The Shocking Finding From A CMO Council Report

I am not one prone to hyperbole. There is more than enough obvious and intentional exaggeration in the world as it is. No, I am normally one to keep things even keel unless of course we’re talking about my beloved Philly sports teams, namely the Eagles.

But I digress…

However I felt compelled to use the hyperbolic word “shocking” in the title of this piece after reading the press release announcing the findings of a CMO Council Report entitled The Exponential Power of Collaborative Marketing. As per the release, the report “details how collaborative marketing can bring companies such as CPG suppliers, Financial Services firms, local businesses, and partner networks into the data-driven digital marketing revolution.”

And while I think it’s an interesting report and you should check it out, there was one line, or more apt, one statistic that caused said shocking. Here’s the full excerpt which contains the stat in question, see if you can guess what left me shocked and quite frankly, probably caught the CMO Council itself off guard after seeing it.

“Companies with limited data-driven digital marketing capabilities are at risk of being left behind. Without data insights, for instance, companies simply don’t know their customers. Nearly 60% of marketers point to inconsistencies with the depth and granularity of customer insights, while a shocking 36% admit they don’t have the data to know their consumers, let alone anticipate needs, according to the CMO Council.”

Ok, ok, it’s easy to spot given they used the same word I did: shocking.

How Can This Be So?

That was literally the first thought that flashed across my mind: How can this be so? How can over one-third of marketers – at ANY level – say they don’t have the data to know their customers? I mean, this is Big Data time kids. This is the time in history where there is TOO much data if anything.

More data is generated every minute than… well see for yourself courtesy of Domo, who issue their Data Never Sleeps infographic every year. As you’ll see there is a whole lotta data going on every…single…minute.

So with all this data being generated how can it be that over one-third of marketers do not have the data to know their customers?

Well the report itself lays out a few scenarios as to why this is:

  • CPG companies don’t have access to a retailer’s digital audiences and can’t use them to self-fund digital marketing programs that drive sales back to the retailer’s website.
  • A major national bank’s network of local branches can’t market effectively because the bank withholds critical information out of fear of falling out of compliance and losing control.

Ok, that explains everything.

Case closed.

Not quite.

Not even close.

Hiding In Plain Sight

Any marketer worth his or her weight in bounce rates and buyer personas know that the data is out there. May not be as readily accessible as they would like but it is there. Take the CPG example above. While it may be true that a company like Clorox for example, may not have access to a given retailer’s data, that does not mean they have access to NO data.

C’mon, if you’re a marketer and use that as an excuse you are just being lazy. Period.

Could it also be you are not taking advantage of the technology that is more than readily available? Technology such as oh I don’t know say a Data Management Platform or DMP? In case you were out the day they taught DMPs, it is a software platform used for collecting and managing data which allow businesses to identify audience segments, which can be used to target specific users and contexts in online advertising campaigns.

And please spare me the “But Steve, we can’t afford a DMP.”

Yes you can.

Look, I could go on and some of you may be thinking I am being too general here; I am lumping marketers together. Well you may be right. But that does not take away from the fact that in this particular report with this particular finding, over one-third of marketers claim they don’t have data to know their customers.

Sorry kids, it’s 2021.

I ain’t buyin’ it.

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