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Key experts from MMA and EY India share with The Drum the emerging facets of data and its role in the future of marketing

As data-driven decision making grows in importance, 58% of Indian marketers have acknowledged they have gaps in consumer data leading to difficulties in data-driven decision making. This is as per the findings of a recent study done by MMA and EY on ‘leveraging consumer data for marketing’.

Key findings

Data remains the big glue 

  • Data continues to become increasingly important in the new-age marketing with consumer data being used most for analytics, conversion tracking and retargeting by marketers.
  • As per the findings, 71% of Indian organizations use a blend of first-party (1P) and third-party (3P) data for marketing and most marketers are increasing efforts to build 1P data. However, 58% believe that gaps in data breadth, depth and quality needed to be addressed to enable optimal use of data for decision making.
  • While 58% of Indian marketers had defined ownership and management strategies for 1P consumer data, only 24% of respondents had cross-fishing rules defined for sharing of consumer data between brands.   

Challenges of ROI measurement and attribution

  • Most Indian marketers saw the benefit of leveraging consumer data for marketing with performance and growth, and brand building emerging as two key focus areas for organizations.
  • As per the findings while 82% of marketers saw the benefit of leveraging consumer data for marketing but struggled with robust attribution models. Only 12% of survey respondents have robust attribution models.  

Experts Speak

Moneka Khurana, country head – India, MMA on the key data challenges for the marketers and workarounds

  • Most Indian organizations use a blend of 1st party and 3rd party data for marketing, and marketers are increasing efforts to build 1P data. The first-party data becomes extremely crucial, as with rising data concerns cookies are soon to be phased out and marketers will need to prioritize management and ownership of 1st party data. 
  • Governance is the major challenge in the data journey for companies. Consumer data is vulnerable, and it poses a significant threat in the current times. Data regulation and compliance processes safeguard the privacy of the consumer and ensure they are in place across the board because data travels through multiple departments in an organization. However, the current state emphasizes the importance to have better data integration and utilization – 60% of Indian marketers had little to no integration of their 1P and 3P data with limited employee access. This reflects on the capabilities and skills for maximum data utilization and also provides a big opportunity for marketers.

Ashish Pherwani, partner, media and entertainment, EY on the emerging face of data-backed marketing 

  • Post pandemic, brands have been adopting different strategies around consumer data to address the several challenges they were facing and consequently, significant innovation was taking place in the digital marketing and consumer data space. 
  • While the belief in the power of consumer data to increase the efficiency of their marketing initiatives was an accepted truth, the ability to identify how to collate data across different consumer touchpoints within the organization, how to use the data, sharing data with partners in an increasingly distributed supply chain, attribution and measurement of RoI have emerged as the key focus areas.
  • While brands are working on the data privacy policies and processes, each sector would need to define acceptable policies around what and how consumer data should be collated, stored, shared and used.