US marketers are growing more confident than ever in the future growth prospects for data-driven marketing, reports the DMA in its latest DMA/Winterberry Group Quarterly Business Review, which benchmarks data-driven marketing activity among marketers and suppliers. Some 87% of marketers surveyed in Q2 somewhat or strongly agreed that the practice of data-driven marketing is well positioned to grow in the future.
That’s up from about three-quarters of respondents noting such confidence in Q1, though there appears to be some seasonality in the results. Looking back over the past 2 years, the highest levels of confidence have been observed in the second quarter, though this past quarter was the highest so far.
Marketers’ confidence levels are rated on a 5-point scale, from which an index is derived. This past quarter’s index of 4.44 was well above Q1’s index of 4.00, and also topped the second quarters of both 2015 and 2014 (each at 4.33).
This results are interesting given that data-driven marketing revenue growth has slowed for the fourth consecutive quarter. On another 5-point scale, where 5 represents substantial growth, panelists averaged revenue growth of 3.31, which is not far above average. That index figure was down from 3.39 in Q1 and 3.59 in Q2 2015.
Nevertheless, the report notes that investments in data-driven marketing channels are increasing almost universally, with direct response TV the only channel where spending was flat on a quarter-over-quarter basis. A slight majority of respondents noted that evaluating new and emergent marketing technologies was a priority, as was integrating and activating new data sources.
Last year, global spending increased on nearly all data-driven marketing channels, led by social media content/management and web content (site/optimization). Direct mail was the only channel to see a slight decrease in spending, though it remains highly influential in older Americans’ purchase decisions.