Make room for data – The amount of customer information now available to marketers means more opportunities, challenges

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The rise of Big Data has complicated direct and digital marketing as never before. While new technologies have increased marketers’ understanding of their customer and prospect databases, the amount of data flowing into those databases is overwhelming the technology—as well as marketers’ state of mind.  IBM Corp.’s “Global Chief Marketing Officer Study,” released last fall, illustrates the state of concern. Based on interviews with 1,734 CMOs from 64 countries in 2011, the study identified Big Data as the chief challenge to marketing, cited by 71% of respondents.

Also, 79% believe that over the next five years, the complexity of the data will be high or very high, but almost as many feel unprepared to handle it. The difficulty in coping with Big Data is felt even among those companies IBM characterized as “outperforming organizations.” Among those organizations, 65% reported being unprepared to cope with the explosion of data, compared with 77% of IBM’s “underperforming organizations.”

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