In just three short years, data-driven marketing and advertising (DDMA) has evolved from a niche discipline to a starring role in the development of offers, messages and experiences that span virtually every customer touchpoint.

And as a result, marketing’s influence is spreading inside the organisation. CEOs and business leaders globally are beginning to realise the importance of DDMA and integrating it into other business functions.

These are a few key take outs from the recently released Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising, a joint study by GDMA and Winterberry Group.

The Global Review is the largest study of its kind undertaken by a global consortium of marketing associations with the aim of identifying and confirming how DDMA impacts business and market growth.

“Technology is rapidly changing every day and has a big impact on how customers interact with brands. This is why data is critical for driving many aspects of businesses,” said Jodie Sangster, Chair of GDMA and CEO of ADMA. “It’s a positive sign for marketers to see more and more CEOs and Board members understanding the value and importance of data.”

However, said Sangster, in order for businesses to thrive and deliver on customer experience, emphasis must be placed on sophisticated data management and analytics models.

And she stressed the centrality of consumer trust. “As businesses look at securing more personal data from consumers, consumers value transparency and want to know if their information is being well-protected. Moving forward, trust will and should play a critical role in an organisation’s business strategy.”

The study reveals the data-driven opportunities that lie in digital channels and why support for emerging marketing technologies is necessary to develop consistent business improvements.

“Data has grown to play a central role in how businesses around the globe make critical marketing, product development and other investment decisions,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director at Winterberry Group. “With three years of research now in hand, we can conclusively say that the ‘data-driven’ approach has evolved beyond its ‘direct and digital’ origins to represent a centrepiece growth strategy for both promotional marketing and customer experience—and for businesses all over the world.”

More than 3,200 industry thought leaders spanning across the advertising, marketing, media and technology industries in 18 countries, were surveyed for the study between July and October 2016. Among the key findings:

  • Data has become an indispensable marketing asset: 79.6 percent of global survey respondents said customer data is critical to their marketing and advertising efforts, similar to the 81.3 per cent and 80.4 per cent of panellists, respectively, who voiced similar sentiments over the past two years.
  • Customer communications is the key driver: Almost 90 per cent of executives said that their practice of DDMA was focused, at least in part, on the maintenance of customer and prospect databases – with those resources typically aimed at supporting better and more relevant offers and general customer communications.
  • 2016 was “The Year of Measurement”: Companies are getting better at cross channel marketing with more panellists believing their organisations are “sophisticated” on this measure. Single channel marketing sophistication also improved.
  • Investment (still) on the uptick: Over half of global panellists said they increased their spending on DDMA in 2016 compared to the previous year, while 35.8 per cent said their investments remained flat. Spending on digital channels led the way.
  • DDMA works: In evaluating the relative impact of their key DDMA communication channels, panellists said that over the last year, performance improved across nine of ten tracked channels, suggesting a likely combination of both improved planning and executive, as well as more insightful measurement and attribution techniques.
  • Improvements from the inside out: For the second consecutively year, panellists said better integration of their existing advertising and marketing technologies would be most helpful in advancing their ability to derive value from DDMA efforts. Second of the list of priorities: improving the functionality and efficiency of their internal organisational processes so as to support the optimal use of data (suggesting that for many organisations, outmoded business practices represent a more significant threat to growth than a lack of resources of expertise).

According to Joanna O’Connell, CMO of MediaMath and the sponsor of the report, “All effective marketing is powered by data, but it’s also about finding the right place and time to show a marketing message and measuring efforts intelligently with an eye toward business results. Smart marketers realise that it goes beyond just having a lot of data—they have to more granularly segment and analyse their audiences and then seamlessly reach and engage them across channels and devices in their marketing campaigns.”

Download The Global Review, which includes its worldwide analysis and an appendix providing snapshots from each of the 18 participating markets today.

ADMA is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members contribute their expertise and insights to Which-50 for the benefit of our senior executive audience. Membership fees apply.


Previous post

Why Alibaba's gift to Newcastle Uni is about branding

Next post

​How to balance long term planning and marketing agility