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Digital advertisers want more control of their own data. Such is the word from new Sizmek research [download page], in which 84% of marketers surveyed are prioritizing being data self-sufficient – or at least working towards that – over the next year. Moreover, 9 in 10 (88%) want to own the data created from their own campaigns and 78% plan to increase their use of first-party data over the coming year.

Partnerships are a factor in marketers’ data use, according to the research. Close to 9 in 10 respondents agreed that it’s valuable for a partner to take a consultative approach and help the advertiser understand and gain insights from data. That extends to regulatory advice, too, as more than 8 in 10 would like for their agencies to advise them on topics such as GDPR.

Which Campaign Insights Are Most Valuable?

Agencies wishing to offer the most to their clients – and avoid the trend towards in-sourcing – have a range of campaign insights to provide that would prove valuable.

One of the most important is of course campaign measurement. Consider that new Advertiser Perceptions research indicates only 1 in every 9 advertisers is extremely satisfied with the current state of ad measurement. As a result, virtually all marketers surveyed by Sizmek would find accurate campaign measurement to be either vary valuable (53%) or valuable (44%).

Marketers are also keen to learn more about their audiences. More than 9 in 10 would find it valuable to understand audience behavior, including 59% finding that very valuable, the highest percentage of any campaign insight. Additionally, 86% find an understanding of audience demographics to be valuable, a figure that includes half who find this insight very valuable.

Further results from the survey underscore the importance that marketers attach to these analyses and the role their partners can play:

  • 84% agree that they find custom campaign insights hugely valuable;
  • 83% prioritize working with partners that deliver superior campaign analysis; and
  • 84% agree that they look to their agency to help them understand their data.

Walled Gardens Continue to Present Difficulties

Marketers don’t only need help from their media-buying partners – they are also hoping to get some better insights from so-called “walled gardens.” Two-thirds agree that such platforms are a major barrier to building out and improving first-party data.

Frustration with walled gardens has been a recurring theme in recent research. For example, a study from the ANA and Winterberry Group found that extracting data from the walled gardens is the top challenge faced in identifying addressable audiences. Prior to that, a report from Nielsen indicated that just 1 in 4 CMOs rated their level of trust in the analytics and measurement outputs from the walled gardens as “high” (21%) or “very high” (3%).

Returning to the Sizmek research, 2 in 3 respondents (68%) agreed that walled gardens do not provide enough data to effectively analyze and measure campaigns, and a similar proportion agreed that walled gardens do not provide enough insight to make comparisons with other channels or partners.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see how they could make it difficult for marketers to improve their first-party data capabilities…

About the Data: The results are based on a survey conducted by Qualtrics among 522 brand marketers in the US and Europe. More than two-thirds spend at least $500,000 per year on digital media, for a combined annual digital ad spend of $500 million.

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