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IAB ‘Outlook for Data 2018’ Study Shows Ongoing Rise in Spending on Audience Data and Related Solutions in Digital Marketing & Media

Artificial Intelligence & Blockchain Technology Expected to Become Bigger Priorities This Year

PALM DESERT, CA (February 12, 2018) —According to a research report released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and research and consulting firm Winterberry Group, 60 percent of marketers, publishers, and tech developers stated that their organizations spent more on data in 2017 than 2016—and an even greater majority (81%) plan to invest at higher levels in 2018. “The Outlook for Data 2018: A Snapshot into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight,” the third annual benchmarking report conducted on behalf of the IAB Data Center of Excellence, also found that only 12 percent expect to spend the same on data as they did in 2017, a sharp contrast from 2016 when 30 percent anticipated holding to their current budgets.

Among other key findings, half of respondents (50%) cited “insufficient supporting technology” as a primary obstacle in their ability to gain value from their data initiatives, while roughly one-third (32%) said that technology would play a vital role in leading their data initiatives this year. Of particular note, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology were frequently cited as innovations that would likely command more time and attention in 2018.

The research also found that marketers, publishers, and tech developers are increasingly focusing on richer cross-channel marketing engagement and the measurement of it, with more than half of respondents (52%) reporting that they plan to improve their cross-device audience recognition capabilities in 2018 to ensure customers are getting the right content in the most relevant ways.

When asked which use cases they expect to most occupy their time, attention, and resources in 2018, respondents’ most common answers were:

  • Cross-channel measurement and attribution (64%)
  • Programmatic media buying for emerging formats (51%)
  • Predictive modeling and/or segmentation (51%)

“The projected increased investment in data aligns with our research on direct brands. This trend is centered on utilizing consumer data to create custom experience and increased value to customers,” said Orchid Richardson, Vice President and Managing Director of IAB Data Center of Excellence. “Additionally, accurate cross-channel measurement and attribution is an important component in the direct-to-consumer playbook and IAB has made work on this a priority in 2018.”

“The Outlook for Data 2018: A Snapshot into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight” was released during the 2018 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, CA. To view the full report, please visit iab.com/data-outlook-2018.

“The Outlook for Data 2018: 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 99 members responded to the survey, which remained open during parts of December 2017 and January 2018.

About the Winterberry Group
Winterberry Group is a unique strategic consulting firm that supports the growth of advertising, marketing, media, information and technology organizations. Affiliated with Petsky Prunier LLC—a leading investment bank providing merger and acquisition advisory services to companies in the same sectors—the Firm offers its clients strategic perspective that is unparalleled in its addressable industries, while PPLLC maintains exceptional relationships with industry executives and business owners. This combination of market intelligence, research and strategic operating experience provides an educated outside perspective that we bring to each engagement. For more information, please visit www.winterberrygroup.com.

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]