Although survey respondents say the value of customer analytics is declining, our findings show these analytics clearly drive value.

Focusing on three factors can help companies reap the benefits.

With the trend toward investment in customer analytics in full swing, this business function could be expected to rank high on the top management agenda. However, results from a recent round of the McKinsey-sponsored CMO Survey suggest that while the budget spent on marketing analytics as well as its application are clearly increasing, the value that customer analytics is perceived to bring to companies’ success is declining rather than growing.

To clarify the somewhat inconclusive CMO perspective on customer analytics, we surveyed 700 senior marketing and sales executives to shed light on three questions

To what extent does customer analytics actually contribute value to companies’ performance?

What are the key success factors for reaping the benefits of customer analytics?

How can marketers ensure the future competitiveness of their organization’s customer analytics?1. The impact of customer analytics on corporate performance is significant—and clearly underestimated

We found that the importance of customer analytics for commercial success is not perceived as increasing (as would be assumed given that ever more investments are flowing into this field). In contrast, it is viewed as less important for corporate performance than several other areas of marketing and sales—even less so than two years ago, when we last conducted our survey of senior marketing and sales executives. In that 2013 survey, customer analytics was ranked fifth in terms of importance among 13 areas of marketing and sales, while in 2015 it is only ranked eighth (among 12 areas).

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However, there is every reason for marketing and sales executives (and their chief executive officers) to reappraise the importance they attribute to customer analytics and adapt the way they strategize and manage this topic, as customer analytics does indeed create significant value.

Read all: Why customer analytics matter | McKinsey & Company

Authors: Lars Fiedler, Till Großmaß, Marcus Roth, and Ole Jørgen Vetvik