PwC: Data investment helps marketers adopt whole-of-business approach

Latest Australian Entertainment and Outlook 2014-2018 report also finds major shift from bought to owned marketing channels

Marketers who are investing in data are more likely to see a shift in the marketing function from a departmental to whole-of-business approach, according to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook 2014-2018 report.

The latest report found three in five marketers estimate their investment in data and data analytics will increase in the next one to two years. In a supporting joint PwC-Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) survey, three in four marketers are using more customer data to better target and tailor products and messages.

The joint report also showed 84 per cent of marketers investing in data are seeing their function moving to a more strategic ‘whole-of-business’ approach, compared to 74 per cent who claim their data spending will remain the same.

In a statement, the editor of PwC’s report, Megan Brownlow, said brands can no longer afford to hold onto the same old assumptions about customer behaviour and preferences.

“Data is the key to understanding and targeting today’s diverse customer base,” she said. “Brands can now directly target their audience and access insights about their behaviour with digital technology. This has given the marketing function more influence over core business decisions.

“Marketers have gone from being responsible solely for promotion, to reclaiming sovereignty over the other three ‘Ps’ of classic marketing: Pricing, product development, and placement.”

Related: 8 ways to get on top of data analytics

The higher rate of data usage is a step up from last year’s PwC media outlook report, which called on marketers to better utilise data to achieve fresh customer insights.

The trend does represent negative ramifications across the wider media industry, however. The PwC report cited a significant shift in marketing spend away from traditional ‘bought’ channels and towards investments into owned media. One in four marketers currently spend between 20 and 30 per cent of their budget on building and maintaining their own channels.

The results prompted an urgent call from Brownlow for media, entertainment and advertising industries to find new ways of generating revenue.

“Digital and social media channels have driven this trend by diluting the reach of traditional platforms, and making it easier for brands to access their audience directly,” she said in a statement. “In response, established media companies are creating new income streams and building new distribution channels to supplement their threatened advertising revenues.”

Overall, the Australian entertainment and media market is forecast to grow from $33.7 billion in 2013 to $39.8bn by 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4 per cent. In 2013, total spending across the sectors grew by 4.5 per cent, compared to global growth of 5.2 per cent.

The PwC report predicts interactive games will be the fastest growing consumer sectors, with a 7.6 per cent CAGR, while Internet access is expected to remain the largest sector, reaching $12bn by 2018.

Read more: Kia Motors Australia aims for personalisation with new website

Advertising spending is expected to hit $14.4 billion by 2018, thanks to a CAGR of 3.1 per cent, with Internet advertising reaching $5.7 billion over the same timeframe.

Although the advertising market enjoyed better growth in 2013 at 4.8 per cent, revenue was spread over more players and channels as the industry continues to fragment, PwC stated.

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