“Knowledge is power.” Indeed it is. That is once you know how to take large amounts of data and process it into actionable knowledge. Marketers continue to struggle with such data-related issues as tracing the ROI of social media and influencers, collecting the right type information to predict future consumer behavior, making monetary assessments of mobile marketing strategies, etc. While marketing has always been known as one of the first departments within organizations to embrace data-driven strategies, these days it feels like data-driven marketing is in disarray. Below is a compilation of reports that will give you a pretty good idea about trends and challenges faced in such areas of marketing as mobile, search, AI, social media, email marketing, automation and others, and just how data-driven they really are. All these reports are available for free.

Artificial Intelligence

From data deluge to intelligent insights: Adopting cognitive computing to unlock value for marketing and sales” by IBM

The study surveyed 525 CMOs and 389 heads of sales across 18 industries to understand how cognitive computing shapes marketing strategies across the world (if at all). Some of the findings of the report include:

  • 91% of surveyed outperforming companies agree that cognitive computing is important for their organizations’ futures, yet;
  • Only 24% of survey respondents say they have a cognitive strategy today;
  • Number one on the list of areas CMOs and heads of sales expect cognitive computing to deliver is customer satisfaction, followed by revenue growth from larger orders and customer retention improvement.

Predictive Marketing

The Next Wave Of Digital Marketing Is Predictive” by Forrester, commissioned by Rocket Fuel.

The survey covered France, Germany, Italy, UK, US and Australia to better understand what role predictive technologies and strategies play in the marketing industry. Some of the findings you may find interesting:

  • 86% of respondents said that improving their personalization capabilities was the number one initiative for the next 12 months;
  • Only 30% of C-level executives said they use their own data to understand the needs of the customer.
  • 83% of VPs said they find it difficult to create a single view of the customer.

Influencer Marketing

The State of Influencer Marketing 2017” by Linqia

The report looks into how B2C marketers are using influencer marketing today and how they plan to incorporate it into their plans for 2017. Key findings:

  • 48% of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2017;
  • 33% of the responds report spending between $25,000 and $50,000 on influencer marketing. 35% spend $50,000+;
  • Determining the ROI of influencer marketing programs remains the number one challenge for marketers, with 78% of the respondents ranking it in the top 3.

Customer Experience & Loyalty (FMCG)

Swipe to Buy: How to Capture Tomorrow’s Online Brand Loyalists” by Nielsen

The reports looks at FMCG e-commerce, outlining what factors influence today’s buyers. Just a few of the findings include:

  • Online shoppers are less likely to plan purchases of specific brands, they’re more likely to plan by category line. For example, 30% of online shoppers for men’s shaving products will focus primarily on the category versus the brand (9%). When it comes to in-store shopping, however, 73% of consumers make brand-based purchasing decisions versus 61% category-based;
  • Millennial shoppers are 25% more likely to be influenced by retailer websites when choosing where to buy than the average shopper;
  • Today, 18% of online orders are bought as part of a subscription, across food and non-food categories like shaving, snacks, diapers and meal kits.

Mobile Payments & Loyalty

The State of Mobile Wallet Marketing Report” by Urban Airship

The study set out to understand peoples’ attitudes, expectations and adoption of mobile wallets, zeroing in on the marketing and customer service implications applicable to all businesses — whether they accept mobile payments or not. Key findings:

  • The biggest problems with loyalty program participation is that the participants forget they’re members (40%) and forget the card (43%). Therefore, mobile loyalty cards present a real opportunity for brands;
  • 55% of respondents are likely to use their phone to pay for things at the register. That likelihood rises to 73% when loyalty discounts and offers are automatically applied;
  • Mobile wallet is now in the top four preferred communications channels for sales, offers and coupons, along with e-mail, websites and text/sms.

Marketing Automation & Email Marketing

Email Marketing & Marketing Automation Excellence 2017” by Smart Insights, Content Marketing Institute, Holistic Email Marketing and GetResponse.

The report assesses the current state of email marketing based on a research project surveying 2,510 email marketers around the world from a range of business sizes and sectors. Its findings include:

  • When sorted by effectiveness ratings of excellent and good, email marketing is the clear winner with 53.6% rating email marketing positively, as opposed to display advertising, for example, which got positive rating from 31.2% of the respondents;
  • 50.9% use marketing automation to inform customers about new offers and promotions;
  • The top 3 marketing automation techniques currently used are: email automation (65.5%), basic profile-based targeting (32.8%) and personalization using dynamic content (25.4%).

Email Marketing

Subject Line Benchmarks: How Length and Personalization Impact Email Performance across Message Type and Industry” by Yes Lifecycle Marketing

This report analysis how such factors as  subject line length, industry (retail, technology, CPG, consumer services), personalization (first name, other), and message type (welcome, reactivation, abandoned cart, browse abandon) impact the success rate of email marketing campaigns. Interesting findings:

  • Subject lines with 61+ characters generate a 33.9% open rate in the financial industry, but only a 13.9% open rate in hospitality/tourism;
  • Retail industry appears to favor 21 to 60 characters in its subject lines, yet the open rate for those is only 12.8%, as opposed to 18.3% for subject lines containing 1 to 20 characters

Video Marketing

The State of Social Video 2017: Marketing in a Video-First World.” by Animoto.

The report looks at social video and social advertising trends. How do consumers interact with social videos? What’s conversion like? How do marketers respond to trends in this field. Interesting findings:

  • 64% of consumers said that a marketing video they watched on Facebook in the past month influenced a purchase decision;
  • 89% of consumers watch video on social networks a few times a week or more;
  • 75% of millennials watch video at least daily.

Social Media Marketing

2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report” by SocialMedia Examiner

A survey of 5,700+ marketers looks into what they will focus their social media efforts on. Some of the findings:

  • 40% of marketers don’t know if their Facebook marketing is working and 53% have seen declines in their Facebook News Feed exposure;
  • Yet, Facebook remains the most important social media platform – 62% of marketers chose Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 16%.
  • Only 38% agreed they’re able to measure their social activities.

Search Marketing

Mobile-First: 57% of Search Traffic is Now Mobile” by BrightEdge

“Mobile First” indeed. This quick report looks at search traffic trends, showing that mobile search has overtaken desktop.

  • 79% of keywords overall and 47% of keywords in positions 1-20 rank differently in search on mobile and desktop SERPs;
  • 35% of the time the first page that ranks for a domain on a query is different on mobile and desktop SERPs;
  • 57% of search traffic is now mobile and tablet.

Being aware of the trends in your industry is certainly beneficial. However, this knowledge is pretty useless if you can’t implement strategies based on that. Translating data into meaningful strategies is no easy task – marketers will probably agree with this statement unanimously. It takes time, continuous experimentation and vision to achieve meaningful data-driven results. That’s why you should join Savage Marketing 2018 on the 13th & 14th of June at Meervaart Theater in Amsterdam. 500+ marketers will come together to listen to the presentations by such experts as: Eva Wimmers (President, Huawei Honor Europe), Marcus Casey (VP Digital Business & Customer Experience, BMW), Kevin Capota (CMO, L’Oreal Netherlands), Pamela Hsieh (Head of EMEA Marketing, Alipay) and 60+ others. As Sr. Director EMEA Marketing, Yahoo describes it:

“Savage Marketing is a unique conference for Marketers to share their most daring projects among themselves!”

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