Oracle Data Cloud Blog

IAB survey says more marketers investing in data, but challenges remain

This week, Oracle Data Cloud talks with Patrick Dolan, EVP & COO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Mr. Dolan discusses the impact of a recent study conducted by Winterberry Group in partnership with the IAB Data Center of Excellence and the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) entitled, “The Data-Centric Organization: Transforming for the Next Generation of Audience Marketing.”

Oracle: This study by Winterberry Group surveyed more than 200 industry members and found valuable insights into the future of data-driven marketing. Can you tell us more about who was surveyed and the impact of their responses?

Patrick Dolan: The study was a joint effort among the IAB Data Center of Excellence, the DMA and the Winterberry Group. We surveyed our Data Center of Excellence members and other IAB members in the data and programmatic spaces. Also, we distributed the questions through the DMA, which has a large membership that includes many marketers and publishers.

Overall, the survey responses showed that while more companies than ever are deriving significant value from their data and investing in utilizing it more effectively, they also are still facing critical challenges in unlocking the full value of their data.

One of the key challenges is that there are silos in company structures that are inhibiting data collection, analysis and usage. Another challenge is the limited number of people that are trained to understand and implement new data and tech-driven capabilities for their companies. It’s not that data-driven marketing is new. Rather, the complexity of using a wider variety of more specialized systems and technologies makes it more difficult for companies to adapt and most organizations are still in the early stages of really making data work for them.

Oracle: Let’s talk more about those challenges for marketers when it comes to utilizing data, as seen from the study. What do you think marketers can do to overcome those challenges?

Patrick Dolan: When you look at each challenge, the solutions that can be deployed to solve them are very different. For example, training people is pretty straightforward—you find the right courses and instructors and there’s a very clean, simple solution to that problem.

But when you get into this idea of silos and corporate culture, it’s a much more difficult challenge to overcome. That’s not to say it can’t be fixed, but those types of entrenched structural issues are obviously not straightforward to address. As data plays a more critical role in marketing, personalization of customer experiences and other efforts, it’s worth considering overcompensating for solving the related challenges, making organizational changes that recognize data’s central role and corresponding required expertise, for example, to ensure that the value is fully captured.

Oracle: Given the IAB is on the cutting edge of industry trends and best practices, what are you personally looking forward to sharing with marketers in 2017?  

Patrick Dolan: One very exciting milestone this year is that the IAB is celebrating a 20th anniversary of providing resources, tools and information for industry members.

For our industry as a whole, our research shows major organizational change will be needed to provide the experiences that consumers will expect. Companies will respond to this challenge, and the innovation resulting from this will be extremely exciting.  

About Patrick Dolan:

Patrick Dolan is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the IAB. Mr. Dolan has been involved with the digital advertising and media industry for the better part of two decades. He pioneered many digital advertising techniques while in senior roles at DoubleClick, now owned by Google. While Director of Business Operations at DoubleClick, he was on the team that developed interest-based advertising, re-targeting and other data-related advertising products.

Learn more from The IAB
The IAB has developed a Data Maturity Model white paper to define key components of the data lifecycle and use them as indicators of a company’s data maturity. Learn more about the Data Maturity Model for Digital Advertising by visiting The IAB online.

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Image: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

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