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Spending on Data & Data-Related Solutions Will Continue to Rise, According to IAB “Outlook for Data” Study

Rik van der Kooi of Microsoft Advertising Elected Chairman of the IAB Board of Directors

Cross-Channel Data Measurement & Attribution Predicted to be the Highest Priority for Using Data for Third Year in a Row

NEW YORK, NY (March 5, 2019) – Marketers, publishers, marketing service providers, and technology developers expect their spending on data and data-related services to increase in 2019, according to “The Outlook for Data 2019: A Snapshot Into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight” the fourth annual benchmarking report conducted on behalf of the IAB Data Center of Excellence released today by the IAB and research and consulting firm Winterberry Group.

The findings from the new “The Outlook for Data 2019: A Snapshot Into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight,” are aligned with those from IAB’s earlier “State of Data” report, which reported that U.S. companies spent nearly $19.2 billion on the acquisition of audience data as well as solutions to manage, process, and analyze this data in 2018.   In the new report, 69 percent of respondents stated they had increased their spending on audience data and related activation solutions in 2018 over 2017. Seventy-eight percent expect to invest more in 2019, while only 15 percent expect to invest the same amount and just 3 percent expect to spend less.

According to the study, these increased investments are aimed at navigating the complex media landscape. The vast majority of survey participants noted that cross-channel data measurement and attribution, and audience identification/matching are the most important areas of focus for them in the coming year.

Fifty-three percent of industry executives noted that the threat of heightened government data regulation was the main potential threat to deriving value from data. Other ongoing issues such as difficulty in proving ROI, lack of internal experience and insufficient availability/functionality of supporting technology have all decreased over the past few years to 33.3, 29.2 and 22.2 percent respectively indicating that the industry’s ability to effectively use data has matured.

“The increased investment in data underscores its importance to marketers, it is becoming an increasingly critical part of all business carried out by marketers,” said Orchid Richardson, Vice President and Managing Director, IAB Data Center of Excellence. “While the industry is becoming more sophisticated in its application of data in marketing, communications and analytics, rapid growth in data analytics and solutions also presents challenges. The IAB is addressing the challenges of the changes and advances in data usage head on by developing workforce education, producing research and developing best practices as well as convening the leading thought leaders in the field.”

“Data is increasingly the tool that marketers and their teams are utilizing to solve their most challenging problems—that’s what this report shows,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director, Winterberry Group. “Spending on data and data-related services continues to increase, with that investment focused on unraveling what’s perhaps their most perplexing day-to-day issue: how to best engage prospects and customers—in a way that delivers a superior experience, while also addressing a range of business needs—across an ever-growing array of marketing channels.”

To view the full report, please visit

“The Outlook for Data 2019: A Snapshot Into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight” and its results were based on an online survey of members of the IAB Data and Programmatic Councils. A total of 105 members responded to the survey, which remained open during parts of January and February 2019.

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, it develops technical standards and best practices. IAB and the IAB Education Foundation are committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., IAB advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City and has a San Francisco office.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]