Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's Bothering the Big Boys and Girls?

The Big Boys and Girls of Marketing -- that is the 150 online and direct marketers with at least $100M in annual revenue and the other 150 with $2B or more per annum -- are eager to turn data into action.

That's the #1 finding of Unica's latest Annual Survey of Marketers, -- and that's different from last year when the big concern was getting IT to tow the line in support of marketing needs.

Apparently, IT has been tamed (don't believe it), or at least is now less of a problem for marketing. And that's a good thing because -- in "rock-and-a-hard-place" terms -- marketers also believe that those cranky IT folks (technology) can ease their pain. Over half of respondents cited technology as the key to productivity.

Marketers also are desperate for the highly touted "integrated marketing suite" that Marketing Brillo blogged about in April and June.

So, where are the pitfalls? Marketers believe in interactive marketing, but aren't sure how to make it work. The roadblock is, once again and forever more, silos. All the reports we've seen at Marketing Brillo reveal silo-smashing as the top skill required for success. Meanwhile, fiefdoms are probably the most difficult for the tradition-ridden, established Big Boys and Girls to demolish. Lesson: If you're new, small, nimble, and quick, this is your chance to jump silos and grab market share.

More findings: Web data is highly prized, but -- as with all data -- it's tough to turn into action. The report calls it a "paradox" that 92% of marketers appreciate the value and importance of web data, but less than half can figure out how to apply data to customer analyses and campaigns. To Marketing Brillo, that seems less a paradox than a "duh!" For the data-eureka connection -- as with all discovery -- only genuine brilliance will cut it.

Email is another sore point. Seventy-five present of respondents say their email data is not integrated with other customer data and/or is a basic hand job. Marketers don't like paid search either and keyword management continues to frustrate.

Meanwhile, the star of 2010 -- social media -- has proved more problem than solution. The SocMed star still shines brightly among emerging marketing channels, but marketers aren't so enthusiastic this year, suggesting (says the report) "that we have passed the peak of inflated expectations and are focused on finding the value that social channels can yield." In the hyper-churning sea of social media, good luck with that.

In conclusion, it's probably safe to call Mobile Marketing the 2011 star. And yet, marketers acknowledge this exploding channel isn't well integrated either.

For more details and a numbers analysis, download the free report here. Note: Unica is an IBM company.

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