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As marketers continue personalizing the customer experience, one of their biggest challenges is telling the right story with their data. But are they investing to overcome this hurdle? Possibly so, according to a new report [pdf] from the IAB, as organizations invest more in audience data. More than two-thirds (69.2%) say they spent more in 2018 than they did in the year prior, and more than three-quarters (78.2%) plan on spending even more this year.

But what will they be doing with this audience data? More than half (57.3%) of survey respondents said cross-channel measurement and attribution is a use case that will occupy their time, attention and resources during 2019, making it the top use case of those listed in the report.

Understanding interactions across different channels is a particular thorn in the side of marketers and advertisers. A report by Advertiser Perceptions revealed that one-third (33%) of advertisers cited the lack of standard measurement across different channels and platforms as one of their top 3 challenges, while about (49%) ranked it in their top 5.

Meanwhile, more than half (52%) of the survey’s respondents report that cross-channel audience identification/matching is another use case on which they’ll be spending time and resources. Another 44% say their time will be spent on predictive modeling and/or segmentation. In a separate report, the IAB reported that US organizations will spend more than $2 billion on managed services to develop insights based on segmentation, predictive modeling, measurement and attribution.

But in the wake of GDPR in the EU and federal moves towards privacy law in the US, government regulations (or the threat of regulations) present a challenge that a majority (53%) of respondents believe may get in the way of their ability to deploy or derive value from their data-driven marketing.

Despite this, one silver lining for marketers is the increased confidence that organizations have in their technology. Last year, fully half of respondents cited their biggest challenge for their data-driven marketing as insufficient availability or functionality of supporting technology. This year that percentage has dropped by more than half, to 22%.

Read more of the report here.

About the Data: Data for the report was compiled from an online survey of 105 IAB special-interest committee members, which represented professionals from marketing service providers, marketers, publishers or media providers and technology developers.

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