Companies with Big Marketing Budgets Find These to Be Their Most Important Data Sources

April 19, 2021

Nielsen Top Data Sources Medium v Large Companies Apr2021CRM, digital behavior and product-level purchases are the top data sources for large companies, according to a report [download page] from Nielsen. The report looks to the future to how companies can continue to adapt via their data and measurement capabilities.

In the survey of 260 marketing professionals fielded between October and December 2020, respondents identified a number of data sources as important to their organization. Though this varied somewhat between medium (<$10M marketing budget) and large (>$10M marketing budget) companies, both groups shared that CRM was their most important data source, with 67% and 80% selecting “very important” or “extremely important” on a 5-point scale, respectively.

Digital behavior as a data source was joint-most important (80%) for large companies and second-most important for medium companies (58%), while product-level purchase followed for both groups (medium: 50%; large: 51%).

Other data sources that were popular with large companies – though to a considerably lesser extent – included credit card purchase (27%), mobile location (22%), TV viewership (22%) smart TV (22%) and audio listenership (16%).

First-Party Data Turned to Most, But Not Always Accurate

Looking at data as a whole, respondents from medium and large companies, as well as small companies (<$1M marketing budget), unanimously agreed that first-party data was most important to their organization’s addressable/digital media strategy (small: 85%; medium: 86%; large: 86%). For small and medium companies, 3rd-party data was the next-most important (50% and 59% respectively), whereas large companies differed and claimed that 2nd-party data (65%) was next-most important.

That said, respondents did indicate that first-party data is not always the best quality or completely accurate. The share of respondents selecting “very difficult” or “extremely difficult” on a 5-point scale when asked about data quality and accuracy was particularly high among medium (43%) and large (41%) businesses.

Measurement and ROI

The report reflects on an increasingly cookie-less world, highlighting the challenges that remain for brands and industries when it comes to measurement and ROI proof. As a takeaway, it emphasizes the importance of the right marketing technology “in any situation where brands want true visibility into the full customer journey.”

And, without the ability to depend on third-party cookies, the report highlights the importance of solutions that “maintain meaningful relationships with real people, not devices.”

Relatedly, respondents rated the importance of a variety of metrics/measurement capabilities to their organization. Brand awareness showed up as most important, cited by about three-quarters, followed by full-funnel media ROI, engagement, multi-touch/sales attribution, viewability, marketing mix modeling and unduplicated reach & frequency.

Read the full report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a Q4 2020 survey of 260 marketing professionals.


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