Data Continues to Grow in Importance for Marketers Across the Globe but Improved Campaign Measurement and Attribution Required

Dec 15, 2015

The second annual Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising revealed that data is playing an increasingly central role as a pillar of marketing, advertising, and customer experience practice around the globe, with 81.3% of marketers describing data as important to their efforts, an increase from 80.4% in 2014, and 59.3% calling it "critical" to their efforts, up from 57.1% in 2014.

The study, conducted by GDMA (an alliance of 27 independent marketing associations around the world) and U.S. research and consulting firm Winterberry Group indicates that 74.1% of marketers remain confident in the value of data-driven marketing and advertising ("DDMA") and its potential for future growth. Among the survey's 17-nation panel, 56.3% said they increased their annual DDMA expenditures last year, while 68.6% expect to increase spending further in 2016. These metrics were slightly down on 2014 levels (when 77.4% panellists indicated confidence in DDMA and 63.2% increased their respective spending since the prior year). The year-on-year dip could reflect the finding that participants cited improved measurement and attribution techniques as the single most important initiative would support their organizations' abilities to drive more value from DDMA.

The Global Review's findings were compiled through an online survey of 2,938 advertisers, marketers, and other industry participants, in 17 countries, between July and September 2015. Additional key findings of the report include:

  • Measurement is the key:The global participants called for improved measurement and attribution techniques and better training in respect to analytics and audience segmentation when asked what would help advance their ability to derive value from DDMA programmes.Panellists benchmarked (on a 1-to-5 scale with 5 indicating a factor is "critical" to deriving more value) improved measurement at 4.24 with better staff training at 4.22).
  • The customer is king:For the second year in a row, global panellists said their desire to be "customer-centric" is fuelling their DDMA efforts more than any other single priority.
  • First-party data rules:Far fewer practitioners are engaged in the use of "third-party" data (which typically includes compiled, commercial datasets that are licensed on an open market) to support their acquisition marketing efforts. Just under two-thirds of the global panel (65.5%) said that third-party data licensing is included among their DDMA use cases.
  • Digital, digital, digital:Panellists said they increased their proportional spending on social media, web content, search, and online display advertising more over the past year than on any other addressable channel, reflecting the findings of last years' research but with more consistency across markets. This is likely because these are the media that are delivering the greatest improvement in return-on-investment.