About 45% of marketers participating in a study published Monday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau said they had difficulty proving a return on investment for their data-driven campaigns. That percentage rose from a mere 26% in 2016.
Proving ROI remains one challenge in a long list of obstacles cited by marketers in the study compiled by the Winterberry Group. Lack of internal experience for functions and operations at 45% in 2017 vs. 35% in 2016. Insufficient supporting technology was cited at 39% vs. 45%.
Siloed organizational structures and poor data sharing protocols at 36% vs. 25%, and lack of volume and quality of first-party data sources at 25% vs. 33%, respectively, round out the top five.
Results from the Outlook for Data 2017: A Snapshot into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight report were based on an online survey of members of the IAB Data and Programmatic Councils. A total of 108 members responded to the survey, which remained open during parts of December 2016 and January 2017.
Lack of guidance from agency partners and service providers was included in the list of challenges to overcome in 2017. Some 16% of marketers rate the lack of guidance as being an issue, up from 7.6% in 2016. The lack of direction and resources from my organization’s leadership improved with 20% of marketers saying it's a challenge in 2017 vs. nearly 22% in 2016.
When asked what factors will drive data-driven marketing and media initiatives in 2017, nearly 62% of marketers cited demand and interest from customers, up from 60% in 2016. The growing volume and quality of the brand's first-party data sources at 53% vs. 47%, and growing emphasis on investments in measurability at 50% vs. 48%, respectively, round out the top three.
Improving availability and functions of supporting technology at 46% vs. 33%, and competitive pressures at 37% vs. 41%, respectively, round out the top five.
With technology becoming more complex, cross-channel measurement and audience engagement remain the top priorities in the coming year at 57%, followed by programmatic media buying at 48%, cross-channel audiences at 43%, advertising content and optimization at 41%, and general audience analytics at 41%.
Nearly 71% brands said they will spend more this year to get attribution on track, up from 67% in 2016. Some 23% said they will spend the same, down from 36%. Some 5% not sure if they will spend more or less, and 1.2% said they will spend less.
The study was released at the 2017 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting.