61% of marketers still relying on third-party data

61% of marketers still relying on third-party data
How to measure marketing’s value without third-party cookies

Some 61% of digital marketers are still using third-party data, according to Salesforce’s latest State of Marketing Report. It also found problems with data activation, personalization and AI optimization.

Although the percentage of marketers using third-party data is down from 75% in 2022, this illustrates a problem with finding reliable information. The top three data sources, used by 84% of marketers, are customer insight, first-party and transactional data. 

While connecting customer data for personalized experiences is always a challenge, the phase-out of third-party cookies and the rise of AI are making it more important and more difficult for businesses to navigate this complex customer journey landscape. Only 31% of marketers are fully satisfied with their ability to unify customer data sources.

Activation bottlenecks

Having the data isn’t enough and marketers find leveraging it effectively remains a hurdle. A mere 48% of marketers track a crucial metric: Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Furthermore, 59% lack real-time data for critical tasks and still rely on potentially outdated information or intuition. Even with access to live data, activation is a bottleneck. While 52% claim real-time data is available for campaigns, 59% need IT assistance to utilize it. This suggests a potential lack of readily accessible data tools or a skills gap hindering its effective use.

Image from Salesforce’s State of Marketing Report, Ninth edition

What constitutes a “personalized experience” is still a work in progress. Only 32% of marketers are completely satisfied with how they use customer data to create relevant experiences. Some 43% of those surveyed use a fragmented approach to personalization — having an understanding of customer needs at certain stages and leveraging mass messaging at others.

Dig deeper: Alternatives to third-party cookies: The state of play

Marketers are eager to harness the power of AI, with 32% already using it and 43% experimenting. However, security and customer trust are major concerns as adoption grows. The allure of AI’s benefits is undeniable, with 88% of marketers worried about missing out. But especially for executives, the fear is real: can they embrace AI without compromising data security or jobs? CMOs are particularly worried about data exposure (41%) compared to 29% of VPs and 32% of team leads.


The report (registration required) is based on a double-anonymous survey conducted from Feb. 5 to March 12, 2024. The survey generated 4,850 responses from marketing decision-makers across North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe.


The post 61% of marketers still relying on third-party data appeared first on MarTech.

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