Why Marketing Analytics Hasn’t Lived Up to Its Promise

We see a paradox in two important analytics trends. 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. These increases are expected despite the fact that top marketers report that the effect of analytics on company-wide performance remains modest, with an average performance score of 4.1 on a seven-point scale. More importantly, this performance impact has shown little increase over the last five years, when it was rated 3.8 on the same scale.

How can it be that firms have not seen any increase in how analytics contribute to company performance, but are nonetheless planning to increase spending so dramatically? Based on our work with member companies at the Marketing Science Institute, two competing forces explain this discrepancy—the data used in analytics and the analyst talent producing it. We discuss how each force has inhibited organizations from realizing the full potential of marketing analytics and offer specific prescriptions to better align analytics outcomes with increased spending.

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