As we enter a new decade, marketers expect the advertising industry to continue changing at a fast pace and throw constant challenges their way.  Digital media will remain center stage and it will be the “decade of data”.   Brands will use data in 2020 and beyond to meet consumer expectations.  Industry experts are highlighting what marketers must do to reap the benefits of all the data available and the advancement in analytical tools.


  1. Improving access to and actionability of data.Having lots of data—including personally identifiable information (PII)—isn’t helpful if you don’t have sophisticated analytical technologies capable of uncovering insights for improving the customer experience in a highly competitive marketplace.  This means being able to acquire, cleanse, integrate and analyze multiple sources of internal and external data—including online and offline
  2. Gaining a truly holistic and unified view of your customer. This must include analysis of data from both online and offline sources, and an ability to accurately measure the true incremental impact of your marketing efforts across all channels.
  3. Contextually relevant targeting. Accurate audience segmentation and targeting that is based on attributes you are certain will be contextually relevant, based on the holistic view of customers you’ve developed.

Rapid-fire changes in the advertising industry will continue to impact marketers’ ability to attract and retain customers and grow revenue. To get ahead of the challenges and win in 2020 and beyond, a focus on customer-centricity, big data, segmentation and unified marketing analytics is crucial.

Consumers also have expectations for how marketers will use data and meet their needs and wants.  A national survey by Adlucent showed that seven out of 10 consumers say they prefer content and ads tailored to their personal interests and shopping habits. In fact, nearly half (46%) of survey respondents said that their ideal online experience is having free access to the websites they care most about and only seeing relevant ads. Nearly half (44%) of consumers say they are willing to provide personal information in order to get content and ads that are relevant to their personal interests and shopping habits.

“The age of irrelevant advertising is coming to an end, thanks to both increasing consumer demand for personalization, and access to technology and data that makes it possible,” said Michael Griffin, founder and CEO of Adlucent.  “While consumer expectations around relevancy increase, so do their expectations around data transparency. For today’s brands, there’s a lot on the line. Fail to deliver, and you will quickly find yourself losing favor and falling behind. But the brands who successfully balance personalization and privacy expectations will be big winners in this next era of digital advertising.”

The key to using data in a way consumers approve with is to be transparent. Many people are okay with giving out some personal information, but they need to feel confident that the data won’t be abused. In fact, a resounding 96% of consumers want brands to be more transparent about their collection and use of personal data, including visibility into what’s being collected (80%), who is collecting their data (78%), and how it’s being used (77%).

In the end, business owners and marketers will need to use data from consumers to provide the best shopping and ad experience for consumers. Making sure to handle data properly and a making it clear to customers how data will be used can help build relationships that last into this new decade.