“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” John Wanamaker once said. That was in the 19th century. Even the father of modern advertising based half of his decisions on instincts and guesswork. He had no other choice. Now we have the tools to accurately measure the effectiveness of advertising and marketing campaigns by analyzing behavioral data, but how often are they being used?
A new survey of 685 C-level marketing executives suggests not very often. In fact, according to the study conducted by Razorfish and Adobe, only 24 percent of marketers are using behavioral data in segmentation analysis and targeted execution. Less than 20 percent of the executives using behavioral data possess the skills to “deliver a targeted experience to a recognized customer across channels.” The majority of those surveyed consider themselves “strong” at targeted marketing, but only 13 percent are properly measuring the results.
You’d think the ability to quantify value would be accompanied by the desire to, especially in the marketing industry, which has historically struggled with the question, “How do we measure return on investment?” I imagine the percentage of executives utilizing behavioral data will continue to increase year to year, but we’ll have to wait to see how much.
In order to succeed, marketing executives will have to combine traditional skills with those of a data scientist. Whether current executives decide to accept the value of measuring and analyzing behavioral data or a new breed of marketers emerges, that is the direction we’re headed in.