Technology is killing marketing

HERE’S WHAT’S UP: 53% of marketers say that “you can never have too much data but unless the data leads to actionable insights that can be tested with your customers and prospects it’s worthless. Studies show that data complexity ranks as the biggest marketing challenge today. How can we take this abundance of customer data, turn it into actionable insights and trash the rest?

I’m a digital marketing person, but I understand that consumers don’t have time to engage with all the brands they buy every day. It’s ironic that as we move from a labor economy to a knowledge economy, marketers are becoming overwhelmed with data while consumers want to be wanted, needed, and heard.

Data, on its own, is worthless. Many CPG companies have retained our group to help quantify data and turn numbers into actionable insights. I’ve seen marketing analytic reports that over 100 pages have maybe five or six real insights that can add value to marketing, and it’s getting worse.

HBR’s research has found that nearly a third (31%) of marketers say they face the challenge of “too much data to analyze” when optimizing ad performance. Deloitte LLP and the American Marketing Association reports that the percentage of marketing budgets companies plan to allocate to analytics over the next three years will increase from 5.8% to 17.3%—a whopping 198% increase. What a waste of money.

Data is often inaccurate and inefficiently managed yet marketers rely on it to guide and justify every decision when it should be there to support human insight and intuition. So why is this happening?

1ne: MBA’s Infestation – MBA’s are taught that marketing is a science and that everything can be quantified. This is so moronic it defies a response.

2wo: Talented marketers are disappearing – They are retiring or starting up their own companies and brands and being replaced by executives with sales backgrounds who don’t know shit about marketing.

3hree: Marketing is an art; not a science – Real good marketing is an art and can’t be implemented via SOP’s.

4our: “I need to cover my ass” – This is where marketers won’t fart without having data that farting is healthy.

Here is a perfect example. A brand decides to advertise its new product online via paid media. While the click rate was an abysmal 1.04%, sales and awareness of the product consistently climbed. A follow-up study showed that while people were not clicking on the ad, they were influenced by the ad’s message. The paid media campaign was, therefore, a success.

Then there is this nugget. Does Progressive Insurance really have data that shows their TV ads, with over-reach and frequency, really drive a pool of new customers, or is the marketing VP in bed with the agency people feeding him data that non-marketing people buy hook, line, and sinker?

Marketing is very simple, actually. Deliver a great product and show your current customers that you care, and the dollars will roll in. Which ads are working? Simple to measure via your market research people, but you need to remember that an ad campaign works best when integrated. Trying to measure each tactic is an exercise in frustration.

I read an article not too long ago that said the average tenure for a marketing CMO was three years. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s that long. I continue to see so many senior marketing people who aren’t qualified to work in marketing but are connected politically within their company. The amount of money being wasted by inept marketers is enormous and will continue until they realize that big data is garbage.

Technology is killing marketing