Is data-driven marketing holding back storytelling?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of articles from MarketingCharts, which provides up-to-the-minute data and research to marketers.
Much has been made of the difficulties marketers face with accessing data, integrating data across technologies and even trusting their data. But some companies are facing an even bigger problem, according to Widen’s “2018 Connectivity Report” — telling the right story with their data.
In fact, when Widen asked more than 500 marketers and creative professionals the biggest challenge their team faces when procuring, managing and utilizing their marketing data, the largest proportion (21.5 percent) of respondents said the biggest challenge was telling the right story with their data.
Many of the other popular responses also appeared to deal with challenges making the data more accessible, including simplifying complex data, agreed to by 11.6 percent; distilling premium data from numerous data sources, 11.4 percent; and collecting and visualizing data, 10.3 percent.
This focus makes some sense given that the respondent sample was made up in part by creatives, as storytelling relates to the more creative side of data-driven marketing.
A survey last year of more than 600 marketing and IT professionals by Chief Marketing Technologist and Third Door Media produced similar findings. That survey found that more than eight in 10 felt it more of an art than a science to craft a narrative from data to persuade others.
So, while respondents to the Widen study are most interested in adding the data scientist/engineer role to their team over the next one to three years (in keeping with a general staffing gap in this area), the results serve as a reminder that there’s a creative side to data-driven marketing that also requires significant talent.
Other survey highlights:
- After storytelling, the biggest challenge faced by marketers with respect to data activation is managing data across different platforms for a single view.
- The vast majority (about 81 percent) of marketers have already gone or are currently going through digital transformation, defined as the integration of digital technology into all areas of the business.
- The most important requirements for digital transformation are technologies that support business operations, system security and easy-to-use technologies.
- Another Marketing Data Challenge: Telling the Right Stories – MarketingCharts
- The 2018 Connectivity Report – Widen
- Where’s the Art in Data-Driven Marketing? – MarketingCharts
- Which Emerging Market Research Methods Are Gaining Favor? – MarketingCharts
- Why Data Storytelling is So Important, and Why We’re So Bad at It – Deloitte
- Data-Driven Efforts Still Hampered by Talent Gap; Analytics Skills in High Demand – MarketingCharts
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why do marketing teams seem to be facing hurdles crafting data- and analytics-based stories? Can data scientists be trained or motivated to become better at storytelling, or should companies develop new roles or take other steps to make data more accessible for storytelling purposes?