Big Data Gives Marketers a Demonstrable Edge, Says New Study by Forbes Insights

NEW YORK--()--Big data works. Of the organizations that used big data in at least 50% of their marketing initiatives, three in five (60%) said that they had exceeded their goals. At the same time, of the companies that used big data in less than 50% of their initiatives, only 33% said that they had exceeded their goals.

This is the primary finding in the just-released study from Forbes Insights and big data AI company Rocket Fuel, "The Big Potential of Big Data: A Field Guide for CMOs." The research is based on an August 2013 survey of 211 senior marketers based in the U.S., including both corporate executives and advertising agency executives. Forbes Insights also conducted one-on-one interviews to provide context for the findings.

“The report shows that heavy users of big data are more likely to produce useful insights about consumers than organizations that lag in this respect,” says Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer and head of the CMO Practice for Forbes Media. “Even more important, they're more likely to see gains in sales.”

Other key findings:

• The more frequently companies felt they were making sufficient use of data, the more likely they exceeded their goals. More than nine in 10 companies (92%) who had always or frequently made sufficient use of data said that they had met or exceeded their goals, while just 5% who said that they were making sufficient use of data said that they were falling short of their goals.

• Executives believe they are using big data enough when they aren’t. A majority of both ad agencies and non-agencies said that they were frequently or always making sufficient use of data in marketing decisions. However, only about one in 10 non-agencies managed more than half their advertising/marketing with big data, and a third of agencies used big data in more than half their initiatives.

• Many executives may be struggling to define big data and its potential benefits. Just over half of senior executives (both at agencies and other companies) said that they agreed or strongly agreed that they had a good understanding of big data and its benefits.

• Systems that generate data quickly and can account for changing consumer behavior—those that utilize machine learning—will be increasingly important. Roughly a quarter of respondents called them critical to the success of their marketing, while more than 43% of respondents said they would be increasingly important for most initiatives.

About the research

The survey, completed by 211 senior executives in the U.S., considered marketers from large companies and advertising agencies. More than half the agencies and roughly three-quarters of other companies had revenues of at least $2 billion.

About Forbes Insights

Forbes Insights is the strategic research and thought leadership practice of Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com, whose combined media properties reach nearly 50 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. Taking advantage of a proprietary database of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a host of topics of interest to C-level executives, senior marketing professionals, small business owners and those who aspire to positions of leadership, as well as providing deep insights into issues and trends surrounding wealth creation and wealth management.

About Rocket Fuel

Rocket Fuel delivers a leading programmatic media-buying platform at Big Data scale that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to improve marketing ROI in digital media across web, mobile, video, and social channels. Rocket Fuel powers digital advertising and marketing programs globally for customers in North America, Europe, and Japan. Customers use Rocket Fuel's Advertising That Learns ® platform to achieve brand and direct-response objectives in diverse industries from luxury cars to groceries to retail. Rocket Fuel currently operates in 19 offices worldwide including New York, London, Paris, and Hamburg.

Download the report at www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/big_data

Contacts

Forbes Insights
Mia Carbonell, 212-620-2288
mcarbonell@forbes.com
or
Rocket Fuel
Jessica Cheney, 415-593-1400, ext. 1688
rocketfuel@atomicpr.com

Release Summary

Big Data Gives Marketers a Demonstrable Edge, Says New Study by Forbes Insights

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Contacts

Forbes Insights
Mia Carbonell, 212-620-2288
mcarbonell@forbes.com
or
Rocket Fuel
Jessica Cheney, 415-593-1400, ext. 1688
rocketfuel@atomicpr.com