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Five Charts Explaining Why Marketers Are Experiencing Data-Driven Growing Pains

Navigating the changing tech landscape remains challenging

Data management is giving marketers headaches.

Programmatic advertising relies heavily on data, and its growth will likely make data increasingly important for marketers. But navigating this transition is no easy task.

In a survey of 120 CMOs worldwide by marketing consultancy NewBase, 43% of respondents said they outsource their programmatic efforts. No other marketing function had an outsource rate this high.

Data management is another task marketers like to outsource. A separate study by Adestra and Ascend2 found that data management and marketing technology were considered to be the most difficult digital marketing tactics, with nearly half of respondents calling data management challenging.

Finding adequate talent to manage data and technology is also tough. In a February survey of 200 US marketers by Blueshift and TechValidate, 54% of respondents said one of the main roadblocks preventing them from making better use of customer data was their insufficient data analysis capabilities. Getting access to reliable customer data and being able to segment audiences quickly were also common obstacles.

Aside from struggling to analyze data, many marketers also have trouble translating complex information into coherent stories. A January 2018 survey of 506 marketing and creative professionals worldwide by Widen revealed that telling the right story with data was the biggest challenge respondents faced when utilizing their data, cited by 21.5%. Nearly twice as many said they wrestle most with telling stories with their data than said the same of visualizing or analyzing it.

One thing marketers are trying to do to make their tech tasks more manageable is centralizing data.

Nearly half of the marketers, publishers and tech developers in North America surveyed by Winterberry Group in 2017 said that centralizing ownership of data would be one of the most important changes their organization could make to derive value from their data. This tied with dissolving silos between groups as the most popular response.