As Data-Driven Marketing Grows in Importance, Many Tout Its Benefits

August 1, 2013

BlueKai-Data-Driven-Marketing-Budgets-Aug201391% of marketers agree that data is of primary importance for segmentation and targeting of their marketing efforts, per results from a BlueKai survey [download page] of 133 executives, most of whom are brand and agency marketers working in marketing management. With data occupying such a position of importance, 36% of respondents said they’re pushing at least 20% of their overall budgets to data-driven practices, up from 11% allocating that proportion late last year. A majority have seen a boost in conversion rates and media efficiency from their focus on data.


  • 78% say that their use of data has positively impacted conversion rates and sales, although most are unsure by how much;
  • 71% say they’re better able to deliver more relevant messaging to more finely segmented audiences;
  • 68% report an increase in clicks and traffic, with 21% claiming a 5-10% increase; and
  • 63% claim an increase in media buying efficiency, with about one-third saying that data drives more than a 10% increase.

Interestingly, despite recent survey results suggesting that advertisers and agencies both believe that 3rd party online data is most effective for audience targeting, results from BlueKai’s study indicate that marketers are more reliant on 1st party (87%) than 3rd party (72%) data for marketing.

The most common types of 1st party data being leveraged, according to the research, are website data (83%), CRM/registration data (79%), email data (72%), and digital campaign data (67%), with fewer using search data (45%) and mobile site or app data (28%).

Meanwhile, the most popular types of 3rd party data being used are 3rd party targeting data (62%), 3rd party mailing lists (49%) and 3rd party co-op data (33%).

The researchers point out that the influence of data and audience information has moved beyond just email and display, although those are among the most-commonly influenced areas. Respondents indicated that email (72%) is the top use case, followed by retargeting (60%) and display targeting (51%). Emerging use cases include creative optimization (49%), site customization (41%), attribution (26%) and lookalike modeling (22%).

Notably, almost two-thirds of respondents now believe that it’s more important to take a “horizontal approach” (taking data intelligence to different layers) than to go deeply into one practice. Asked to consider cross-channel/platform opportunities, respondents tabbed analytics, email, search and social their top 4 opportunities, with video and mobile close behind. Display, however, ranks towards the bottom, only above offline (such as direct mail and print ads).

Other Findings:

  • Two-thirds of respondents say that at least half of their digital marketing budgets are driven by data.
  • Slightly more than half report spending 0-25% of their budgets in mobile marketing.
  • 60% don’t know if data has improved conversion rates for mobile, while 8% believe conversion rates have increased by more than 10% as a result.
  • More than 9 in 10 respondents are looking to integrate more data and audience information into their marketing initiatives over the next 6-12 months.
  • 61% are currently using a data management platform, and 16% plan to do so in the next year.

About the Data: Respondents broke down as follows: marketer (41%); agency (25%); publisher (11%); and technology provider (28%). 11% are responsible for media planning or buying and 15% are in analytics. More than half of respondents are Director level or above.

The survey was administered online in June 2013.

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