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DMA Conference Survey: Half of Marketers Seeing ROI on Data Investments

Annual Infogroup study at DMA2014 finds data-related marketing budgets will increase significantly for the third straight year

OMAHA, Neb., Dec. 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Almost half of marketers have started seeing a return on the data-related investments they have made over the past few years, according to a survey conducted at the DMA Annual Conference.

Infogroup, which polled nearly 600 attendees on site at DMA2014 in San Diego, found that 47 percent of brands are already seeing positive ROI on their data-related marketing investments. In 2013, 39 percent of marketers said they were reaping the rewards of Big Data spending, an eight-point difference.

For three straight years, the annual DMA survey conducted by Infogroup has found that data-related marketing budgets continue to increase. This year's results show that those investments are finally starting to pay off.

"Data investment is quickly reaching an important turning point," said Gretchen Littlefield, president of Infogroup Media Solutions. "With nearly half of marketers experiencing ROI, data-driven marketing is no longer an emerging field. It's standard practice."

Marketers are starting to see ROI after a period of steadily increasing investment in Big Data initiatives. Almost two-thirds of marketers (64 percent) expect their data-related budgets to increase in 2015, compared to 62 percent in 2014 and 68 percent in 2013. Only 4 percent expect their data budgets to decrease next year.

While almost half of marketers are already seeing ROI, another 15 percent expect to see a positive return on their data investments in 2015. Another quarter of respondents anticipate returns within five years, while only 1 percent of marketers don't expect to see ROI at all.

The majority of those polled (62 percent) has already begun investing in data-driven marketing solutions. An additional 15 percent will start investing next year, and another 15 percent expect to invest in the next five years. Just 7 percent have no plans to invest in Big Data solutions.

Analysis, implementation woes

Despite success with data-driven efforts, marketers still struggle with analyzing and acting on the amount of data available to them. Data analysis is a top concern, with 21 percent rating it as the primary issue for 2015. Data implementation follows at 16 percent, while 15 percent said collecting data will be their biggest challenge.

Other findings about the future of data-driven marketing include:

  • Over half of marketers admit that they don't collect enough customer data, while 10 percent say they collect too much. Twenty-five percent of marketers who say they collect too much data still think collecting data is their biggest challenge.
  • Thirty-six percent of marketers who say they collect the right amount of data clean it monthly, and 34 percent who say they don't collect enough clean it annually.
  • Marketers who customize campaigns are more confident in knowing their customers. Forty-six percent of marketers who customize are very confident in the completeness of their average customer profile, compared to 21 percent overall.

"Data analysis will be the next frontier and the next challenge that marketers will grapple with," said Littlefield. "Marketing is equal parts art and science, and positive ROI indicates that the industry has started to master the science portion of data collection and analysis. We anticipate that data-driven investment and returns will steadily rise in the next few years."

Infogroup surveyed 584 marketers at the 2014 DMA Annual Conference & Exhibition on Oct. 27-28, 2014. A complete report containing the survey results will be published in January 2015. For updates, visit

About Infogroup

Infogroup's 1,800 employees enable clients — from local businesses to the FORTUNE 100TM — to increase sales and customer loyalty by leveraging our proprietary Data Axle™ of contextually relevant real-time information on more than 235 million individuals and 24 million businesses to deliver the complete spectrum of value-added data and innovative targeted marketing solutions. For more information, visit

Sarah Dietze