Brands across the world are spending more and more on audience data, but it’s the automotive industry which is shelling out the most.

That’s according to a new report from Eyeota, which analysed the purchase of information across 60 countries and a number of different industries.  

The automotive sector drove audience spend worldwide in Q4, the bulk of it on ‘intent’ data – where users have shown an interest in buying. Its data spend increased by 77% year on year as luxury vehicle advertisers led the charge.

Spend in the finance sector trailed just behind in the same period, with brands forking out heavily in sociodemographic and B2B segments.

Brands get data-driven

In Europe, which saw consistent growth in data spend throughout the second half of last year, employment advertisers were willing to pay the highest premium to reach job seekers – ahead of both luxury and standard vehicle brands in the region.

But it was Europe’s travel and leisure sector which showed the biggest growth in data spend – of 9.5 times over the regional average – with advertisers seeking further insights to capitalise on end-of-year bookings for the holiday season.

Services & utilities and multimedia sectors also showed increasing interest in audience data, seeing its rate of spend grow 7.6 times above the EU average.

New innovation

While automotive groups led overall, fast-moving consumer goods brands were the biggest purchasers of interest data – their products lending themselves to interest-specific categories such as health, beauty and fitness, fashion and food.

Eyeota CEO Kevin Tan also noted the role programmatic is playing in increasing the demand for audience insight:

“The use of programmatic marketing continues to be on the rise in Europe and as a result advertisers are using more audience data to inform their campaigns,” he commented.

“Travel & leisure companies have been quick to embrace programmatic as a medium to reach in-market users, making it the fastest growing sector in Europe in Q4.”