Big data is one of the big buzzwords in the marketing world in 2013. The trend of collecting consumer behavior data and  dataanalysisapplying this information to the development of upcoming campaigns has become a part of marketing for nearly all enterprises.  A new survey, Big Data and the CMO, from Spencer Stuart analyzes exactly how marketers are using big data now and their plans for the future.

Marketers are convinced that expertise in big data can give them a competitive edge. At least 11% of surveyed businesses call themselves sophisticated when it comes to data management. Another 44% say they are proficient. That leaves 33% in the basic category and 11% who are just getting started with big data.

Businesses say that big data is having the biggest impact on digital campaigns. For example, 14% say that analytics are making a difference for their non-digital campaigns. That number jumps to 58% for SEO/SEM/email/SMS marketing campaigns. About 35% of marketers are using analytics to determine how to proceed with social media. Not surprisingly, customer segmentation and big data go hand-in-hand for 49% of marketers.

Looking to the future, more marketers expect to use data and analytics for their non-digital advertising: 16%. Other top categories for big data will be marketing strategy (54%), loyalty retention programs (46%), and customer segmentation (46%).

With so much emphasis on the ROI generated by marketing expenditures, it might be surprising to see that businesses aren’t applying analytics to all campaigns all of the time. Part of the problem is linked to the budget constraints for tech purchases. And, for now, not everyone can agree on which algorithms truly measure campaign effectiveness.  According to Spencer Stuart, more enterprises, (66%) will be relying on CMOs to bring broad analytical thinking capabilities to the organization in order to increase the effective use of big data. This strategy should generate better ROI measurement.

What parts of your marketing programs are benefiting most from big data analytics? Are you planning to invest in additional systems to improve the data analysis on your marketing campaigns?