Demographics still lead for marketers' data investments, study finds
- Ninety percent of marketers think audience data is either "very valuable" or "somewhat valuable," according to a study by data management platform Lotame provided to Marketing Dive.
- The study found that 42% of marketers purchase data related to consumer demographics, including age and gender, and 34% purchase geographic data. Twenty-eight percent purchase data around interests, and 28% purchase advanced demographics like household income, education and children. Twenty-five percent purchase third-party data and 24% purchase social influencer data.
- Age was the highest-ranked audience demographic among marketers at 76%, followed by gender (61%), household income (50%), education (40%) and number of children (32%). The study also found that 84% of marketers prioritize accuracy when purchasing consumer data, and most would purchase more data if they felt more confident about its accuracy.
As consumers demand greater, more granular personalization, marketers are increasingly leveraging data to inform their messaging and campaigns. However, the Lotame analysis highlights how much of that data continues to be broad and demographic-based, focused on factors like age and gender.
Though marketers are today more squarely focused on quality rather than scale, per the analysis, a growing body of research suggests that demographic targeting might not be the most resonant method compared to targeting around other factors like behavior or even content, especially when marketing to younger consumer segments like Gen Z.
Recent research by IPG’s Magna, commissioned by the content firm Zephyr, found that content targeting is the best way to for brands to reach YouTube viewers without relying on audience data, for example. Compared to demographic targeting and channel targeting, ads delivered by content targeting were less likely to be skipped, had 34% higher completion rates, and viewers found the ads to be 33% less intrusive, according to the study.
"Age and gender are unsurprisingly the top demographic datasets that marketers leverage," Jason Downie, chief strategy officer at Lotame, said in a statement. "In addition to age and gender, for marketers seeking to deliver digital campaigns in an even more targeted way, it would benefit them to layer in other forms of audience data, like geolocation and behavioral."
Using any sort of data-based targeting is not without its challenges: while 40% of consumers across several markets say messages only sometimes feel personal, according to a study by Periscope By McKinsey, separate findings from InMoment found that 75% of consumers report many forms of marketing personalization are creepy.