Neil O’Keefe is DMA’s SVP of Content & Marketing

Data is not just a means of measuring performance; it’s a means of identifying your customer and understanding their needs and motivations.

“Data enables us to identify and recognize the audience we are speaking to,” says Oracle Data Cloud VP of Marketing and DMA Board Member Cory Treffiletti. “That, combined with our understanding of the challenges facing our audience makes it possible for us to deliver the right messages to them.”

Arguably, the greatest challenge facing marketers today is customer identity and until marketers connect identity and response they will not be able to optimize their customer relationships. DMA’s robust portfolio of research, including the newly-released 2017 Response Rate Report, plus DMA’s Business Review, Statistical Fact Book and Data-Centric Organization Study all point to a surge in device and channel usage and an increasing inability of marketers to know their customer.

The Response Rate Report is exactly the benchmarking tool marketers and their business partners need for comparing and contrasting current initiatives or for building a case to embark on a new one. Here are just a few exciting data points from this new report:

  • Email remains a top profit generator for marketers, with 50% planning to increase their usage of email in the coming 12 months. Email’s cost-per-acquisition (CPA) at $10.32 is the lowest of all media types in the study.
  • Social media registered the largest year-over-year increase in usage by marketers (from 47% to 69%), and is the favored channel for driving brand awareness. (The 2016 report found that social media was the best-performing mobile marketing channel.)
  • Online display’s ROI and response rate has fallen to last place among all media channels, despite a 16% increase in usage.

These benchmarks (and the many more contained within the report) also are the insights and data that reporters need to cover martech and adtech trends to discern whether those trends or campaigns are one-offs – or something more sustainable. With the power of data to drive efficient targeting and placement, the importance of these numbers will only continue to grow, saving marketers money on their marketing spend.

Connecting The Dots

“Our job is to connect the dots and understand what moves the customer to take an action” – Michelle Peluso, IBM’s first ever Chief Marketing Officer and Speaker at &THEN 2017, DMA’s Annual Event.

Increased device usage and engagement across channels is making it increasingly difficult to track response. Multi-touch attribution models are necessary and they are not easily built out.

In this vein, DMA has established its newest structured innovation program – the Structured Innovation Identity Council. Customer identity is becoming the most critical capability to delivering seamless, personalized experiences that generate brand affinity and results. Without it, you cannot recognize your customers responsibly, immediately, and consistently. And identity is key to creating seamless cross-channel relationships based on trust.

But many struggle with how to embark on the customer identity journey. Marketers need to begin by benchmarking their responses versus their competitors via DMA’s 2017 Response Rate Report. They can then take the next steps to develop an attribution model that addresses cross-channel identity.

Using data to understand the customer you are talking with is imperative. Because, if you don’t know who you are talking with, then you’re just talking.

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