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When it comes to first-party data, the majority of marketers are confident in many of their data sources. And, while many of these trusted sources of data are online, marketers are also confidently collecting data from offline sources as well, as detailed in a report from Invoca.

Invoca surveyed 500 B2C marketers and found that company websites were one of the top 3 sources of first-party data to inform digital marketing for 56% of respondents. Mobile apps (42%), purchase history (38%), email (30%), web forms (28%) and organic search all ranked highly in the online first-party data sources B2C marketers are using.

Offline sources such as in-store interactions (35%) and phone calls (27%) are also top sources for marketers. Indeed, 4 in 5 (81% of) marketers say they are very confident or confident about in-store interactions as a source of data, while nearly three-quarters (73%) say the same about data from customer phone calls.

But one issue marketers appear to have is they typically have less access to offline data sources of data compared to online sources. Some 73% of respondents say they have access to company website data, however, only 56% say they have access to data about customer interactions from phone calls.

Investing in Offline Sources

Although a lot of emphasis has been placed on using online sources for first-party data, this has not stopped marketers from recognizing the benefits of offline sources. As a consequence, almost 3 in 5 marketers (58%) say they plan to invest in in-store interaction data next year.

Recent data from Demand Metric and PFL points out that personalized direct mail is an effective channel for reaching target audiences. It is also a data source that 55% of the marketers surveyed by Invoca will be investing in next year. These marketers will also be investing in other offline data sources such as radio/TV (52%), outdoor advertising (51%), print media (49%) and customer phone calls (47%).

Around half (48%) of marketers also say that next year they plan to invest in events. Previous research has found that 62% of B2C marketers consider data collection when forming strategic events plans.

Online and offline interactions do not work in separate spheres. In fact, an earlier study showed that marketers have married online and offline sources to create more personalized experiences. This recent report also notes that one of the biggest benefits of using a call tracking tool is to bridge offline and online interactions.

Challenges of Using Data to Optimize Ad Performance

For 3 in 10 marketers (31%), a lack of data is not a problem. Instead, they say that they have too much data to analyze. A longstanding challenge for marketers when it comes to personalization has been the quality of data. This remains a challenge for 46% of the marketers surveyed for this more recent report. Additionally, data that is siloed and difficult to integrate is another challenge faced by 28% of respondents when they are using data to optimize ad performance.

To read more, find the report here.

About the Data: Report data is based on a survey of 500 B2C marketers.

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