Enterprise Marketers Mired in Complex Web of Marketing Data Toolsets, According to IAB & Winterberry Group

New Whitepaper Identifies Data-Driven Programmatic Advertising as a Major Catalyst in Adopting Marketing Automation Technologies, with Marketers Split on Whether Integrated or Independent Solutions are Best

NEW YORK – On average, enterprise marketers today are using a dozen distinct toolsets to support their collection, management and redeployment of customer data. Nearly one in 10 are currently working with more than 30 different tools on a regular basis. These findings, from a new whitepaper produced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Winterberry Group, illustrate the daunting task of handling data technology in the marketing and media landscape.

“Through our research, it became clear that no single ‘one-size-fits-all’ technology can address every marketer’s need”

Titled “Marketing Data Technology: Cutting Through the Complexity,” the paper features insights from more than 50 executive-level thought leaders, representing all segments of the advertising, marketing, media, and technology industries. These stakeholders agree that the rapid rise of programmatic advertising has created additional pressure on marketers to make audience data actionable – compelling them to leverage numerous marketing automation solutions while they search for the ideal mix.

Asked whether they prefer an integrated, stacked approach to adopting marketing automation technologies or an independent, bespoke tech solution, marketers were split down the middle. The primary reasons for selecting an integrated data technology model include:

  • Ability to measure return on investment
  • Lower cost of purchase/implementation
  • Speed/ease of implementation

While increased complexities in day-to-day operations might put off some marketers from depending on a multitude of different independent technology solutions, important benefits to the independent approach were singled out as well:

  • Ease of integration with other licensed and/or proprietary advertising and marketing technologies used within your organization
  • Flexibility/modularity
  • Ease of integration with business partner and clients’ technologies

No matter the preference, though, the majority of marketers claim that the desire to support best-in-class functionality holds greater weight in their decision-making than aligning with either an integrated or independent strategy.

“The study being released today illustrates that the data marketing automation ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex,” said Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO, IAB. “The challenge before us is to work to ensure that whichever technologies a company chooses to utilize will work seamlessly within the larger digital marketing and communications ecosystem. To accomplish this goal, we have established the new IAB Tech Lab, which will provide the industry a platform to develop and operationalize the technical standards needed, so that the digital marketing tools available can work in an integrated fashion. Developing these standards in tandem with the growth of the industry will reduce complexity and unlock value for advertisers and marketers.”

“Through our research, it became clear that no single ‘one-size-fits-all’ technology can address every marketer’s need,” said Jonathan Margulies, Managing Director, Winterberry Group. “But we also found a lot of common ground. Marketers and publishers share a similar, overarching directive: Put audience data to real use. And as data sources continue to expand, they expect the platforms powering that deployment will continue to assume a more central role as the centerpiece of their omnichannel marketing practices.”

“Marketing Data Technology: Cutting Through the Complexity” was sponsored by LiveRamp, Signal, and Turn, and is available for download at www.iab.net/datatech.


The paper’s findings are based on the results of an intensive research effort that included phone, online and in-person surveys, conducted between August and December 2014, of more than 50 advertisers, marketers, publishers, technology developers and marketing service providers.

About Winterberry Group

Winterberry Group is a unique strategic consulting firm that supports the growth of advertising, marketing, media, information and technology organizations. Affiliated with Petsky Prunier LLC—a leading investment bank providing merger and acquisition advisory services to companies in the same sectors—the Firm offers its clients strategic perspective that is unparalleled in its addressable industries, while PPLLC maintains exceptional relationships with industry executives and business owners. This combination of market intelligence, research and strategic operating experience provides an educated outside perspective that we bring to each engagement. For more information, please visit www.winterberrygroup.com.

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. It is comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing programs. Together, they account for 86 percent of online advertising in the United States. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. The organization is committed to professional development, elevating the knowledge, skills, and expertise of individuals across the digital marketing industry. The IAB also educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City.