Going to waste: two-thirds of UK brands are underutilising their marketing data

Brands are limiting their data’s effectiveness by focussing on general analysis activations rather than more sophisticated techniques that could help improve ROI.

Nearly two-thirds of UK brands are missing a trick with their data by focussing on general analysis activations rather than more sophisticated techniques, according to a new industry-wide survey. 

While the majority are activating their data with just a small amount of marketers (5%) are not activating their data at all, a new report finds that only 39% of brands are utilising the power of advanced measurement solutions to gain granular insights from their data.  

Considering that over half (55%) of all the marketers surveyed aim to gain new clients as a result of data activation, the study of marketing decision makers in the UK – conducted by technology and digital marketing consultancy Making Science – highlighted surprising wastage of efforts in light of the post-pandemic drive for efficiency and the pressure of growing economic concerns on ROI.    

Those activating their data not only aim to attract new clients, but also to increase brand awareness (50%), gain more loyalty within their current client base (46%), increase ROI (42%), and increase Conversion Rate Optimisation (38%).

Hard work going to waste

Kevin Daly, First-Party Data Director at Making Science, saod: “The number of brands investing in data collection with the aim to grow their business and enhance current services, yet failing to fully complete the final stage of activation, where the benefits of their efforts are rewarded, was particularly surprising to us.”

“Almost all companies look to ensure the quality of their data, with 6 in 10 using internal processes and 5 in 10 relying on external platforms. 9 in 10 are going a step further and enriching their data, using a mixture of machine learning and AI tools.

"However, after all of the hard work, the majority are failing to use advanced measurement solutions to activate their data to its full potential. It is clear that there is currently a lack of understanding or resources to complete the most important stage in the data journey: activation.”

Rise of AI

Nine in ten companies have embraced machine learning in order to enrich their data. The most common usage in all industries surveyed was to create product recommendations for consumers, with nearly half of respondents utilising the tech for this. A further 43% stated that they used machine learning in order to optimise ad campaigns, while 34% use AI in order to personalise their website.

In line with the other data trends, retail brands are most likely to not be using machine learning, with a fifth of respondents from this industry not using the technology.

GDPR compliance issues: in-house versus outsourcing

Nearly one in ten companies are still unsure how GDPR regulations apply to their company. Six years after the initial legislation was introduced, a further 4% state that they have not heard of the GDPR regulations, while 1% state they are aware of the regulations but have chosen to ignore them.

Of those who have taken notice of GDPR, 38% worked with an external expert in order to become compliant, while 33% rely on in-house expertise.