Data is central to advertising’s quest to better target and personalise communications but the reliability and provenance of that data and the point at which its use becomes intrusive are issues on which marketers’ views differ.

According to recent LoopMe research, marketers in the US and UK deemed the average lifespan of data to be between 20 and 23 months. That figure was based on responses from 400 marketers working across a range of verticals and company sizes in the two countries.

Just over half (52%) of those surveyed by the mobile video platform felt data was reliable for between one and two years, while 27% felt data was useful for less than one year.

Marketers also said that the most valued forms of data were audience data (28% UK, 30% US) and financial data (27% UK, 23% US); cookies and device IDs were valued as most important by far fewer.

With regards to sources of data, almost half of UK marketers continued to see desktop as the richest source of data; less than four in ten thought mobile offered a greater spread of data than desktop – this despite the fact that smartphone use has overtaken desktop and offers potentially useful data around the user’s location.

There was widespread agreement that personalised creative is important (66%) and that there is a point at which this can become too intrusive (72%); for example, between one fifth and one quarter of respondents felt that the use of a customer’s name in visual or audio creative should be avoided.

The age of the target audience was also important for marketers when considering personalisation of ads. Most expected 18- to 24-year-olds to engage with such ads but few thought the over 55s likely to do so.

This week’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts from media agency Zenith highlighted the growing use of artificial intelligence techniques to analyse data and improve targeting, messaging and conversion, and the potential for personalisation of marketing messages in online video.

“By linking media investment with commerce, and broad awareness with personalisation at scale, technology is giving brands new tools to create growth,” said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s Global Brand President.

Sourced from LoopMe, Zenith; additional content by WARC staff