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Study Finds Nearly 70 Percent of Companies are Blindsided by Changes in their Business, Despite Access to Data that Could Help

Study Finds Nearly 70 Percent of Companies are Blindsided by Changes in their Business, Despite Access to Data that Could Help
After a year of unprecedented change, study uncovers frequent blind spots as well as analytic approaches to help address them

Outlier, the leading automated business analysis (ABA) platform, released findings from its joint study with Incisiv titled Navigating Blind Spots: The State of Digital Marketing which explores how leading brands gather, assess and leverage data for business marketing and commerce efforts. The report offers valuable insights on significant changes in marketing approaches over the past tumultuous year, as well as common marketing blind spots and ways to avoid them.

According to the new study, 70% of companies—despite access to large volumes of business data— continue to be surprised by changes in customer behavior, purchase processes and preferences that their data could help them uncover. A surprising 50% of respondents indicated they are not regularly using data to inform changes to their digital marketing strategy, although 81% of marketers made significant changes to their digital strategy over the past year. The research also revealed that nearly 65% of marketers are dissatisfied with the speed of customer data analysis.

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“Our study confirms that while marketers are awash in large volumes of customer and campaign data, that data isn’t translating into timely and useful insights,” said Mike Stone, CMO of Outlier. “Given the pace of change it’s more important than ever to be truly data-driven in everyday decisions, and that requires new approaches that can handle the high volume of analysis that is required.”

The report includes detailed information about the types of data marketers rely on most to make accurate decisions, as well as the data sources that most often contain surprising developments. Key takeaways from the study include:

  • More than three quarters (76%) of companies are unable to leverage website traffic, digital advertising, paid search, social media engagement, and sales data to their full potential.
  • 56% of marketers made substantial changes to their digital marketing strategies in 2020, but 67% can’t spot trends or anomalies in their data to guide accurate actions or investment.
  • 46% of those who use data regularly still can’t uncover valuable or relevant trends, and 71% are unable to consistently uncover timely opportunities for growth from customer data.

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The study was conducted between June and July 2021 across North America and Europe, reaching more than 200 senior digital marketing executives at companies with annual revenues of $100M to $1B+ USD. Participants were evenly divided across retail and finance industries., based in Oakland, California, helps marketers, data analysts and supply chain operators across consumer, financial services, retail and other industries identify unexpected changes within critical business data. The Outlier automated business analysis platform uncovers unexpected patterns and relationships using advanced AI and machine learning algorithms and communicates them in a simple, collaborative format that accelerates business action and decision-making. With its library of data connectors, organizations can integrate Outlier with existing data sources within minutes, allowing leaders to gather business insights quickly, identify potential opportunities and address the unexpected.

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