Why 2019 is the year of data self-sufficiency

Why 2019 is the year of data self-sufficiency

As a brand, your first-party data is one of your most valuable assets. Having a full view of your customers (360°, if you will) is vital to building personalized experiences, loyalty, and incremental revenue.

But before we dive in to some curated research, let’s pose a question.

Should CMO’s or CIO’s be in charge of customer data?

A study by Econsultancy suggests the answer is CMO’s. According to the study, 66% of marketers who own first-party data projects are more successful compared to 11% when other departments manage customer data operations. This is likely because customer data projects can become a never ending aggregation exercise where you attempt to capture everything you can but 1% is actually usable. When marketers own the data, they start with the “why” — why do we need this piece of data and how can we use it to drive a strong ROI.

Adtech company Sizmek pulled together a great survey from 522 brands that further emphasizes the need for marketers to move beyond their reliance on walled gardens and take ownership of their 1st party data.



The reality is, Facebook, Google, et al. are not incentivized to share their data with brands. If you had their data, would you share it?

Some would argue that the most valuable data asset is online identity. Knowing who an individual is and their associated devices is the foundation that marketers use to tap into publisher audiences to reach customers. Remember the last time you uploaded that CSV file with emails into Facebook or Google to run a look-a-like campaign? Undoubtably these are also your highest performing new customer acquisition campaigns. Or what about the time you retargeted those customers who unsubscribed from your email list?

Most budgets are being shifted away from category/intent based targeting and moving toward people-based targeting. This will only accelerate as Connected TV becomes a more robust option for marketers. Don’t forgot, digital media spend ($209 billion) didn’t pass TV spend ($178 billion) until 2017.

This shift is putting more pressure on marketers to capture first-party data to better enable the machine learning and artificial intelligence that powers these type of campaigns (the gas for the engine) so they can maintain a direct relationship with their customers.

There are a couple statistics/KPIs that every marketer should track to make sure you’re taking full advantage of your current customer data assets:

  1. New Customer Email / Phone / Address Capture Rate. For every 100 visitors to your digital properties, how many emails, phone numbers, and addresses are you capturing?

  2. Returning Customer Email / Phone / Address Capture Rate. For every 100 returning customers, are you appending additional data to the customer record to improve your targeting capabilities?

We’re seeing the growing importance of data self-sufficiency and 2019 will be the year where the brands with the most data that can answer the most basic questions (who, what, where, why) will grow their market share and revenue faster than their rivals.