This first-of-its-kind study – commissioned by DDMI and undertaken by Professors John Deighton of Harvard Business School and Peter Johnson of Columbia University – gives policymakers in Washington and beyond the facts about the vital role of responsible data use in fueling innovation and economic growth – and what would be lost if regulation impeded responsible exchange of data across the DDME.
"The study fills a significant gap in understanding about massive changes currently transforming the U.S. marketing and advertising industries – changes propelled by the growing quantity and variety of data available to businesses and consumers alike," Woolley said. "Given that every industry in America relies on data-driven marketing, the results of this first-ever effort to systematically and objectively map, measure, and analyze the DDME will benefit anyone with an interest in a vital, efficient, and growth-producing marketplace for goods and services in the U.S."
Key findings include:
The DDME added $156 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and fueled more than 675,000 jobs in 2012. In California alone, the DDME fueled more than 90,000 jobs and provided more than $21 billion in revenue to the state's economy in 2012.
The real value of data is in its exchange across the DDME. 70% of the value of the DDME – $110 billion in revenue and 478,000 jobs – depends on the ability of firms to exchange data across the DDME.
Innovation and Small Businesses are the Biggest Winners in the DDME. The exchange of data across the DDME enables small businesses to compete effectively with big players, launching innovative publications and services fueled by advertising revenue.
The DDME is "Made in America" and Data-Driven Marketing is a Major U.S. Export. Just as the U.S. created postal market-making media when Montgomery Ward developed the mail order catalog in 1872, the U.S. pioneered digital market-making media by commercializing the Internet browser in the 1990s. Today, DDME firms derive a considerable portion of their revenue (up to 15% in some cases) abroad while employing nearly all of their workers in the U.S.
Regulation Would Impact All Innovation, Small Businesses, Jobs and Economic Growth. New regulations stopping the exchange of data across the DDME would impact $110 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and 478,000 American jobs. The biggest winners in the DDME – market innovation and small businesses – would also be the biggest losers if startups could no longer use data to overcome barriers to entry, raise ad-supported revenue, and identify new and niche markets to serve.
"The bottom line is that well-meaning but poorly-conceived legislation or regulation restricting the responsible use of data would harm the U.S. economy," said Woolley. "It would impact billions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs, make small business less competitive, and stifle overall innovation. In the end, it would hurt consumers by limiting choices and raising prices. Policymakers need to comprehend the true impact of their decisions. The findings of this study help to move us from a fear-based to a fact-based conversation. Any future regulatory debate about the use of data should be grounded in the facts about the value that the DDME provides to the U.S. economy."
The Direct Marketing Association (www.thedma.org) is the world's largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing. Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques.