Dr. Peter Johnson (mLightenment & Recent Adjunct Professor, Columbia University) and Professor John Deighton (Harvard Business School) presenting at “The Value of Data 2015” Launch and Media Conference, Feb. 3.

Newly-released findings show that the Data-Driven Marketing Economy (DDME) contributed nearly 1 million jobs to the United States in 2014, and added $202 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy. The new research, commissioned by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and titled “The Value of Data 2015: Consequences for Insight, Innovation & Efficiency in the U.S. Economy,” builds on the seminal Value of Data report released in 2013 and quantifies the growth in the DDME, which saw a 49 percent increase in jobs and 35 percent growth in revenue between 2012 and 2014.

The report was undertaken by Professor John Deighton of the Harvard Business School and Peter Johnson of mLightenment Economic Impact Research and a recent Columbia University professor.

“The impressive growth and value that data-driven marketing brings to the U.S. economy – 966,000 jobs and $202 billion in revenue – confirms that our industry is a catalyst for the economy and employment,” said DMA CEO Tom Benton. “Considering that every industry in America relies on data-driven marketing, data is bringing value and insight to every sector of the economy. These findings demonstrate the invaluable nature of data in today’s rising ‘Internet of Things’ economy, and equip policymakers for fact-based vs fear-based conversations about the data-driven marketing economy.”

“This research is a vital resource for policymakers, providing insights into the DDME and its value in accelerating the ability of small businesses and startups to compete effectively and bring innovative, consumer-focused products and technologies to the marketplace,” said DMA VP of Advocacy Christopher Oswald. “To sustain job growth and data-driven advancements and innovations in marketing technology, regulators must continue the balance between adaptable industry self-regulation alongside sectoral laws. For more than 60 years, DMA has led the data-driven marketing industry’s self-regulatory program and successfully assured that self-regulation remains nimble in the face of rapid data-driven marketing industry growth and change, which is far better than burdensome and stifling regulation.”

The Value of Data 2015 findings were unveiled on February 3rd, at a DMA event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC featuring the report’s authors, national policymakers, industry executives and DMA’s advocacy leaders.

Additional Key Findings from the Value of Data 2015 Report:

  • Job and revenue growth were experienced across all 50 U.S. states. Everyone is a winner in the data-driven marketing economy, with the efficient and effective use of marketing data providing value to businesses across all sectors. From East Coast to West Coast and in between, job growth was significant: from 2012 to 2014 California’s DDME-related jobs grew from 89,000 to 128,478; Michigan’s grew from 17,000 to 25,116; and New York’s grew from 51,000 to 78,246.
  • Data-driven marketing fuels startups and new market entrants. The strategic use of data allows small companies to overcome barriers to entry, raise ad-supported revenue and identify new and niche markets to serve.
  • Half of the DDME relies on the exchange of consumer marketing information. New regulations stopping the exchange of data across the DDME would impact $100 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and over 500,000 American jobs. The biggest winners in the DDME – startups and small businesses – would also be impacted.
  • Data-driven marketing is a significant U.S. economic export. Ideas developed in the U.S. by American statisticians and econometricians, running on hardware designed in the U.S. and coded in algorithms developed and tested in the research offices of U.S. firms, are used throughout the world. DDME firms earned a significant part of their revenues abroad – about 15% for some mid-sized firms and over 50% for larger firms – while employing STEM-trained workers in the U.S.

“DMA’s leadership in providing our industry and policymakers with this caliber of research reaffirms DMA’s role at the helm of setting data policy, sustaining and strengthening self-regulation, and protecting the responsible acquisition, exchange and application of data to benefit consumers and to grow the economy,” said Benton. “Moreover, as the only trade association in the marketing industry that represents the entire ecosystem from demand side to supply side, DMA is uniquely positioned to address data policy and other issues from the highest vantage point without being beholden to a particular segment of the industry.”

To access the full report, and DMA’s summary and analysis, please visit thedma.org/valueofdata.