The third annual benchmarking study explores how digital marketing and media practitioners are using audience data, and how they intend to advance their data-centric use cases in the year ahead. Based on the research, it is clear that Data continues to play a critical role across a vast range of advertising and marketing applications.
- Spending on Data and Related Solutions Continues to Rise: Marketers, publishers and technology developers continue to grow their spending on audience data and related solutions; 60.3% of survey respondents reported that their organizations spent more on data and related services in 2017 than they did the year before, and an even larger majority (80.8%) expect to grow their investments further in 2018. According to State of Data 2017—published in December 2017 by DMA, IAB’s Data Center of Excellence and Winterberry Group—U.S. organizations spent $20.2BB on data and related activation solutions in support of their advertising, marketing and audience engagement efforts in 2017
- Practitioners are Prioritizing Cross-Device Use Cases for 2018: More than any other individual use case, data users anticipate that they will prioritize richer cross-channel marketing engagement in 2018—particularly addressing the improved measurement and attribution of these efforts. Just over half of panelists (52.3%) said they expect to focus on improving their cross-device audience recognition capabilities, supporting their ability to serve more relevant content to their customers and prospects across all touchpoints
- Technology… Help or Hindrance? Though roughly one-third (32.4%) of panelists said technology will play a fundamental role in driving their data initiatives in 2018—and many cited artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology as foremost among the innovations likely to capture a greater share of their time and attention this year—even more (50%) highlighted “insufficient supporting technology” as a fundamental obstacle impeding their ability to derive value from their data initiatives, underscoring the complexity inherent in sourcing, onboarding and managing tools to support an increasingly diverse array of use cases