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CMOs warned over big data ‘complacency’

Chief marketing officers (CMOs) have been warned they must avoid complacency when it comes to big data analytics if they are to avoid falling behind their competitors.

This is according to chief executive of Torque Data Oliver Rees, who told CMO.com.au that too many senior marketers are under the mistaken impression that no-one really knows what to do with these tools at the moment, so they can afford to just wait and see where the industry goes.

He was commenting on the results of a new survey conducted by Torque Data, Sweeney Research and the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising. This found that while 72 percent of professionals claim to be using big data in some respect, 27 percent of respondents said they are doing nothing to get on board with this trend and one in ten have dismissed it as just another fad.

This is far from the case, however, and if firms are slow to react now, they may find it extremely difficult to catch up with more digital-savvy organizations when the penny finally drops.

Mr Rees said: "The first these marketers will know of their competitors' capability is when it negatively impacts their own business performance, and by then they'll be well behind."

However, managing director at Sweeney Research Erik Heller said the figures do include some encouraging signs, such as the fact that 82 per cent of respondents expect their big data marketing budgets to increase in the next two years.

"While resource constraints certainly shone through, many marketers are not allowing this to hold them back and are adopting quite an experimental approach," he said. "They are happy to start small, test and learn and not worry too much about things like return on investment at this stage."

Of the CMOs who stated they have adopted data analytics tools, 42 percent say they are using this to assist with customer acquisition and 34 percent are looking to improve their client retention through the use of the technology.

However, just one in four companies said they were looking at the benefits that the technology can provide to their cross-selling and up-selling efforts.