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Marketing Teams Are Suffering Most from Data Integration Friction

Michele Reister StreamSets
By Posted in Data Integration June 23, 2023

Surging inflation and spiking interest rates are forcing consumers in many regions to rein in spending. GDP is forecast to grow at just 1.2% in advanced economies this year. That makes customer engagement and retention more important than ever. It’s‌ perhaps unsurprising, then, that over three-quarters (77%) of CMOs feel pressured to prove their campaigns are driving short-term return on investment (ROI). Their ability to do so may rest on the resilience of the data pipelines that ferry critical data from source to destination.

Unfortunately, marketing teams have a problem. Their data ecosystems are too brittle.

When Pipelines Crack

Nearly a third of global marketers expect budgets to be lower this year than in 2022. Against this backdrop, teams need to optimize their use of data to drive conversions, generate leads, and deliver ROI. Instead, many are drowning in data chaos. 

Pipelines are critical conduits of data on everything from open rates to sales. Yet StreamSets research shows that pipelines are increasingly vulnerable to breakage – and marketing teams are suffering particularly badly. Our findings show that: 

  • 60% of data professionals in marketing admit their pipelines are too brittle and crack at the first sign of trouble, versus 39% across all departments.
  • Over half (55%) say their pipelines break every week, and 28% say they break at least once a day, versus 36% and 14% overall.
  • Nearly a third (30%) say they face major challenges delivering data versus 11% across departments.
  • Over half (52%) say data friction is a “chronic problem” in their organization versus 43% overall.


Why is this happening? Bugs and errors being introduced during a change is the most cited factor. Respondents also mentioned pipeline owners moving on without making the pipeline available to the rest of the team. And many cite infrastructure changes, like moving to a new cloud, as a challenge.

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What This Means

Whatever the cause of broken data pipelines, the impact on marketing teams is profound, including:

  • Campaigns being created with incomplete data because legacy sources are not attached to pipelines due to compatibility issues.
  • Data requests that are unmet as demand for pipelines outstrips IT’s ability to supply them.
  • Data breach and compliance risks stemming from a lack of governance and security built into the data supply chain. Over half (56%) of marketing data professionals say that modern infrastructures and data decentralization have created a data “wild west.”

Businesses must do better. And they can, by bringing data practitioners and leaders from across the organization together around a centralized management console to modernize their data integration efforts. Streamlining the creation of data pipelines and embedding good governance into projects can even empower line of business users like those in marketing to self-serve. 

To learn more, download our report to find out more about the data pipeline challenges facing marketing teams.

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