NEW YORK: A global survey of marketing executives has revealed that brands and retailers are increasingly more willing to pool data resources as a response to disruption by big e-commerce companies.

"Data is the great equalizer in this time of division and global executives agree that a shared approach is the key for gaining an upper hand in the battle for consumers' share of time, attention and wallet," said Bruce Rogers, Forbes' Chief Insights Officer, in a statement.

"Despite the disruptive transformation of the retail industry, we are simultaneously witnessing that brands, large and small, understand the critical importance of data, are working hard to leverage the data they have, and see opportunity in working together to gain an edge."

The study by Criteo in conjunction with Forbes Insights, surveyed 504 marketing executives, conducted by Forbes Insights, from $50M+ companies in several industries, including department stores, fashion and clothing, and food and drink, from five countries - France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Across the board, the threat of big e-commerce with colossal amounts of consumer data is noted by most marketers. As such, a new idea of collaboration is taking hold, with 71% of retailers now willing to contribute online search data to a pool. In addition, just under two thirds of respondents were already part of a data cooperative.

The reason for most (72%) is the increased revenue benefit of pooled data. In part, more eyes on the information could help to allay one of the main concerns uncovered by the report, as 66% of respondents cite “ensuring data quality” as their main challenge. Going forward, the pooling of data brings up an ongoing challenge of ensuring confidentiality (cited by 65%).

"Understanding the value of data collaboration and pooling data is a massive step forward,” said Eric Eichmann, CEO, Criteo, who noted the disruption that the industry faces but welcomed the fact that brands and marketers are making these advances.

The threat is not just for traditional retailers, but for the broader business landscape. In August, Fortune (via Reuters) revealed that Amazon had been brought up in 130 earnings calls at the end of Q1 2017.

Said Steven Osinski, marketing lecturer at the Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University, “Any retailer, whether it’s an online retailer or has online presence, or just brick and mortar, that tells you they’re not concerned about Amazon, they’re either in denial or lying.”

Sourced from Criteo/Forbes, Fortune; additional content by WARC staff