'Big Data' a big problem for marketers

The biggest issue facing local internet marketers' ability to personalize data (or obtain "Big Data") is a lack of sharing among company departments, according to a recent study reported by eMarketer.

Recent research conducted by the Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership and the New York American Marketing Association (NYAMA) looked at why Big Data isn't making the headway it needs to in order for marketers to correctly target their consumers, despite a clear need to do so.

"Without the ability to integrate Big Data collection and usage processes, companies are certain to fall short in delivering a truly personalized customer experience integrated across ad formats and channels," eMarketer explains.

Marketing Pilgrim suggests that one of the main reasons the sharing problem exists is because of laziness.

"Most people don't want to go above and beyond their required workload and if there needs to be tweaks in how information is gathered and dispersed there could be push-back from those who are not interested in rocking their own boat," the news source explains.

In addition to a lack of sharing, researchers also found that 42 percent of those polled felt it was too difficult to tie data back to individual customers.

Marketing Pilgrim suggests this is because marketers in positions of authority - or "higher up the corporate ladder" - become less and less in touch with "what is really needed at street level," muting the urge for cultural change. And if/when a change is finally agreed upon, it's usually too late to make an impact.

What's more, 39 percent of marketers reported a difficulty in collecting customer data fast enough - a downfall that can hurt mobile targeted marketing. Not being able to direct deals or discounts to shoppers in a store's' vicinity can result in missed opportunities for revenue.

Columbia researchers found the most popular kind of collected data to be demographic information (74 percent), followed by customer transaction data (64 percent) and customer usage data (60 percent).

Finally, it was revealed that many marketers aren't taking advantage of social media as a viable resource for personalization. Just 35 percent of those polled monitored social media content on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, while 33 percent watched social network influencers and 19 percent looked at customer mobile data.