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What you need to know about data in marketing

Note from the editor

The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly accelerated digital transformation, putting new pressure on marketers to master the types of data and analytics capabilites that can improve personalization and foster loyalty during a volatile period. Even before the novel coronavirus, data-driven marketing was receiving a higher premium, driving large investments and acquisitions from both consumer brands and agency groups.

Marketers who don't look into building out a stronger data playbook now could lose out. On top of the pandemic-driven growth in digital strategies from e-commerce to localization, regulatory focus on data and privacy promise more changes to the landscape. Already, important tools like third-party cookies are winding down, which will force brands to prioritize tactics that rely on first-party data in the near future. Companies including Reebok and Target have remade their loyalty programs with a stronger data-focus, and others could follow suit.

At the same time, a wide skills gap persists around a tech-intensive space with a steep learning curve and demand for expertise that falls outside of many of the typical marketing buckets. Going forward, it will be important for marketers to blend deeper technical knowledge with the crucial "soft skills" of marketing, such as teamwork, writing and creativity, according to the ANA.

In this report, Marketing Dive breaks down:

  • Major investments and acquisitions around data, including Mastercard's recent purchase of SessionM
  • How marketers like Reebok and Target are applying data internally to rework important functions, including loyalty
  • Where gaps in knowledge and practical applications of data persist, leading to wasted resources and spend

We hope these insights help inform your strategy in an increasingly crucial and complicated area that is sure to a surge in activity in the months ahead.

Peter Adams Reporter

Ad stakeholders race to form new data and analytics standards as old ones face 'Tower of Babel' moment

How Clorox built a DTC brand with the resources of a CPG giant

The ramping up of Clorox's direct-to-consumer capabilities reached new heights with the launch of the Objective Wellness brand in October 2019.

ANA: Marketing's data-driven potential at risk if educational skills gap persists

Will loyalty programs gain renewed value in a cookie-less era?

Brands from Sephora to Red Lobster revisited their rewards strategies amid tighter ad-targeting restrictions and greater demands for data privacy.

Agencies' data platforms face challenges despite capturing significant ad spend

Mastercard snaps up loyalty platform SessionM

How Target and Reebok reinvigorated loyalty with a data-driven playbook

Will personalization's role in marketing shrink as challenges grow?