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Only 29% marketers rely on data to boost ROI

Lotame study finds that nearly 60% of marketers rely on data to boost brand loyalty

Only 29% of marketers surveyed by data solutions company Lotame rely on data for overall ROI and monetization opportunities. 58% marketers said they rely on data for brand loyalty while 49% aim for increase in ad performance through data. Increase in conversions/purchases is the objective of 43% marketers through data while 26% rely on data for decreased ad waste/more effective ad spend.

“There’s a lot of talk about waste in advertising right now,” said Jason Downie, Chief Strategy Officer at Lotame. “But brand loyalty continues to be the focus for marketers. It’s how they judge the success of their data by a large margin.”

As more publishers and marketers invest in audience data collection and activation, the Lotame report titled ‘Data Activation & Success Report’ examines how these organizations use audience data, manage it and evaluate its success. For the study, more than 300 senior decision-makers in digital media and marketing were polled between October 26 and November 5.

Almost 70% (69%) of respondents said that their organization collects audience data. When asked to describe how valuable audience datawas to their organization, nearly two-thirds (64%) said it was “very valuable.” Together, 96% said collected data was either “very valuable” or “somewhat valuable.”

For the 31% that do not collect data, a lack of resources and education were the biggest hurdles. One-third (33%) said that they did not “have the internal resources in place to do so,” while 31% said “I don’t know where to even begin.” Another 21% said “I don’t have the tools or technology needed.”

“Research finds that audience data is still underleveraged by publishers and marketers,” said Downie, Chief Strategy Officer at Lotame. “For all these organizations, data strategy development, management and execution require sizable investments in talent and technology – and many simply don’t have the in-house capabilities or infrastructure.”

Relatedly, among respondents that do collect data, when asked if they could have data strategy, management and activation as a managed service versus in-house, 78% said “yes.” Thirty percent said they would switch to a managed service because “we need help executing the tactics,” while 22% said they “don’t know how to optimize data to the full extent.”

When asked how they benchmark data strategy success, more than half (56%) of publishers said an “increase in returning visitors, uniques and pageviews” was key. It was followed by “optimization of ad inventory” (49%); “increase in advertising spend” (46%); “overall ROI and monetization opportunities” (38%); and “increase in winning non-endemic advertisers” (33%).

“Publishers are focused on driving traffic and growing audience,” said Downie. “This has a cascade effect on their ad success and the value they can claim for partners. So, it’s no surprise that data is being evaluated by traffic volume and pageviews.”

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