New Treasure Data Survey Reveals Overconfident Marketers are Missing the Mark With Consumers in Light of Today’s Inflationary Pressures

Majority of marketers are navigating costly data wastage and considerable budget cuts in efforts to reach target customers

Treasure Data, an award-winning enterprise customer data platform (CDP) provider, unveiled the results of a comprehensive survey that delves into the impact of rising costs to consumers, how inflation is changing spending habits, and what marketers are doing in response. The survey confirms businesses and consumers alike are being squeezed by tightening budgets, which are forcing them to reevaluate their priorities. Seven in ten (69%) marketers have already been forced to cut budgets due to rising business costs, and many are bracing for further reductions, particularly within larger businesses. On top of that, marketers admit they waste 38% of their budgets due to poor optimization of customer data, which is a significant loss of almost $6 million based on the average marketing budget over the past six months being over $15 million.

“The prospect of a looming recession has forced consumers to re-organize their lives and adjust their spending habits,” said Kazuki Ohta, co-founder and CEO at Treasure Data. “Our new survey shows that companies do not fully appreciate the extent of this changing behavior, and as a result, there is a growing divide between customer needs and what brands are actually delivering. In addition, marketers across the world must realize that wasted ad spend is impacting the success of their campaigns, so focusing on improving media efficiency is paramount in light of shrinking marketing budgets.”

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The survey dives deeper into the shifting prioritization for consumers when making purchases. When asked what are the most important factors for making everyday purchases, consumers indicated that the number one factor was price, followed by value for money, and then high quality. In addition, shoppers are re-categorizing some products they once considered essential as “nice-to-have” instead. The sectors most at risk are retail (29%), entertainment/media (25%), and travel/hospitality (22%).

Despite these concerns over the rising cost of living, one in ten (11%) consumers felt that marketing communications over the past six months have actually been less sensitive and appropriate to their personal financial situation.

In contrast, an overwhelming majority of U.S. marketers (96%) believe that they have a good understanding of how increased cost-of-living challenges are impacting their customers. Going further, the survey found that 77% of brand marketers say that they have changed their marketing strategies as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. The challenge is that companies are simultaneously reducing marketing spend just as demand begins to flatten and it becomes more difficult to reach the ideal audience.

In addition, the survey found 81% of marketers feel they are under increased pressure to prove return on investment, while a majority also have doubts that their current tech stack is up to the task. Over half (57%) don’t feel properly equipped to get the most out of the data they use for marketing.

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Other results from the survey include:

  • Despite nearly all marketers (98%) recognizing the importance of high quality customer data to marketing success, almost three quarters (74%) acknowledge the presence of organizational data blind spots hindering their marketing efforts.
  • Over the past six months, poor quality data has resulted in inaccurate targeting (30%), lost customers (29%), lost leads (28%), wasted marketing spend (28%), and reduced productivity (27%).
  • Proving both the prioritization and inefficiency of customer data collection, marketers spend, on average, 14.5 hours per week managing customer data collection, with one in five (18%) dedicating over 20 hours per week to the task.

“Against the backdrop of an economic downturn, marketers are beginning to realize that they need to aggressively adapt to evolving customer needs, which involves providing truly connected customer experiences, which is, according to our survey, key to both retaining customer loyalty and reducing spending waste,” added Ohta. “Organizations need to focus their efforts on eliminating organizational silos, better aggregation of their data sources, and empowering their teams so that they can more effectively leverage their data to personalize their messaging and better serve their customers.”

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