Some 71% of marketers said data integration delivers more relevant messages to segmented audiences, 68% attribute a rise in clicks and traffic, and 63% cite more efficient media buying and planning, according to a study released Wednesday. Quantifying the value of the data remains the biggest challenge for marketers.
The BlueKai Data Impact Report reveals that data-driven marketing rose 227% in the past six months since the prior study, with display ad targeting becoming the seventh most likely use. Some 36% of respondents said at least a fifth of their marketing budgets are driven by data, up from 11% in December 2012.
When asked how much data drives digital marketing, 33.3% said between 75% and 100% of their budgets, followed by 33.3% at between 50% and 75%, 22% at between 25% and 50%, and 11.4% up to 25%. The study, which relied on more than 100 marketing executives and media buyers, shows that marketers are mostly concerned about expanding the use of data to various marketing disciplines.
Cory Treffiletti, senior vice president of marketing at BlueKai, said more marketers have begun to see the value in data, so they are finding ways to quantify the value. Search, social, analytics and mobile topped the list in December. The study shows a shift in marketers, moving from using data for targeting, retargeting and display to search, analytics, mobile and social.
The majority of executives cite analytics as the No. 1 reason for the expanding use of data, followed by email, and search, social, video and mobile. Last year's survey ranked search, social, analytics, and mobile, respectively, in the top four. In the report released today, display ranked No. 7 in terms of importance.
"Integrating the data into a search AdWords campaign would enable the marketer to identify one of their customers and deliver to them a retention message, rather than acquisition message," Treffiletti said. "Using the data in a search campaign takes into consideration the audience doing the search."
The BlueKai study also found that more than half of respondents spend less than 25% of their marketing efforts on mobile marketing. Although mobile remains top of mind for marketers, it is still an untapped resource and channel for data-driven marketing initiatives. When asked what percentage of marketing efforts is invested in mobile, 51.7% said up to 25% of the budget, 50.8% said between 25% and 50%, and 14.2% said between 50% and 75%.