Marketers are prepared to increase their spending on Big Data analytics this year, according to a study from Infogroup Targeting Services and Yesmail Interactive, two companies that operate under the Infogroup umbrella.
Among those surveyed, 68 percent of the 700 marketers who attended the DMA2012 said they expect Big Data to take a bigger bite out of their budgets in 2013. Just three percent of respondents expect to reduce spending.
The survey indicates that marketers have largely mastered data collection. Now, they're turning their attention to implementing technology and hiring personnel to put that data to use.
Beyond Big Data Collection
"Data collection has almost been the easy part; the new challenge will be connecting the dots between different types of data across multiple channels. That’s really where marketers can get to know their customers on a deeper level," noted Michael Fisher, president of Yesmail Interactive.
Encouragingly, "only 11 percent said data collection will be their most difficult task," stated Infogroup. In contrast, 45 percent of respondents identified analyzing or applying customer information as their most pressing Big Data challenge this year.
A small minority even plan to make executive-level appointments. According to Infogroup, five percent of those polled plan on hiring an executive to manage their Big Data operations.
Infogroup's survey also sheds some light on how marketers plan to obtain their data and leverage it in the hopes of driving more business. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they "plan to make greater use of customers' social media data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels in 2013," according to the study.
Big Data Drives Online Marketing
Marketers will largely focus on online efforts this year. All told, the customer insights will be used to drive marketing campaigns on their websites (83 percent), via email (72 percent) and through social media channels (59 percent).
Businesses also plan to apply those insights to their offline marketing activities, although to a lesser extent. Those channels include direct mail (47 percent), print (32 percent) and telemarketing (30 percent).
The results suggest that in 2013, most marketers plan to make a sustained effort to tame Big Data and leverage those insights that have thus far eluded them.
A recent survey from Neolane, a marketing software specialist, and the Direct Marketers Association (DMA) discovered that 60 percent of companies were stymied by Big Data challenges. Fifty-three percent reported trouble in dealing with data mining and analysis. A CompTIA survey published in September also found a fairly steep enterprise learning curve for Big Data.