Becoming Data-Centric: How Companies are Leveraging Data for Results in 2018

Published On: March 29, 2018 | Categories: Advertising and Marketing, Data and Analytics |

“Big data” is everywhere. More and more data is available to companies every day, and with it an increasing demand for new progress in attribution and insight.

Over the next three years, it’s estimated that spending on marketing analytics will increase by almost 200%. Clearly, companies are not only looking for ways to obtain data, but discovering ways to leverage that data for results.

A recent report from The Data & Marketing Associates (DMA) shows that a growing number of companies are already starting to make that transition to making data analytics an integrated part of their business. “The Data-Centric Organization,” a recent report from the DMA and The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in partnership with the Winterberry Group, gives a snapshot of how leading businesses and marketers are using data to provide value to customers and measure results of their advertising efforts across the marketing landscape.

While these recent findings suggest a trend in the industry, what does this trend actually mean for marketers working to deliver hard results to their clients. Here’s a look at some of the report’s key points, contrasted with ways that Strategic America is providing customer-focused solutions and developing into a “Data-Centric Organization.”

Becoming data-centric continues to be a priority for U.S. marketers and other users of data, but how they handle that data can determine success.

Companies know that data is their future and continue to invest in it. Of the companies responding to the DMA survey, 60.3% reported their organizations had spent more on data and related services in 2017 than they did the year before, and an even larger majority (80.8%) expect to grow their investments further in 2018.

The DMA estimates that those expenditures total around $20.02BB from U.S. organizations. Why? Because spending on data and related activation solutions in support of advertising, marketing and audience engagement efforts is working.

The largest set-backs for most clients, though, comes from what they do with that data. Not collecting the right data for a client’s need, or having inaccurate data often comes from not having the proper tools in place (the lack of a CRM system, or proper staff training on inputting data) can impact just how effective data can be for a company.

It is never too late to start finding ways to address data properly, though.

Predictive and attribution analytics are taking the largest share of the data-centric organization’s budget

You don’t live on one digital device, so why should you expect to get a full picture of use data that focuses on just one area of engagement?

As predictive and attribution analytics become increasingly important for marketers to get a full sense of where to accurately expect the best engagement, marketers are prioritizing cross-device use cases for 2018. Just over half of respondents in “The Data-Centric Organization” (52.3%) said they expect to focus on improving their cross-device audience recognition capabilities, supporting their ability to serve more relevant content to their customers and prospects across all touchpoints.

At SA, we see project growth increase coming from data segmentation, modeling and attribution. As a result, the need and creation of marketing dashboards have increased over 200%. These dashboards allow summary reports of marketing performance that can be drilled into.

Having data results populate in shorter time periods such as real-time or daily versus monthly has been a common trend. This quick access to data allows us to make shifts and optimize marketing spend quickly that equates to sales growth.

Technology… Help or hindrance?

Technology drives data aggregation. But, surprisingly, roughly one-third (32.4%) of those surveyed by DMA said that technology will play a fundamental role in driving their data initiatives in 2018.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology stand as the foremost innovations on marketers’ radars, but even more highlighted “insufficient supporting technology” as a fundamental obstacle impeding their ability to derive value from their data initiatives.

Again, the issue, as we see it at SA, comes down to turning that data into actionable insights. The complexity inherent in sourcing, onboarding and managing tools to support an increasingly diverse array of use cases can make using technology around data more daunting than it might seem to be worth.

Through AI, we’re using data to more accurately target audiences based on search patterns, web views and content consumption. Doing so allows us to better target, optimize marketing spend and tailor messaging.

Data continues to be vital to the efforts of any marketer. Creating the tools and focus to understand that data and use it to achieve your goals is the next step that will help marketers gain the most impact from what that data offers.

Make sure your company is ready to be data-centric.


The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)