Nearly 80% of advertising and marketing executives around the world stated customer data is critical to their campaigns.

A survey of members from the global marketing trade association, GDMA, voiced the importance of data within marketing, with 90% highlighting the importance of maintaining customer databases to improve communications.

The third annual Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing revealed how data plays a vital role in all consumer-facing businesses.

"Technology is rapidly changing every day and has a big impact on how customers interact with brands, which is why data is critical for driving many aspects of businesses," said Jodie Sangster, chair of GDMA and CEO of ADMA.

"It’s a positive sign for marketers to see more and more CEOs and Board members understanding the value and importance of data," she said. "However, in order for businesses to thrive and deliver on customer experience, emphasis must be placed on sophisticated data management and analytics models. Also at the heart of the data-driven revolution is building consumer trust – as businesses look at securing more personal data from consumers, consumers value transparency and want to know if their information is being well-protected. Moving forward, trust will and should play a critical role in an organisation’s business strategy.

Over half of those 3,283 people surveyed said they increased spending on data-driving marketing in 2016, while 36% said their spending remained flat

"Data is increasingly at the heart of everything we do as marketers to engage our customers,” added Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the UK's trade association, DMA. "In fact, of all the countries surveyed UK marketers came top when asked about the importance of data, highlighting how quickly it has become a critical part of all marketing and advertising campaigns. However, with this increased importance comes the need for us, as an industry, to ensure we’re building relationships based on transparency and trust. By acting responsibly and putting customers first marketers can create an exchange of value between your business, looking to prosper, and the customer, looking to benefit."

Saturday January 28 marked Data Protection Day 2017, which this year concentrated on the need for businesses to comply with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018.