New Study Finds Marketers Waste 21 Cents of Every Media Dollar From Poor Data Quality


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Marketers spend a staggering 32% of their time managing data quality, but it’s just not enough

NEW YORK — Sept. 5, 2019 — New research shows that marketers rely on high-quality data for fueling successful marketing initiatives, but they struggle to achieve it. High-quality data empowers marketers to effectively understand and influence shoppers at the right moment, while also demonstrating accountability for their spend. And while 82% of organizations place a high priority on refining data quality, 26% of marketing campaigns were hurt by substandard data in the last 12 months.

These findings come from “Why Marketers Can’t Ignore Data Quality,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Marketing Evolution, to evaluate the state of organizations’ marketing/media data quality and the tactics that help marketers promote quality efficiently and effectively.

In the age of empowered customers, competitive advantage hinges on an organization’s ability to harness the data needed to improve customer understanding and engagement. But poor data quality remains marketers’ Achilles heel, hindering insight while draining valuable resources. To improve data quality, the research identifies seven dimensions that best define data quality: timeliness, completeness, consistency, relevance, transparency, accuracy, and representativeness.

Tackling data quality improvements and boosting marketers’ trust in their data is a worthwhile effort. Per study findings, wasted media spend is the highest ranked repercussion of poor data quality (37%). A whopping 21 cents of every media dollar spent by organizations in the last year was wasted due to poor data quality, resulting in inaccurate targeting (35%) and lost customers (30%). 

“Data offers today’s marketers an extraordinary advantage and is key for improving customer understanding and engagement,” said Rex Briggs, CEO of Marketing Evolution. “But data is only as valuable as the insights it produces, the actions it influences, and the results it fosters. Without the ability to ensure data integrity, marketers are relinquishing their most powerful tool — and a massive competitive advantage.”

Among the study’s additional findings:

  • The vast majority of respondents (87%) ranked “high-quality data” as important or very important for marketing success
  • As much as 32% of marketing teams’ time is spent managing data quality, and 26% of campaigns in the last year were hurt by poor data quality, on average.
  • Firms with above average confidence across the seven quality dimensions cited benefits, including improved customer experiences and customer targeting, faster decision-making, and reduced media spending waste.

About the Study

In May 2019, Marketing Evolution commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct an online survey of 409 US-based midsize and enterprise organizations from retail, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, media and entertainment, automotive, energy, and utility industries, to evaluate their approach to managing marketing/media data quality. The survey fielding took place from April to May 2019. The result, Forrester’s “Why Marketers Can’t Ignore Data Quality,” can be downloaded here.

About Marketing Evolution

Marketing Evolution provides the most powerful marketing measurement and optimization solutions that increase campaign performance, sales, and engagement. Leveraging patented technology and data from hundreds of sources, our breakthrough person-level approach provides marketers with actionable insights to prospectively recommend media, message, and budget allocation. Forward-looking brands rely on Marketing Evolution to deliver accurate unified marketing measurement across both online and offline channels, while maximizing their media spend, marketing return on investment (ROI), and brand impact. To learn more, please visit

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