Signal’s Prediction for Digital Marketing in 2016: The Era of First-Party Data Creates Demand for Data-Driven C-suite Roles

In 2016, the first-party data revolution will be in full swing, and a new breed of data-driven leaders will emerge in the C-suite to help businesses leverage that data to drive more value across the enterprise.

According to Signal’s research, 82% of marketers plan to increase use of the data generated from their customers and brand properties. They are putting first-party data first, over the inferred, third-party data of the past. A look at the impact this valuable data can have on a brand makes it easy to see why: it gives more insight into customers, can create better experiences, and can increase customer lifetime value.

First-party data can also impact a business far beyond the marketing department. Amazon uses customer data to create original video programming. Progressive Insurance captures driving-behavior data to determine customer risk and create pricing models. Samsung uses data to provide viewers with content recommendations on its smart TVs.

But along with this realization of big data and its increased use across organizations has come an increase in data-related business challenges. Fragmented ownership of data and varying data governance or data management practices can result in masses of messy data, information silos, and lost opportunities for the business.

To tackle these challenges, businesses will create a new leadership role in the organization focused solely on deriving value from data. This leader will:

  • Be a master of data science skills, which is a mixture of technology, programming, statistics and math, and importantly, business.
  • Hold a strategic function within the C-suite. Only at the executive level can this leader effectively see across the organization, unify data, create a data strategy, and implement the right enterprise level technology to carry out that strategy.
  • Work with product designers, marketing, merchandising, distribution, customer service, finance, and other groups within the organization. This leader must unite these groups and determine standards and processes for managing cross-channel data, stitching that data into one cohesive view of the customer, and then activating across any customer interaction endpoint.

The companies that win in 2016 and beyond will be those that designate a strategic, data-minded executive to implement the data-driven marketing strategies to lead the organization into the data-driven future.

To read more of Signal’s 2016 Digital Marketing Predictions and the action steps you can take to help prioritize data collaboration throughout your organization, download the report: “How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2016 – What Marketers Need to Know Now.”

Originally published February 16, 2016

Kelly Miller

Kelly is the Senior Vice President of Audience Trust Operations and Partnerships at Signal.

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