The 2019 data outlook sees spending rocket and multi-channel key amid regulatory concerns

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Data spending continues to go up – but getting fresh, gleaming, actionable insights remains a challenge. According to a new survey published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), organisations are looking to multi-channel to create those harmonious experiences users will love.

The study, which polled 105 professionals focused across marketing service providers, developers and publishers, found cross-channel campaign measurement and attribution – cited by 57.3% of those polled – was a top priority, as well as cross-channel audience identification and matching (52.4%). 

More than two thirds (69.2%) of those polled said their organisations increased spending on data and related services in 2018, with more than three quarters (78.2%) expecting to spend even more in the coming 12 months. Only 2.6% said they were looking to spend less in this area in the coming year.

In terms of use cases which offered the biggest opportunities in 2018, multi-channel audience identification et al was second only to the nefarious 'general audience analytics' category. Programmatic initiatives were used by 42% of respondents for established media formats and by 32% for emerging formats, while single channel measurement was at 29% for all respondents. 

For 2019, the focus on multi-channel rather than general stategies is therefore clear. The research showed that, for seven in 10 polled (69.4%), customer demand was driving this change. In comparison, competitive pressure (37.5%) and a general desire to be more 'customer-centric' (38.9%) fell far short.

It's not all peaches and cream, however. More than half (52.8%) of those polled said the threat of government regulation was a key concern in terms of a new data-centric strategy, while organisational silos (34.7%) and difficulties in proving return on investment (33.3%) were also cited.

Ultimately, this is another piece of research which advocates multi-channel, or cross-channel marketing, fuelled by customer desire and technological innovation. According to a study from Wolfgang Digital in September, brands which particularly prioritise return visits to their sites were "thundering ahead of their one-click-wonder competitors."

You can read the full IAB analysis here (pdf).

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