New Study Finds Marketers Waste 21 Cents of Every Media Dollar From Poor Data Quality

Sep 10, 2019


New research shows that marketers rely on high-quality data for fueling successful marketing initiatives, but they struggle to achieve it. High-quality data empowers marketers to effectively understand and influence shoppers at the right moment, while also demonstrating accountability for their spend. And while 82% of organizations place a high priority on refining data quality, 26% of marketing campaigns were hurt by substandard data in the last 12 months.

These findings come from “Why Marketers Can’t Ignore Data Quality,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Marketing Evolution, to evaluate the state of organizations’ marketing/media data quality and the tactics that help marketers promote quality efficiently and effectively.

In the age of empowered customers, competitive advantage hinges on an organization’s ability to harness the data needed to improve customer understanding and engagement. But poor data quality remains marketers’ Achilles heel, hindering insight while draining valuable resources. To improve data quality, the research identifies seven dimensions that best define data quality: timeliness, completeness, consistency, relevance, transparency, accuracy, and representativeness.

Tackling data quality improvements and boosting marketers’ trust in their data is a worthwhile effort. Per study findings, wasted media spend is the highest-ranked repercussion of poor data quality (37%). A whopping 21 cents of every media dollar spent by organizations in the last year was wasted due to poor data quality, resulting in inaccurate targeting (35%) and lost customers (30%). 

 Among the study’s additional findings:

  • The vast majority of respondents (87%) ranked “high-quality data” as important or very important for marketing success
  • As much as 32% of marketing teams’ time is spent managing data quality, and 26% of campaigns in the last year were hurt by poor data quality, on average.
  • Firms with above-average confidence across the seven quality dimensions cited benefits, including improved customer experiences and customer targeting, faster decision-making, and reduced media spending waste.

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