Just as marketers started making consistent sense of digital marketing channels, along comes another must-have tactic:  Big Data. A survey by Kentico Software, referenced on eMarketer, found that big data was the third-highest priority for U.S. digital marketers in 2015. A Teradata study reported in the same article revealed that just two in five companies report generating revenues from using their data aggressively, and anEconomist Intelligence Unit survey of 530 executives found that 89 percent didn’t believe they were significantly better than their peers at leveraging data. In other words, most are feeling pretty data-illiterate at this point. You have time to put a plan in place.

In 2014 Pep Boys Chief Marketing Officer Ron Stoupa moved to Sports Authority to take over the same role there. In a recent interview with a Forbes writer, Stoupa explains why he championed a data literacy movement:

“The marketing profession from 20 years ago, which was about big ideas, pretty pictures and fluff, is pretty much dead. About a third of CMOs use data and the [remaining two-thirds] aren’t as data-focused . . . Data competency is the source of power for CMOs sitting in the C-suite.”

Data literacy gives marketers the power to prove their campaigns were successful. It also gives them the power to move on from unsuccessful campaigns more quickly, saving the company money. Data will be as concrete in the marketing department as profits and expenses are in finance.

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