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Nine in 10 marketers believe their businesses are data-driven. That being said, only one-third (33%) of marketers can fully optimize advertising investments in real-time and 36% say they are still a year away from achieving real-time optimization, per a report [press release] from LoopMe and Sapio Research.

But it’s not just these elements that indicate that marketers aren’t necessarily that data-driven: the use of various data sources for advertising purposes could still be higher, per the report. For example, fewer than two-thirds (64%) use financial data for their campaigns, while a similar share (63%) say they use location data for audience targeting for their advertising campaigns.

While mobile remains the top channel for using location data, a report from Factual found that marketers are also using location data in Advanced TV, smart speakers, digital out-of-home and automotive and plan to increase their use of location data in these channels in the next year. Nonetheless, other research has found that only about one-third (34%) of smartphone users are comfortable sharing their location data if it is to be used for marketing purposes.

The survey also found that only about half (53%) of marketers are using behavioral data to target audiences while another 47% say they are still using cookies for their advertising.

Another place of data disconnect is with sales data. Although a full 94% of marketers say they have access to sales data and 7 in 10 (71%) say that they feel they are able to plan more impactful campaigns using sales data, there are still 3 in 10 marketers who say they don’t use sales data for marketing purposes.

Despite marketers having optimism when it comes to completely understanding how data can benefit their various campaign objectives, it looks like this may take some time. Some 37% of respondents say they already understand which types of data work best for their objectives, however, one-third (33%) say they will be able to do so in about one year. Yet another one-third (33%) feel they will need another 2-5 years to fully understand which data will work for their objectives.

About the Data: Insights for the report are based on a survey of 400 marketers (managers and above) in the US and the UK. Respondents worked in companies with more than 100 employees and more than $499,999 in gross revenues.

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