Marketers Continue to Up the Number of Data Sources They Use

November 21, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Customer-Centric | Data-driven | Privacy & Security

Marketers are still struggling to take all the data they have and translate it into insights and action. That hasn’t stopped them from collecting more of it from diverse sources, according to Salesforce’s 8th State of Marketing Report [download page].

The survey, fielded among 6,000 marketers globally, found that they’re using an average of 15 different data sources, up from 10 last year. Moreover, they expect to increase that to an average of 18 sources next year. No wonder they have trouble organizing data for consumption.

Among the customer data sources used, transactional data (83%) and known digital identities (82%) are most commonplace, per the report, followed closely by declared interests/preferences (82%). At least three-quarters of respondents also use second-party data (77%), inferred interest/preferences (77%), anonymized digital identities (75%), and third-party data (75%).

Research last year found that marketers were still reliant on 3rd-party cookies, but this latest survey reveals that about 2 in 3 (68% of) marketers around the world have fully defined their strategy to shift away from third-party data sources. Some of the actions that marketers have taken to prepare for privacy changes including providing information-sharing incentives for customers (56%), creating a first-party data strategy (54%), creating second-party data-sharing agreements (52%) and investing in new technologies, such as a customer data platform (51%).

In noting that “marketers walk the ‘personalization vs. privacy’ tightrope,” the report indicates that this year only 51% of respondents say they go beyond regulations and industry standards to protect customer privacy, with this figure down from 61% last year. That’s despite other research signaling that marketers understand that protection of personal data is a competitive advantage, and that this is a fundamental building block of consumer trust in brands.

On a more positive note, with sizable swatches of consumers feeling that they lose ownership of their data online, more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents to this survey agree that they provide customers with control over how their data is used.

About the Data: The results are based on a June-August survey of 6,000 marketing managers, directors, VPs, and CMOs across 35 countries.

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