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Five Marketing Blind Spots Hindering Data-Driven Decision Making

Marketers have seen dramatic changes in consumer shopping behaviors over the past year as the rate of digital adoption — both the number of consumers and the amount of usage by those consumers — grew exponentially. How have your customer behaviors changed during the last 18 months? Do you feel pressure to react faster than ever to changes in your business?  

With our partner, Incisiv, we recently interviewed more than 200 companies to dig into how the rate of digital adoption (users and usage) by consumers has impacted marketers. We found that while more than 80% of marketing executives made significant adjustments to their marketing strategies in the past year, less than 20% fully leveraged their data to do so. What’s worse, 73% of companies are caught completely off guard by new trends — all because they can’t analyze all their data fast enough. The survey results are discussed in-depth in our new eBook, Navigating Blind Spots: The State of Digital Marketing.

These are some surprising stats, and further illustrate the challenges and limitations companies face in analyzing customer data — and being a truly data-driven organization. The complete survey results are shared in our new eBook, Navigating Blind Spots: The State of Digital Marketing. Here we’ll take a closer look at what the study identified as the top five key blind spots marketers in the organization face.

1. Integrating data from multiple sources.

Marketers have more data sources than ever before. Connecting data across your e-commerce data, social or web data, as well as data from stores and the supply chain is a time consuming venture that typically involves people across a company and can be expensive to do. Ultimately the largest risk from the inability to integrate data from multiple sources is that your company will lack a 360-degree view of your consumers’ behavior. Our study identified that less than 35% of marketers feel they identify customer insights in a timely manner. Which means 65% of marketers do not have a complete view of their customer, which in turn leaves open an unknown number of opportunities to increase revenue and optimize marketing spend. ​

2. Delivering timely insights to the right person.

Customers today are fickle and fast. They make decisions quickly and brand loyalty is waning. To achieve marketing perfection for your customers, the right person/people at your company need to know about changes in customer behaviors in near real-time. Knowledge of customer behavior changes days or weeks later will be too late and sales will most certainly go to the 24% of brands that are faster and able to react to changes in customer behaviors.

3. Limited by analytics talent (analyst support).

Less than 36% of marketers have sufficient analyst support or dedicated analytics talent within their organization. Even when they have the budget to add dedicated support, the talent pool is slim. Additionally, human analysts can only analyze so much data within their workday and we’ve already discussed how much data your company has to analyze. 

4. Too much data to analyze completely (speed of data/analysis).

The sheer volume of data available to marketers today means marketers are forced to triage what data they will analyze each day, week, month or quarter. With the exception of web traffic, our study found that marketers typically analyze their other common data sources monthly or quarterly. This means by the time marketing teams are analyzing the data, the analysis is no longer current. If you want your marketing team to react in real-time, you need to have data analysis that is as close to real-time as possible.

5. Limited by analytics tools (business as usual analytics).

Business as usual analytics, including regular reports and business dashboards, is helpful, but ineffective in spotting new trends across both customer behaviors and the larger business. The only way to be effective in this environment is to stay ahead of the competition. Companies that are able to know exactly what’s changing with their customers and larger business in as close to real-time as possible will be able to identify trends, be aware of anomalies in customer behavior, or even know the impacts of unforeseen events.

Marketers made a lot of changes last year; too many of them without detailed enough data. But what was the impact on customers and business? Did they make the right adjustment soon enough? 

All of the blind spots mentioned above are directly impacting marketers inability to see a full picture of their customers behaviors and their business. Without having a complete understanding of what’s impacting their business in real-time, they can’t know if the adjustments being made are the right ones at the right time. 

In our eBook, Navigating Blind Spots: The State of Digital Marketing we discuss these in more detail along with advice you can put into practice to overcome them. Read the eBook