Two-thirds of UK brands are underutilizing marketing data

Two-thirds of UK brands are underutilizing marketing data

Almost two-thirds of UK brands are underutilizing their data and limiting its effectiveness by focusing on general analytics activations rather than more sophisticated techniques.

While the majority are activating their data – only a small number of marketers (5%) are not activating their data at all – only 39% of brands are harnessing the power of advanced measurement solutions to gain deep insights from their data.

This is according to a study of UK marketing decision makers by technology and digital marketing consultants Making Science, which found that of the three sectors surveyed – retail and e-commerce, financial services and travel – UK retail lagged behind both other sectors in its data practices. Surprisingly, retail and e-commerce respondents (7%) are less likely to collect both online and offline data, compared to just 1% of finance and travel respondents. Retail brands are also less likely to certify the quality of their data, with one in eight failing to do so. This is significantly more than financial (1%) and travel (2%).

In terms of data activation, 12% of retail respondents said they had not activated their data at all – far more than finance (1%) and travel (2%) – while 15% of retail brands had not invested in data automation, with financial services at 3% and travel 4%.

Considering that more than half (55%) of all marketers surveyed aim to win new customers as a result of data activation, these findings – particularly in the retail sector – highlight a surprising waste of effort in light of the post-pandemic drive for efficiency and pressure to grow economic concerns is the ROI.

Those who activate their data not only aim to attract new customers, but also increase brand awareness (50%), gain greater loyalty within their current customer base (46%), increase ROI (42%) and increase optimization conversion rates (38 %).

“We were particularly surprised by the number of brands that are investing in data collection to grow their business and improve existing services, while not fully completing the final activation phase, where the benefits of their efforts are rewarded,” said Kevin Daly, Chief Data Officer of the first parties in the company Making Science. “Almost all companies strive to ensure the quality of their data, with 6 out of 10 using internal processes and 5 out of 10 relying on external platforms. 9 out of 10 go a step further and enrich their data, using a mix of machine learning and AI tools. However, after all their hard work, most fail to use advanced measurement solutions to activate their data to its full potential. It is clear that there is currently a lack of understanding or resources to complete the most important stage in the data journey: activation. This is where Making Science’s technology can apply key learnings to data strategy and work on key goals using data insights.”

The rise of AI

Nine out of ten companies have embraced machine learning to enrich their data. The most common use across all industries surveyed was to create product recommendations for consumers, with nearly half of respondents using the technology to do so. A further 43% said they used machine learning to optimize advertising campaigns, while 34% used artificial intelligence to personalize their website.

Consistent with other data trends, retail brands are least likely to use machine learning, with a fifth of industry respondents not using the technology.


Almost one in ten companies are still unsure how GDPR regulations apply to their company. Six years after the original legislation was introduced, a further 4% say they have not heard of the GDPR regulations, while 1% say they are aware of the regulations but have ignored them. Of those who have noticed GDPR, 38% have worked with an external expert to comply, while 33% rely on in-house expertise.

Are you interested in the world’s leading brands personally discussing such topics? Learn more about World Digital Marketing Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America and Singapore.

Tags: data, research

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