Digital consultants are increasingly confident in the quality of their audience data this cycle.
That was one finding from a survey of some 50 agencies, consultants and advocacy organizations polled over email by Centro.
The firm asked its clients and prospective clients about their views on the digital landscape this spring and posted the findings on Wednesday.
Improved data quality is something that practitioners are noticing as the industry has moved to enhance its offerings amid growing privacy concerns. Asked what the most promising development is when it comes to digital campaigns, just under 55 percent said audience data that is “high quality” and “more readily available.”
“A lot of the big players in the voter-file space have partnered with on-boarding firms that specialize in matching it up to the right people online and providing the ability for folks like us to target voters across their devices with a pretty high degree of accuracy,” said Grace Briscoe, VP of Centro’s candidates and causes division. “In our space, working with the trusted voter-file partners, that’s the number one data that’s the most interesting for our clients.”
A majority of practitioners were clear when asked what their improved audience data would be used for: Persuasion. Independent voters, a growing segment in many battlegrounds, were the audience segment “most important” to 60 percent of respondents’ digital efforts.
The survey also had some insight into the adoption of programmatic digital buying. An overwhelming 77 percent of respondents agreed that programmatic buying will be “important” to their campaigns. While that number is undoubtedly influenced by the pool of respondents – Centro offers programmatic digital buying to clients – it’s indicative of how practitioners plan to spend this cycle.
Money won’t be tight, it appears. In fact, almost 68 percent of respondents said they expected digital budgets to increase this cycle.
Still, 13 percent said they didn’t know whether programmatic buying would play a role in their digital efforts. Moreover, almost 70 percent said that their biggest concern is “proving advertising impact to clients.” That indicates that client education is still crucial, according to Briscoe.
“That was not surprising to me. It’s the number one thing we’re talking about day-to-day with clients,” she said. “There’s an education gap with cleints, helping them to understand digital, and how it works, and what reports and analytics mean.
“They solidly understand what a TV buy is. When you get into talking about programmatic and voter file [data], and talking about viewability and completion rates, it starts to get a little muddier.”