Money down the drain: 75% of marketers admit to customer data blindspots in their team as two-thirds are worried about budget cuts

Most marketers believe they’re under more pressure to prove ROI and ROAS during the cost of living crisis, but research reveals that marketers in Europe and the US have wasted at least 30% of budgets in the past six months.

Three-quarters of marketers in the UK admit to knowing of customer data blindspots in their team, stymying marketing efforts, according to new research, and 61% don’t feel properly equipped to get the most out of the data they use for campaigns.

A similar proportion (72%) believe there is more pressure on them to prove a return on investment or return on ad spend during the cost of living crisis, while 73% admit to having changed marketing strategies in response to the current climate.

Marketers in the UK believe they have wasted an average 31% of their marketing budgets – equivalent to £1.5m – because of poor data optimisation. The data is from a survey of 500 marketers across the UK, US, Germany and France by enterprise customer data platform Treasure Data.

This comes as 65% admit to being concerned about upcoming cuts to their budget, with the same proportion saying they have already seen slashes to their available spend.

For respondents outside of the UK, 38% of marketing budgets is expected to go to waste in the next six months in the US, losing almost $6m. In Germany the figure would hit $3.1m if budget forecasts remained the same for the six months ahead. “Our research has revealed that the cost crisis has put brands in a very difficult bind – shrinking budgets, an audience with less spending power and high consumer expectations,” said Andrew Stephenson, Director of Marketing EMEA & India at Treasure Data.

“There is an urgent challenge at hand; consumers want marketers to adapt their campaigns to be sensitive to their changing priorities, but marketers are hamstrung by slashed budgets and inadequate data management strategies.”

Consumers holding back

Meanwhile, across 2,000 consumers surveyed, 48% of French consumers admit to deliberately withholding data from companies, compared to 47% in the UK, 41% in the US and 38% in Germany.

More than a third of consumers in each of these countries (rising to 48% in France) said they didn’t use their primary email address when signing up to emails.

A quarter of UK consumers surveyed admitted to giving false data about themselves, while 83% think marketing campaigns should adapt to be sensitive to their changing priorities during the cost of living crisis – with almost two-thirds wanting to be marketed to less altogether.

“Marketers have no time to waste when it comes to making their data work harder for them – only by increasing their data efficiency will they be able to make better decisions in the volatile context of the cost-of-living crisis,” Stephenson concluded.

“Ultimately, it’s those who get to grips with the unfolding customer data emergency – and stop it in its tracks – who will be best equipped to properly engage with their audiences and swim rather than sink over the coming months.”