As we approach the halfway point of the decade, marketing leaders are facing an entirely new set of data management challenges. With the customer interaction landscape constantly changing and data becoming more and more complex, the need for robust data management systems has become a priority for marketers, with 65% claiming they’re ‘battling’ transform their data into usable insights.
To ensure the success of their data-driven marketing strategies, marketing leaders need to stay ahead of competition by addressing their biggest data management headaches.
But which challenges should marketers address first? What are the most common pitfalls in marketing data management? And what measures are marketers taking to overcome them?
To better understand the current state of data management in marketing, we asked 209 marketing professionals to list their biggest challenges, along with the measures they’re taking and their priorities going forward.
1. Maximizing the value of data
The information derived from marketing data can be invaluable, but marketers often struggle to understand it and apply these insights across the different stages of the buyer journey. In fact, almost three-quarters (74%) of marketers that participated in our survey said that analyzing data effectively and fully understanding what it means is their main barrier to success. Being able to gather large amounts of data is great, but if you’re not actively using and understanding it, it won’t benefit your marketing and business objectives.
2. Creating one accurate report that unifies data from different systems
The second most reported challenge from our participants is being able to create accurate reports that pull data from multiple systems, with 63% struggling to do so successfully. This is where using a customer data integration platform can be useful as it’ll enable your marketing teams to have a clear overview of your customers’ journey and improve the overall customer experience.
Learn more: How to Achieve Customer-Centricity (and Fuel Better Personalization)
3. Integrating legacy systems and modern marketing platforms
45% of our respondents reported that they struggle to integrate legacy systems with modern platforms. Staying ahead of trends and modernizing your outdated systems is key to staying ahead of the competition and serving your customers better. One way you can integrate your applications so they can communicate with each other is by using an application programming interface (API).
Learn more: 5 Ways Marketing APIs Can Help Your Marketing Operations
4. Data enrichment
Data enrichment - the process of adding more value to existing data, making it more accurate, complete and relevant - is a key data management challenge for marketing leaders. According to our survey, over a third (36%) of marketers struggle to enrich their existing data.
It’s important to understand that data enrichment helps marketers better segment and understand their target customers and provide them with the right message and more relevant and personalized experiences. By enriching data, marketers can also gain insight into customer behavior and trends, enabling them to create more effective strategies and campaigns.
Learn more: Quality Over Quantity: Why Marketers Should Focus on Data Enrichment
5. Reporting data manually and not tracking the right metrics
Reporting data manually could not only prevent your marketing teams from focusing on the most pressing and valuable tasks, but also, increase the chance of human error and burnout.
35% of our respondents said that they’re struggling with reporting data manually and not being able to track the right metrics. Therefore, automating your reports is crucial and will enable marketers to take better control of their time and redirect their energy to tasks that align with your business objectives.
6. Data cleansing
Another reported challenge concerns the process of cleaning data when spotting for example data errors or inconsistencies and wanting to remove or update it. In fact, 26% of our participants reported that they struggle with cleaning their data. When data isn’t cleaned and organized properly, the customer's data and other business information can be incomplete and inaccurate. This can result in flawed choices, lost opportunities and operational difficulties - all of which can eventually increase expenses and lower profits and revenue for your business.
Learn more: CRM Data Cleansing: 9 Simple Ways to Clean Your Database
7. Using the right tool
Many companies aren’t sure which tool to use to manage their data, and this can result in them choosing randomly based on popularity and trends rather than what works well for their business model and objectives. As of our research, 22% reported that using the right tool is a challenge for them. Therefore, it’s crucial that businesses do research and weigh the pros and cons of each tool available in the market and make data-driven decisions rather than relying on intuition alone.
Learn more: Which Marketing Tools Does Your Business Need?
Access The State of Marketing Ops research report
For more detailed insights into the current state of Marketing operations, including the current MarTech landscape and the main priorities for marketing professionals, download the full report here .