Advertisers and marketers have affirmed the importance of data in marketing efforts in a new report from marketing associations alliance GlobalDMA and research and consulting firm Winterberry Group.
The report The Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising shows more than 80 percent of its worldwide research panel (including over 3,000 advertisers, marketers, service providers and technology developers across 17 countries) said that data plays an affirmatively important role in supporting their respective efforts. And nearly all (92.2 percent) said they expect data to contribute even more substantially to their advertising and marketing efforts over the coming years.
To be published annually, the report benchmarks current practices across each of its 17 participating markets—with an eye on helping practitioners better understand and act upon their addressable opportunities, challenges and market dynamics.
“It was a great achievement to have so many professionals around the world participate in such a comprehensive study,” said Jodie Sangster, ADMA CEO and chair of the GlobalDMA.“We’ve done this to help marketers and advertisers benchmark their campaigns, allocate budgets in line with global best practices and develop strategies for using data in meaningful, responsible and consumer-friendly ways.”
The Global Review’s findings were compiled through an online survey of advertisers, marketers and other industry participants (deployed between July and September 2014 by marketing associations in participating markets). Among other findings, it concluded that:
- It’s a bull market: More than three quarters (77.4 percent) of global panelists said they’re confident in the practice of data-driven marketing and advertising and its prospects for future growth. While that response was fairly consistent around the world, panelists in emerging markets—including India, Brazil and South Africa—indexed their level of optimism at higher levels than their counterparts elsewhere.
- Budgets are on the rise: Globally, 63.2 percent of panelists reported that their spending on data-driven marketing and advertising grew over the last year—with another 10 percent (73.5 percent of the panel) expecting budgets will rise yet again over the next year.
- Data is digital. And digital is data: The five promotional channels that captured the most new or expanded budget over the last year—including website/e-commerce content, social media, mobile, paid search engine marketing and online display advertising—are all native to the digital world.
- It’s all about customers: A majority of global panelists (52.7 percent) said that “a demand to deliver more relevant communications/be more ‘customer-centric’” is among the most important factors driving their data-related investments, outpacing all other relevant factors.
“While we hear often about the contrasts that distinguish markets around the world, our research revealed one universal constant: data matters—and it matters a lot,” said Jonathan Margulies, managing director, Winterberry Group. “Across all of the 17 nations that were part of our analysis, we found that practitioners rely heavily on information to support a range of business objectives, ultimately supporting both marketing and consumer interests.”
Some Australian survey highlights
What’s driving data-driven marketing and advertising activity (DDMA) in Australia? Australian panelists said two primary motives—the desire to extract more value from marketing investments and be more “customer-centric”—guided their marketing agendas. Limited marketing budgets, meanwhile, represents the single most significant barrier to the same efforts
Australian marketers struggle with burdensome regulatory barriers slightly less than their global peers; panelists benchmarked such guidelines at 2.81 (on a 1-to-5 scale, with 5 indicating that regulation “substantially” limits data-driven marketing and advertising practice). This compares to the global index score of 2.94.
Though Australian panelists, like others, were adamant that additional budget would do the most to advance their DDMA efforts, they noted that experienced and skilled practitioners are also in need if the practice is to grow over time.
Data modelling and analytics skill sets, as well as staff with technology know-how, are the highest investment priorities for the near term in Australia.
There were 612 respondents to the study in Australia.
The Global Review was made possible through the support of MediaMath— a leader in data-driven marketing strategy and technology.
“Driving a connected, seamless consumer experience is the holy grail of marketing,” said Rachel Meranus, SVP, marketing at MediaMath. “As the study shows, data is core to this and as more and more marketers invest in data-driven marketing, they will undoubtedly see a greater marketing ROI.”
The Global Review—including its worldwide analysis and an appendix providing rich snapshots of response across each of its 17 participating markets—can be downloaded at http://www.globaldma.com/survey
“We’re looking forward to future annual editions of The Global Review, when we’ll finally have what has always been so elusive to the marketing industry: insightful historical data about how marketers and advertisers are leveraging data as a driver of innovation and growth,” said Mr. Margulies. “We’ll be able to track what’s happening across the ‘data-driven’ economy and better understand the trends that are driving new opportunities for practitioners around the globe.”
“The research will be the foundation of a global conversation about data and its evolving role in advertising and marketing,” concluded Sangster.
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