If 2016 was the year of measurement, then 2017 will become the year marketers feel comfortable enough to trust ad targeting and metrics to campaign partners like Google and Bing.
The findings in the study "The Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising," jointly conducted by the Global Data & Marketing Association (GDMA) and the Winterberry Group, with help from MediaMath, confirms data has become the pillar of how businesses practice marketing, purchase advertising, evaluate consumer media and deliver customer experiences.
In fact nearly 80% of global survey respondents believe customer data is critical to their marketing and advertising efforts.
Some 53.4% of survey participants cite an increase in spending on data-driven marketing and advertising (DDMA) in 2016, compared with the previous year, while 35.8% said their investments remained flat. Spending increased the most substantially across digital channels and related functions, as it has for the past two years.
For the second consecutive year, survey participants said having better integration of their existing advertising and marketing technologies would help to advance their ability to derive value from DDMA efforts.
Improving the functionality and efficiency of their internal processes to support the use of data comes next on the list. For many organizations the lack of resources or expertise can become a real challenge.
Survey respondents also increased spending in social media management, Web content and site content optimization, mobile apps and SMS efforts, and digital display advertising The only channels where spending fell was direct mail, as well as addressable TV, which some marketers may be considering testing prior to integrating into their core media mix.