Marketing management firm Unica's "The State of Marketing 2010" constitutes a global survey of marketers, covering their challenges, as well as strategies in the areas of social media, mobile and inbound marketing categories, rele

ased this month.

Marketers see turning data into actions as one of their top issues and see information technology as their number one bottleneck. Of all issues scored, seventy percent of marketers selected turning data into actions as very important to their success. At 69 percent, measuring results and increasing effectiveness came in second. While all the survey issues are important, the three most significant bottlenecks in the marketing process are:

IT support of marketing technology needs 67 percent very or somewhat big bottlenecks
Measurement, analysis and learning 58 percent
Integrating cross-channel efforts 62 percent

73 percent of surveyed companies leverage inbound marketing activities to serve marketing messages and offers. Customer initiated interactions are seen as an excellent opportunity to personalize marketing communications. North American brands are much less aggressive (thirteen percent) in adopting targeting/personalization on Web sites compared to Europeans (thirty percent) in plans for the next twelve months.

Centralized decisioning "coordinates outbound and inbound marketing through a single system maintaining a comprehensive contact and response history." It has already been adopted by 25 percent of forward-looking marketers and forty percent say they plan to adopt. Rather than technical barriers, organizational and financial concerns are slowing the adoption of centralized decisioning. Lack of budget was cited by 69 percent of North Americans.

Email is the channel where both online and offline data are most likely to be used in making marketing decisions. Offline data is used in 72 percent of email offers, and 70 percent for direct mail offers. Integrating both types of data is slowed by insufficient budget (62% in North America) and uncertain ROI (68 percent globally), similar to centralized decisioning.