The role of data in helping companies make highly informed and calculated decisions on their marketing appears to be paying dividends in terms of competitiveness.

In a survey of over 300 company executives from Forbes Insights, 74% of those claiming to be up to speed with monitoring the performance of their marketing were also boasting a competitive advantage in the key areas of customer engagement and loyalty. 

For those admitting to be slightly behind in their use of data, a much lower proportion of 24% claimed to be ahead of their competitors in the same ways. 

Forbes stated that a range of new tools and technologies is changing the way companies go to market, handing an advantage over to firms that manage to keep apace with developments. 

Communication breakdown

The publication also bemoaned a lack of training and education from company heads in teaching employees about the importance of data for making key decisions, stressing company-wide awareness to be key. 

In the survey, conducted in October of last year, representatives from Forbes’ research arm discovered that while many companies have data-driven marketing strategies on board, implementation has not followed advised procedures.

A lack of cross-departmental support was cited as one of the key issues in data adoption, with Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer and head of CMO practice at Forbes Media, highlighting that effective data-driven marketing draws on a range of company resources.

Fortunately the study also found plenty of companies in industries that were not working with data in a siloed approach. Travel firms are among those leading by example in the area of data-driven marketing, according to Forbes, with 67% of executives claiming a competitive advantage in customer engagement and loyalty through their use of data.

Energy firms are not so lucky, as just 30% claim to be benefiting from data in this way.