Survey: Big Data Marketing Budgets Rise Again in 2014, But Hiring Slows

Infogroup Targeting Solutions survey at DMA13 Conference finds companies continue to make technology investments, but focus on data analysis could suffer without adding people

OMAHA, NEB., Jan. 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Most companies will continue spending heavily on big data marketing initiatives in 2014, but fewer companies plan to hire for data-related positions compared to a year ago, according to an annual study from Infogroup Targeting Solutions.

The report, based on a survey of almost 400 marketers at the DMA13 Annual Conference, found for the second straight year that more than 60 percent of companies expect their big data marketing budgets to increase. But the majority of marketers do not plan on adding new employees to handle their data efforts in 2014, a reversal from a year ago when most companies said they did expect to hire for big data positions.

"The survey findings also indicate that marketers are moving from the information-gathering stage to the analytics phase of big data adoption. But a downturn in hiring could stall big data implementation, as the need for human capital is greatest during the analysis and action stages", said David McRae, president of Infogroup Targeting Solutions.

"Big data is meaningless without manpower," McRae said. "While it's exciting that most companies are making bigger investments in big data, marketers should not forget that it takes people to make sense of the information. Hiring before reaching the analytics stage enables companies to become data-led and act on the data."

Marketers seeing positive ROI

Big data early adopters will be spending the most in 2014, likely because they are already reporting a positive ROI. Two-thirds of marketers who have already made big data investments expect to see increased budgets this year, 10 percent higher than those who have not started yet.

When it comes to specific big data investments, the most popular technology in 2014 will help marketers with enhanced analytics (42 percent). Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of marketers say data analysis will be more of a priority this year, and a quarter plan to hire data analysts or strategists.

The ITS findings show where data-driven marketing is headed in 2014:

  • 62 percent of marketers expect an increase in their data-related budgets, down 6 percent from last year.
  • Only 43 percent of marketers plan on hiring for data-related positions, compared to 56 percent in 2013. Among survey respondents who are hiring,
  • 59 percent intend to onboard data analysts or strategists.
  • More than half (54 percent) of marketers have already invested in big data. Among those early adopters, 61 percent are already seeing positive ROI.
  • Thirty percent of marketers plan to invest in big data for the first time in the next two years; of the 15 percent who plan to invest for the first time in 2014, 86 percent expect to see positive ROI in the first or second year.
  • Eleven percent of marketers have no plans to invest in big data solutions.

"Big data implementation is a multi-year process that requires sustained investment in technology and talent," McRae said. "To maintain momentum, marketers need to create an intentional roadmap because big data cannot be tackled in a day."

Infogroup Targeting Solutions surveyed 370 marketers in person on tablet devices at DMA13 in Chicago from Oct. 14-17, 2013. The full report, "Big Data's Big Step: Analytics Takes Center Stage for Marketers in 2014," can be downloaded here.

About Infogroup Targeting Solutions

Infogroup Targeting Solutions helps companies increase sales and customer loyalty through analytically driven consumer and business data and database marketing solutions. With exclusive access to the Data Axle™, we build multichannel solutions using contextually relevant information on 235MM individuals and 25MM businesses. For more information, visit


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