- Marketers plan to spend more on data and data-related services in 2019, according to findings of the report "The Outlook for Data 2019: A Snapshot Into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight" by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and consulting firm Winterberry Group, shared with Marketing Dive.
- Among respondents, 69% said they increased spending on audience data and related activation solutions in 2018 over 2017, and 78% planned to invest more in 2019. Fifteen percent said they would invest the same amount this year, and 3% will spend less. In 2018, U.S. companies spent nearly $19.2 billion on audience data acquisition and solutions to manage, process and analyze the data.
- The possibility of stronger government data regulation is the main potential threat to "deriving value from data," according to 53% of industry executives. Concern over other ongoing issues has decreased over the past few years, with the number of marketers saying proving ROI is a concern dropping to 33.3%. Lack of internal experience dropped to 29.2%, and insufficient ability to support technology to 22.2%.
The new IAB report underscores the importance of data to marketers, who are using data to solve problems and deliver better customer experience. Marketers are investing most on cross-channel data measurement and attribution and audience identification/matching this year, and the report suggests that most are concerned about the looming government data regulations over consumer data collection and privacy.
With Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in effect, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) set to go into effect in 2020 and other states considering their own privacy legislation, marketers are gearing up to comply with the rules, but, as the IAB report suggests, many are concerned over how they will derive value from their data investments under stricter regulations. The IAB and other industry organizations have called for comprehensive federal privacy legislation to avoid a complicated "patchwork" created by state-level laws.
Marketers’ ability to leverage data effectively also appears to be improving, according to the report. Previously, marketers have struggled with determining marketing performance, with 78% of marketers saying it was difficult to determine performance across channels, and fewer than 20% of agencies and media said they were confident in their ability to create insights from data, according to Kantar research.
The rise of data-focused marketing has led many to express concern over its impact on creative and customer experience. Sixty-seven percent of marketers think the growth of digital advertising has harmed the quality of creative, according to Sizmek research. Customer and human relationships are also getting lost in the marketing industry's push to master data and marketing technology, and marketers see a focus on "small data," or specific personal attributes delivered through channels like Internet of Things, could bring a human touch back to marketing, according to a CMO Council and Harte Hanks study.