Businesses are planning to regain control of their marketing data by placing greater focus on data management to help them reduce their reliance on so-called walled gardens - external advertising platforms that require brands to relinquish control over their data - and to protect consumer privacy better.
So says the Digital Trends Report 2019 from Adobe and Econsultancy, which surveyed nearly 13,000 professionals and reveals that brands want to build more complete audience profiles, which will in turn allow them to deliver more personalised and consistent customer experiences across channels.
The survey focused on marketers, creatives and IT professionals from around the globe. Of the survey participants, 44% of ad agencies admit that a reliance on walled data silos is their clients’ number one headache.
Meanwhile, 28% of marketers say they are vexed by the challenge of personalising customer experiences without violating consumer privacy, highlighting the importance of customer data transparency and control for brands.
With this in mind, brands are urgently pushing to gain more control over their data and become customer experience (CX) leaders in their own right.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of IT professionals have made it a priority to improve their data collection capabilities and centralise all the information they collect onto a single platform. For their part, more than half of marketers are prioritising the better use of data for more effective audience segmentation and targeting.
To complement the focus on data management, half of brands also intend to increase their CX-related technology spend in 2019, with artificial intelligence and real-time experiences emerging as the holy grail of personalisation for customers. More than one-third (36%) of brands now use AI to better serve customers, a 50% jump from last year.
Adobe senior marketing director John Watton said: “This year’s research shows us that brands truly appreciate the importance of control when it comes to managing data, not just to operate more responsibly, but also to differentiate themselves and get closer to customers.
"There is enormous potential in advanced segmentation methods and technologies like AI, which help companies connect with people at the individual level in real-time, but it takes a robust data foundation supporting these systems for them to add real value. Marketers and IT teams alike understand this and are taking on a more unified approach to data to make the most of their technology investment.”