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IAB data report: More investment, more confidence, more interest in AI and blockchain
The third annual study finds that marketers feel more able to retrieve value from data-powered initiatives.
Marketers and media practitioners are feeling more confident about their internal skills for getting a return from data-driven marketing. And they’re beginning to think more seriously about artificial intelligence and blockchain as tech for handling data.
Those are among the findings of the third annual report on the use of tools and people for managing audience data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Data Center of Excellence.
“The Outlook for Data 2018: A Snapshot into the Evolving Role of Audience Insight,” conducted by management consultancy firm The Winterberry Group, surveyed 99 members of an IAB special-interest council on this topic in December and January. Although a small sample, it consisted entirely of professionals focused on this topic.
One of the most significant findings in this year’s report, IAB VP and Managing Director of the IAB Data Orchid Richardson told me, is that “companies are continuing to invest in data,” meaning data-related tools and people.
Slightly over 60 percent of respondents said their organizations spent more in 2017 than in the previous year, and 80.8 percent expect to spend more than last year in 2018. The spending was on tech and people, not on buying data itself.
For the first time in the three reports, AI and blockchain were cited by about a third of respondents as data-related tools that will get more attention this year. However, half noted that “insufficient supporting tech” remained a key obstacle to sourcing, onboarding and managing data.
Additionally, the use cases are getting more sophisticated; the top use case expected to occupy respondents’ time this coming year is cross-channel measurement and attribution. In 2017, tops for time/resources were yield optimization, audience analytics and programmatic media buying, all arguably more basic use cases.
And it appears that marketers are getting more confident in their skills. Only 34.9 percent cited lack of internal experience as an obstacle to deriving value from data-driven marketing and media initiatives this coming year, down from 45.3 percent last year. A third of respondents said they were having difficulty in proving ROI from data-driven marketing, compared to a similar 45.3 percent who felt that way last year.