Filling the Missing Data Void

Public Relations
28.04.21

With increasing consumer concern over privacy and new I-phone opt-in requirements, CMOs face a mounting challenge. Access to good data has allowed marketers to generate meaningful content and personalized messages. And while the full impact of Apple’s new rules has yet to be determined, many marketers are searching for alternative ways to continue gathering meaningful data.

A survey of more than 300 marketers in North America validated this heightened concern.  Forrester Consulting conducted the study for Affinity Solutions this January. 84% told Forrester that coping with the loss of data will be a critical or high priority for them.

Other Concerns

Respondents also listed five areas they expect to be seriously affected by access to less data. At the top was customer preferences for 31% of marketers. It was followed by marketing response data (24%) and demographic data (23%). Location data and mobile app data tied at 22%. One of the most shocking revelations was the 92% of marketers who felt their current ad-tech/martech abilities weren’t adequate enough to handle the loss of data.

Current Practice

At the time of the survey, reliance on third party cookie data was high. As a measurement of digital media efficiency, 65% said they rely on it. Another 60% reported using it to build targeted prospects as well as to boost personalization. The other most commonly used data was table stakes, the bare minimum required for a brand to compete in the marketplace and attract customers.

Alternate Sources

There are other sources available but which are often located in different silos within many companies. Debit and credit card transactions are two. Location and contextual data are others. An earlier article addressed the need to break down silos within the same organization. If that hasn’t yet occurred, this is the perfect time.

Brands with partners and vendors should also consider collectively collaborating on alternative sources of data in this post cookie environment. Partnering might produce even more effective customer insights. Applying contextual data and/or identity resolution could also open new targeting avenues for both. 86% of respondents felt alternative sources of data could be invaluable and nearly everyone (99%) believed that they would derive benefits by partnering.

Other Ideas

When asked further about preparing for a vendor/brand data relationship, several suggestions came up. 38% of marketers said they would require additional real-time triggers beyond the time customers spend with the brand. That same percentage also said retargeting and prospecting were important and that they needed to be able to incorporate sets of data that would allow them to create individual segments and target audiences.

Another 35% said a simple assimilation of data across their brand’s ad-tech/martech system would help them prepare. 32% expressed a need for clear management policies relating to consent and privacy. They said this would allow them to navigate more effectively through these changes.

As if marketers didn’t have enough on their minds. In addition to expressing their concerns over the loss of data, marketers also shared with Forrester their marketing priorities for 2021. These included their ability to respond to change (46%), improving the use of data and especially customer insight, (43%), improving customer acquisition targeting (41%), and improving the quality of customer data (39%). Gathering good data by applying these ideas will help address these other concerns.

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