According to a SmartFocus SmartBrief, Data determines the success of your digital marketing campaign. It’s the driving force behind personalization and targeting, both of which are crucial to success in digital marketing today, says the report. The underlying data of any marketing technique determines whether the right audience sees your ads, if those ads reach prospects at the right time, and whether that effort leads to effective conversions for your brand.
A recent survey of SmartBrief readers in the digital marketing space, found Data is at the top of the list of purchasing priorities for marketers, More respondents said their companies plan to invest in data and measurement products and services over the next 12 to 18 months than any other type of marketing product.
Qubit’s Mark Choueke says that “Data used to be considered a small part of marketing. But now, customer data really is marketing. One can’t really be a good marketer without understanding how to do data, and most marketers just simply don’t.”
Most marketers don’t believe they are working with quality data, according to a recent study that found that 70% of marketers believe that the customer data their organizations are using for marketing is low quality or inconsistent. Running a marketing campaign on bad data may, as a result, miss the mark when they select the audience they hope to reach.
Data, as used by marketers, refers to all the information that brands can gather about their customers and potential targets. That includes their demographics, web searches, website visits, customer loyalty information from apps, online shopping histories and in-store interactions with kiosks and registers.
Using existing customer data to match the profile of potential buyers is an important way of expanding targeting to new customers. Often, marketers turn to third-party data solutions to expand their data sets and reach broader audiences.
Because this data doesn’t come directly from consumers, but is instead inferred about them, it can be difficult to determine who is reached. Consider the chasm, says the report, between Facebook’s third-party inferred data and reality: The social media giant has told advertisers that its network has the potential to reach 41 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 24, but the most recent U.S. census data shows there are only 31 million people living in the country between those ages, (according to a Pivotal Research Group senior analyst.)
The discrepancy likely isn’t malicious, says the report, it’s simply what happens when inference is supreme. It makes clear that the types of tools marketers use, and the data those services rely on, can make or break the effectiveness of a campaign.
A major challenge in determining the quality of that data is that there is no company that rates or grades marketing data. Marketers depend on service providers to assess their own data, with little independent information on how accurate that assessment really is.
SafeGraph CEO Auren Hoffman estimates that the accuracy of marketing data is between 10% and 20%. And, nearly half of all brands report that they don’t trust one-fifth of the data they use to make media buying decisions, according to a 2017 survey by research firm Industry Index. Marketers, then, are often targeting audiences with precise parameters, but are unable to reach their ideal buyers because the underlying data itself is not accurate, says the report.
Data is the bedrock of a strong marketing campaign. It allows a brand to reach the right audience, to craft the right message and to close the sale. But if a marketing approach relies solely on third-party data solutions, its strategies are not as personalized or powerful as they could be. Because first-party data is directly collected from visitors and consumers, it’s more reliable than insights inferred from habits and behaviors, and that translates into more confident media buying and marketing.
Concluding, the report says that marketers have a lucrative opportunity in improving their data assets. Forrester estimates that so much data is under-utilized that a 10% increase in data accessibility can lead to $65 million in additional net income for the average Fortune 1000 company.
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