“In customer-facing functions such as marketing, CIOs often find the door firmly shut in their faces. Indeed, many executives in these areas positively pride themselves on applying intuition rather than hard evidence.”
So writes Marianne Seiler at cio.co.uk, in “Help marketing managers overcome their intuition fixation: 6 ways CIOs can help wean creatives off gut-feeling and on to hard data.”
Seiler cites a May 2011 Accenture Customer Analytics Survey (PDF) of 800 directors and senior managers at companies in Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom and Ireland.
A key finding, according to the report: “While almost 70 percent of respondents said their senior management was totally or highly committed to analytics and fact based decision making, corporate culture still presents a major barrier.”
But CIOs can be proactive in helping to get marketing executives using data analytics for decision making.
Among the six steps Seiler highlights: “Identify the metrics that matter” and “Find a business partner: Select a group within the marketing functions that is ready for and open to new approaches, and examine its culture and ability to change. Take time to discuss its objectives and expectations, and identify the resources needed to spearhead the driving of data into decision processes.”
Seiler, bylined as “senior principle, customer analytics at Accenture,” notes that the challenge is particularly acute in the creative parts of companies.
“Some 35% of those respondents responsible for marketing, sales or customer service said experience and intuition were the key inputs when making decisions,” she writes. “In contrast, only 22% placed the same reliance on data analysis, and a mere 15% on consultation with colleagues.”