For many marketers, the online world represents an opportunity to lower advertising costs and reach new audiences. But it’s not always easy to tell how well their investment in this channel is doing. As a result, marketers are spending billions of dollars accessing data to help them measure the results of their efforts.
According to Winterberry Group, U.S. marketers are on track to spend $8 billion on information about digital audiences, transactions and “clickstream” behaviors by 2012. The spending includes investment in traditional data as well as related services like hosting and analytics. Bruce Biegel, a managing director at Winterberry Group, believes that up to $1.5 billion of the spending will chase “new marketing and data models onto the Internet, pushing the boundaries of what’s now possible with respect to targeting and optimization.”
Here are a few important trends:
- Spending on data by marketers is all about Web site optimization, online lead generation and real-time media buys.
- Marketers are struggling with how to incorporate data flow from ‘unstructured’ channels like social media into their data sets.
- The marketing data provider industry is increasingly fragmented because of online data compilers, database management vendors and e‑commerce platforms.
- Marketers are seeking better ways to integrate data that comes from both digital and traditional sources.
- Marketers must determine what is ‘responsible’ with respect to transparency and consumer choice.
Brad Terrill, vice president and general manager Digital Media, from survey partner Netezza, explains, “this is a defining moment for modern marketers, since many of their most critical marketing challenges are now actually technology and large-scale data analysis challenges.”
More marketers will be investing in products and services to help them manage the data flow and to use the information profitably.[Source: U.S. Marketers Will Double Investment in “Digital Data” by 2012. Winterberrygroup.com. 8 Sept. 2010. Web. 22 Sept. 2010]