits to Google Account pages to adjust ad personalization preferences.
  • 38 percent of consumers state that they are more loyal now than they were two years ago – 57 percent say they would switch to a competitor if they provided a better experience.  

Emphasis on Data-Driven Marketing 

Marketing teams are turning to their stores of big data to make crucial campaigns decisions and reach consumers with personalized messaging. Consider the following:

  • Data-driven marketing is a top priority for marketing leaders – 40 percent of organizations aim to increase data-driven marketing budgets, and 64 percent of marketing leaders report that data-driven strategies are vital in today’s economy. The top usages were: 
      • Customer journey mapping / analysis 
      • A/B testing 
      • Website personalization
      • Segmentation
  • Two out of three marketers state data-based decisions to be more effective than gut instincts.  
  • Data-driven marketing increases ROI, with campaigns that leverage data-driven personalization reporting 5-8x ROI for their campaign spend. 
  • About 3 out of every 4 marketing leaders surveyed (76 percent) base decisions on data analytics.
  • When surveyed, 32 percent marketers identified marketing analytics and competitive insights as the most important factors in supporting their marketing strategies over the 18 months. This ranked higher than any other category. 
  • Marketing analytics is the highest investment for marketers, raking up 16 percent of their annual budgets.
  • Although many organizations are realizing the value of marketing analytics, 37 percent of marketers say that proving their value is one of their top three biggest challenges.

Data-Driven Marketing Demands Advanced Marketing Analytics 

The personalized campaigns marketing teams hope to achieve through data-driven marketing require real-time analysis, AI, and automation. As a result, marketing teams are investing more in marketing analytics tools and platforms.  

  • As of February 2019, the use of analytics in marketing reached its highest point in six years.
  • According to Think with Google, marketing leaders are more likely to emphasize these analytics tools and capabilities over industry laggards:
    • Leaders are 1.7x more likely to agree that adoption of machine learning and automation improves targeting, spend optimization, and personalization. 
    • Leaders are 2.3x as likely to leverage automation to manage campaign budgets and bids across multiple channels in real time. 
    • Leaders are 53% more likely to think machine learning assists marketing teams in evaluating data to understand consumer intent. 
    • Leaders are 1.5x as likely to apply analytics learning to digital campaigns and investments in real time. 
  • As the above insights would suggest, 92 percent of companies have upped their spend in AI and big data this year.

Even with increased focus and investment in analytics and analytics platforms, challenges remain. Consider the following: 

  • Marketing teams struggle to demonstrate how these investments in analytics contribute to organizational success. 36 percent of marketers state they do not have the quantitative tools to demonstrate the impact of spend on company performance. 
  • Marketing teams are overwhelmed by the volume of data they have to analyze. According to Gartner, at many organizations the most experienced data scientists spend their time wrangling and formatting data – 46 percent of data science teams are relied on to prepare data for analysis, leaving little time to conduct actual analysis. 

Maintaining Data Quality is Essential 

Data quality is crucial in the era of data driven marketing and personalization. Not only is good data necessary to inform strategy, it will also train AI and machine learning programs. If trained with poor data, these programs will not be as effective at placing targeted messages in real time. 

  • 54 percent of organizations state data quality and completeness is the biggest challenge with data-driven marketing.
  • 57 percent of marketers are incorrectly interpreting data and likely getting incorrect results. 
  • 47 percent of new data records have a least one critical error. Only 3 percent of executives found that their departments data fell within the acceptable range of data quality. 
  • Managing this data does not come without its costs however. Many marketing leaders feel that their teams are spending too much time on this (52 percent citing this as this as how their team is spending the majority of their hours).

Marketing Teams Need to Improve Attribution & Data Quality Capabilities

Marketing teams continue to struggle with attributing specific engagement to purchases/conversions, and how specific touchpoints contribute to overall ROI.  

  • Most companies do not have access to quantitative metrics that prove the value of marketing spend. 
  • 68 percent say improving the measurability of ROI is a top priority when it comes to data-driven strategies. 
  • 9 percent of marketers rate their company’s understanding of data-driven attribution as excellent. 
    • 12 percent rate it as very poor
    • 22 percent rate it below average. 
  • 44 percent of marketing professionals plan to implement multi-touch attribution in the next year. 
  • 66 percent of marketers agree on the importance of data analytics and 63 percent agree that data literacy is important. However, about half of survey respondents have teams with a skillset that is at par or below expectations, leaving room for improvement.
  • These positions are also difficult to fill, with over one third of marketers (37 percent) citing data analysis as one of the hardest positions to recruit.
  • In almost half of organizations (45 percent), data scientists are performing more basic tasks (including data visualization) then data analysis. 
  • Over half of marketers do not trust their modeling techniques, showing there is a disconnect between where analytics teams are today and where they are trying to get to.
  • Additionally, over half (57 percent) of marketers world-wide feel overwhelmed by the incoming data.
  • About 1 out of every 4 dollars (26 percent) is spent on paid media. In order to ensure these dollars are not wasted, companies need an advanced attribution model to correctly identify what is working and what is not.
  • Measuring offline media can be difficult for marketers. This is reflective in CMOs attitude toward offline spend, should the economy suffer. Only 16 percent of CMOs would increase offline media spend if the economy was uncertain, while 32 percent of CMOs would decrease their spend.

Don’t Forget About Brand Awareness 

Real time data-driven marketing can cause marketing teams to focus on direct response advertising – pushing short-term campaigns geared at getting consumers to take a specific action. However, organizations should also be using this data to create brand awareness and value that align with their target audience.  These are the types of campaigns that build consumer loyalty and maintain customer retention. 

Thought direct response campaigns are easier to measure in terms of value to the organization – marketing teams should keep these brand building stats in mind: 

  • 64 percent of customers with brand relationship claim aligned values as the reason. 
  • 43 percent of customers spend more money at brands with which they have loyal relationships. 
    • Keep in mind that it costs 5x more to get a new customer than retain an existing customer. 
  • 56 percent of customers are more loyal to a brand that align with their values, or “get them.”
  • Forrester discovered that emotional resonance is important for branding, with 50 percent of branding derived from its ability to resonate with users.
  • It typically requires 5-7 impressions before a consumer will recall your brand. 

Even considering the benefits of brand building campaigns, many organizations have trouble relating to consumers. Marketing teams need to leverage consumer data to align values with the target audience, and implement attribution models that can measure the impact of these campaigns on business success in order to avoid these pitfalls: 

  • Only six out of ten marketers think their brand is aligned with their organization’s overall strategy. 
  • “Delivering a power brand that breaks through the clutter” is cited as the second greatest challenge for marketers, after driving growth. 
  • Only 48 percent of marketers measure metrics related to branding.
  • However, marketers are spending 15.9 percent of their advertising on branding, making it their largest campaign-related line item.
  • 58 percent of marketers believe that brand plays a critical role when making a purchase decision for prospects.
  • 35 percent of marketers face challenges when managing their brand world-wide.
  • 35 percent of marketers also struggle with keeping their brand relevant.
  • Building purpose into your brand can have a big payoff, with purpose driven brands outperforming the stock market by 120 percent
  • About 66 percent of millennials and Gen Z prefer brands that have a mission statement or stand for something.

Final Thoughts 

As marketers invest more in big data and data driven marketing strategies, they should keep this information in mind to ensure they are not making common mistakes around attribution or personalization – ensuring the best customer experience and measurable ROI.

Written by Marketing Evolution