LONDON: UK marketers regard the ability to mine Big Data as increasingly important to their job but few think they are sufficiently qualified to manage the challenges it presents, according to a new survey.

GfK polled 1,011 UK consumers and 157 marketers on the use of data for a Guardian Media Network report and found that 86% of marketers thought Big Data was changing the marketing function while 62% said their job had already changed as a result.

See the latest issue of Admap magazine for new insights on meeting the challenge of Big Data - including the free-to-read article Big Data, not magic data, by Mark Earls and Alex Bentley.

And while marketers felt that Big Data would mean consumers expected more targeted messages, the GfK research found that only 30% of them felt they had the necessary skills, The Drum reported.

Consumers also exhibited a hazy understanding, with many aware that their data was used to target them with offers but 47% did not know what actual data was being collected.

They were not keen on personalised offers, however, with just 34% saying they were "happy" to have companies suggest products for them. And 77% said it was "annoying" if companies thought they knew them too well.

They also expressed a high degree of cynicism, with 81% believing companies shared or sold their personal data to other businesses.

But almost a third also thought that brands didn't always do much with the data they possessed and GfK suggested this could be indicative of a lack of personalisation from brands or a lack of dialogue between brands and their customers.

"The marketing industry has to become more sophisticated in its use of the information it collects to convince consumers that relevant, accurately targeted offers do actually make their lives easier," said Colin Strong, GfK's managing director for Business & Technology.

He noted that 81% of consumers said they were more likely to give their business to companies that use their personal data appropriately. "Those that don't risk not only ever decreasing business returns, but reputational damage if marketing messages are considered inappropriate or intrusive," he added.

In the latest issue of Admap Magazine, where Big Data is the lead theme, Strong suggests that Big Data could be analysed in a number of ways, including "to creatively develop broader marketing strategy rather than purely tactical gains".

It could also be developed in completely new ways, he argued, to generate "massive new opportunities for marketers which puts them properly in the Big Data driving seat".

Data sourced from The Drum, Admap; additional content by Warc staff