As concern over privacy and security of consumer data grows,
it's no surprise the DMA is touting the findings. The trade group
released its report yesterday in conjunction with its DMA2013
conference in Chicago this week.
The research indicates 70%, or $110 billion, of the data-driven
marketing industry relies on individual-level data exchanged among
companies for things like ad targeting or email marketing.
With the release of the report, the DMA clearly aims to counter
continued pressure from government and privacy advocates by
quantifying the impact the marketing data industry has on the
The DMA's Data-Driven Marketing Institute "commissioned this
study to give policymakers in Washington and beyond the facts about
the vital role of responsible data use in fueling innovation and
economic growth, the benefits that the [Data-Driven Marketing
Economy] provides to individual businesses and the U.S. economy as
a whole – and what would be lost if regulation impeded
responsible exchange of data across the DDME," the organization
noted on its institute site.
The two largest industry sectors creating value from consumer
data in 2012 were commerce -- particularly e-commerce -- and postal
production (think direct mail). Each accounted for around 20% of
the marketing data economy, according to the report, which also
counted revenues from agency services, analytics firms, and
"Because it is much more expensive to reach someone by the mail
than by email or display advertising, the [direct mail] channel
would cease to be viable without data to steer away from people who
are not going to buy," noted the report.
Large retailers represented a significant portion of the money
spent on data-driven commerce. The report estimated 20% of sales --
$17 billion -- at Amazon, Staples, Apple iTunes, and Walmart involved data-driven
The study was conducted by Professors John Deighton of Harvard
Business School and Peter Johnson of Columbia University.