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June, 2024

CMOs grappling with Privacy Act reforms, martech ROI: Arktic Fox study

Australian marketers are feeling the heat of the looming Privacy Act reforms and struggling their martech strategies. Those are two of the key findings from this years Arktic Fox 2024 Digital, Marketing & eComm in Focus report.

The study was developed in conjunction with Six Degrees Executive in partnership with Amperity, and surveyed 250 marketing, digital, and e-commerce leaders across a range of industries in Australia.

According to Arktic Fox founder Teresa Sperti, “The study has revealed that despite the seismic changes coming on the privacy front many brands are still ill-prepared. Only 38% of marketing & digital leaders believe their executive team see the strategic importance of privacy and only a third believe their organisation has a clear plan to evolve in line with proposed changes. “

Sperti also told Mi3 that on the martech front, the study found that less than one in five brands believe they are gaining strong or semi-strong utilisation from their martech stack today. Marketers are also questioning their martech investment strategy and are moving towards ‘best of breed’ solutions, rather than relying on a single vendor.

Billy Loizou, Asia Pacific Area Vice President, Amperity said, “Australian marketers want to take advantage of the available tools. The problem – as they are usually the first to point out – is that Australian marketers are struggling to execute. That’s hardly a new situation, but when you add in factors such as the rise of Gen AI, imminent reforms to the Privacy Act, flat marketing budgets, and Google deprecating third-party cookies, it’s not surprising so many CMOs are nervous.”

The study also suggests that personalisation capability within Australia is still a challenge for many, with 59 per cent of all leaders stating that their personalisation capability lags behind the market. This comes as little surprise as less than one in five brands believe they have been able to build a unified view of the customer.

And this year profitability has become mission critical for many brands – with it rising to the 3rd most important priority for brands in the eCommerce space, said Arktic Fox’s Sperti. “As ecommerce channels proliferate and Amazon’s dominance grows, 43% of brands are now leveraging marketplaces as part of their overall eCommerce channel mix, and a further 16.1% plan to trial and experiment with the channel moving ahead.”


The study also found that 77% of respondents said business growth was a key strategic priority, followed by customer acquisition (48%). The third most common priority (42%) was ‘Building our customer data strategy and better utilising our first-party data’, and the equal fourth (36%) was ‘Digital Transformation’.

However, despite the importance placed on personalisation, with 72% of respondents classifying it as ‘important’ or ‘very important’, only 29% agreed with the statement, ‘We are very effective at activating data to deliver great customer experiences.’

“When we undertake digital training sessions or partner with clients on strategy, it’s not uncommon for us to have to explain to an organisation’s staff, including its senior staff, where the organisation’s data resides and help them connect the dots around their martech ecosystem. Brands have been trying to develop a unified view of the customer for at least two decades.”

“Yet in 2024, less than one in five of those surveyed could say their organisation had developed a unified view of the customer that could underpin a data-driven marketing approach. This is why there is a growing gap between the haves and the have-nots in spaces like personalisation, experience delivery, and more. Brands that have built strong internal capabilities and robust foundations in data and tech are thriving whilst others are finding it difficult to shift gears,” says Teresa Sperti, Director of Arktic Fox.

Additional reporting by Andrew Birmingham