Last year at this time, in preparing our inaugural edition of The State of Data, we came to a stark but perhaps unsurprising conclusion: brands in the U.S. invest a lot on audience data for marketing.
This year, as we build upon that first effort to provide the first historical view of domestic data expenditures and the dynamics undergirding them, we have another conclusion to make: data expenditures aren’t just big—they’re growing at a more rapid pace than the media channels with which they’re typically associated.
In one respect, the reasoning behind that dynamic seems fairly straightforward. Marketers are fast coming to the realization that virtually all media can be made “data‐driven,” imbued with a richer understanding of the audience so as to power more relevant, meaningful, impactful and efficient interactions.
But more broadly, the key driver behind data’s explosive growth may actually have comparably little to do with individual marketing channels or campaign efforts. Instead, a broader overall focus on providing responsible, engaging and safe customer experiences—driven by a combination of factors, ranging from new regulatory guidelines to growing competitive intensity to expanding awareness of the line distinguishing inspired and insipid uses of audience data—are driving brands to consider transformative investments in information and the tools to use it.
Those are trends it’s easy to see gaining steam in the years ahead—and even more reason to keep your eye on the “State of Data” in 2019 and beyond.