New study shows 200+ brand marketers’ first-party data use goals and significant data-confidence divide

In a new report released March 26, Advertiser Perceptions, a leader in data-driven business intelligence for the advertising industry, and MightyHive, a leading media consultancy, share the findings of a recent survey of over 200 senior brand marketers.

Titled “The Data-Confident Marketer,” the study examines marketers’ views on first-party data: how they’re using it, where it lives in their organisation, and how soon they expect first-party data to start producing results.

Across the surveyed universe, the study found uneven progress and mixed optimism as well as a variation in how long marketers expect their data investments to produce results.

The Big A-ha

  • Study Reveals a Significant Data-Confidence Divide: Only a small cohort of marketers surveyed put themselves at the head of this pack: fewer than one in 20 believe they have tapped more than 80 percent of the potential of their first-party data.

In terms of the survey’s implications, Advertiser Perceptions finds this confidence gap to be most significant.

“When you consider that 67 percent of respondents expect to realise their first-party data goals in an impressive 18 months or less, it seems a wave of data-confident marketers may be about to crest, significantly impacting the competitive landscape,” said Stuart Schneiderman, vice president, business intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions. “It would be wise for all companies that depend on data to drive their business to assess their data use readiness. Otherwise, the minority that feels very confident now could lengthen their lead.”

Key Findings:

Intent, Investment and Use Plans

  • Marketers Reveal Four Primary Goals Driving First Party Data Use
    1. Improved performance/ROI 
    2. Accuracy/data quality
    3. More precise targeting
    4. Improved measurement and attribution
  • Mobile Apps Analytics, Social Media Platform Data, Online Sales Data and Site Analytics Driving Increased First Party Data Spend Plans: The survey also uncovered several key areas in which marketers expect to increase their investment in first-party data over the next 12 months, with 64 percent of marketers expecting to increase their use of first-party data in mobile apps analytics, followed by social media platform data (55 percent), online sales data (52 percent) and site analytics (50 percent).
  • Most marketers (67 percent) anticipate realising their first-party data goals in 18 months or less: Despite mixed confidence levels and the fact that first-party data initiatives are often complex and take longer than planned, most marketers surveyed were still optimistic that their data investments would render results within the first year and a half.

Confidence and Concerns

  • Only 40 percent of marketers are very “data confident” today: There is a clear split in marketers’ attitudes toward the immediate value of first-party data. The majority (56 percent of those surveyed) said they were “somewhat confident” in first-party data delivering a strong ROI. 40 percent of marketers were “very confident” in the value of first-party data. The report identified this second group as “data-confident” and found that marketers falling into this category tend to use more types of technology, are likelier to use partners, and show a heightened interest in certain types of first-party data.
  • Marketers Express Concerns About Under-Utilising Use of First Party Data: Despite optimism around the benefits of first-party data use, marketers on average believe they have tapped only 47 percent of first-party data’s potential.

“What this survey made clear is that leading marketers are unlocking first-party data to gain a better understanding of who their customers are, what motivates them, and how digital advertising plays a role in purchase decisions,” said Tyler Pietz, vice president of global consulting at MightyHive. “This report reveals key characteristics displayed by data-confident marketers as well as overall trends in the use of first-party data.”


The report — The Data Confident Marketer — is based on a survey of 200 brand-side marketing decision-makers with an annual digital advertising budget of at least $5MM about their views on first-party data: how they’re using it, where it lives in their organisation, and how soon they expect first-party data to start producing results.

Additionally, five anonymous in-depth interviews were conducted with senior marketers in the CPG, beauty, financial, retail and travel industries.

Source: Advertiser Perceptions

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