Data management platform (DMP) tools are becoming more valuable for marketers to gain valuable information about their audience and help target prospective customers. Many publishing and marketing organizations use a DMP, but many are also using their own tools and some still seek support.

Lotame—a DMP provider—announced additional information to its recent report Data Activation & Success Report released in November. It surveyed over 300 senior decision-makers in marketing and digital media to analyze how these companies leverage audience data and determine success.

The report found almost 80 percent of respondents said their organization gathers audience data using a DMP and about 29 percent use a demand-side platform (DSP) and DMP hybrid tool. Just 42 percent leverage their own tools and a mere 14 percent use a customer data platform (CDP).

When it came to the feeling of support, 38 percent of businesses reported that their DMP offers “a great amount” of service and 39 percent believe they got only a “fair amount” of support and it could be improved. Only seven percent of those surveyed felt their vendor did everything for them.

“Research finds that audience data is still underleveraged by publishers and marketers,” said Jason Downie, Chief Strategy Officer at Lotame. “For all these organizations, data strategy development, management and execution require sizable investments in talent and technology—and many simply don’t have the in-house capabilities or infrastructure.”

The initial study found 69 percent of respondents collect audience data, but 31 percent still don’t have the resources and education to do so, mainly having problems with an internal resource in place. Additionally, those who collect data about 78 percent want it as a managed service instead of in-house.

The top reason respondents use audience data was to “make my content or messaging more relevant”—60 percent—and the second most important reason was to improve campaigns. For marketers, brand loyalty, increase in ad performance and increase in purchases were the main metrics for data success.

Marketers worry about advertising waste, especially in the digital space. Four years ago, Google found more than 56 percent of ad impressions are never seen by consumers and in 2015, Proxima estimated 60 percent of worldwide marketing budgets were being wasted because of ad fraud, ad blocking and poor targeting. That’s why brand loyalty is key in order to remain successful, especially with the recent data breaches.

“At the end of the day, people, strategy and execution should come before software,” said Downie. “As more publishers and marketers invest in audience data collection and activation and the market becomes increasingly competitive, it’s imperative for DMPs to provide high-quality support for these organizations to help them be successful.”