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Why Marketers Struggle to Consistently Identify Their Audiences

Confidence in demographic data is mixed

Marketers are invested in accurately identifying their target audiences, but they often miss the mark.

In a July 2018 survey of 408 marketing industry professionals in North America conducted by Winterberry Group and Data & Marketing Association (DMA), only 2.4% of respondents said they plan to reduce their spend on marketing identity solutions over the next year. Marketing identity products tie together reams of data so that marketers can more accurately identify the people who see their ads.

Just one in seven of the North American professionals polled said that they are able to identify audience members extremely well. Most respondents indicated that they can identify their audience fairly or somewhat well.

The Winterberry Group and DMA study forecasts that the US marketing identity sector will grow from $900 million in 2018 to $2.6 billion in 2022. The report also underscores how marketers have mixed confidence in demographic data.

Two-thirds of the 300 US marketers Lotame surveyed in May 2018 said they were somewhat confident in the demographic data they purchase. And just one-fifth were very confident in this data.

A previous study in January 2018 by Winterberry Group and DMA showed that improving audience segmentation is a top campaign management goal for marketers. Of the 450 advertisers, publishers and tech developers surveyed, 62.0% said that improving audience segmentation to support better ad targeting was one of their top campaign management priorities.