September 9, 2010, 4:49 PM

Investment in marketing data generated online will reach $840 million by 2012

Research finds spending on online data will cannibalize other data investments.

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While U.S. spending on marketing data and associated services is expected to hold steady at $7.8 billion through 2012, the slice spent on data derived from online sources, such as behavioral targeting and search engine optimization research, is expected to more than double to the detriment of data derived from offline sources.

According to an analysis by consultancy Winterberry Group, investment in marketing data generated online will reach $840 million in 2012 and command 10.8% of all marketing data spending. In 2009, spending on online sources commanded just 5.3%, or $410 million, of overall marketing data investment. The findings track with marketers’ increasing investment online at the expense of traditional marketing channels like direct mail and print.

Winterberry Group revealed its findings in a white paper jointly sponsored by marketing data provider Acxiom Corp. and data warehouse provider Netezza Corp. “It’s clear that a substantial sum will be chasing new marketing and data models to the Internet, pushing the boundaries of what’s now possible with respect to targeting and optimization. This has the potential to … accelerate the shift of even more advertiser spending from traditional to online channels,” says Bruce Biegel, managing director at Winterberry Group.

The research also finds that marketers believe they get more value from online data. In its survey of 175 marketing leaders, data compilers and technology developers, respondents assigned the least amount of realized value to data obtained through offline audience measurement platforms, such as print circulation audits and Nielsen data, which rated 2.6 on a five-point scale. Respondents said they realized the most value from data generated by prior marketing campaigns (3.9), web analytics providers (3.4) and search engines (3.2).

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