Enriching First-Party Data to Remove Marketing ‘Blind Spots’

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More advertisers are taking control of their media spend, and they’re looking for better ways to have direct involvement in the use of first-party data to improve ad performance. Those are just a few of the findings in a new report by Kantar looking at the latest behaviors, attitudes, and trends in the digital advertising space.

Combining a survey of more than 600 advertising executives with proprietary data, Kantar’s data science team found that more advertisers today want to go beyond first-party data to equip their brands with a “360° view” of their consumers. Eighty-one percent of advertisers believe their brands should actively be looking to use their own first-party data alongside primary research data, and 60% of advertisers predict that enhancing their own data with data from other sources will become more important in the coming years.

“In order to set a data-driven marketing strategy, it is necessary to remove data blind spots, which is the main purpose of enriching first-party data with third-party data,” says Ana Rodriguez Fisac, global director of audience activation at Kantar.

Despite knowing what needs to be done, Kantar’s survey shows that marketers appear to be feeling a sort of data paralysis, confronted with the need to pivot faster, and to strive for greater impact in their media and creative strategies, explains ​​Serge Lupas, president of Kantar’s media division. Accessibility and application frustrations are some of the biggest hurdles in 2021. Thirty-eight percent of brands report having trouble profiling their audiences across all media touchpoints, 37% struggle with budget optimization across media, and 30% see the lack of cross-media reach as a potential roadblock. 

Brand marketers are also struggling to combine data funnels to produce the type of data-driven strategies that are known to drive real results. This is a trend that’s been echoed throughout the martech industry, despite an elevated value for first-party data that’s shared by businesses of all sizes and capabilities. 

Overcoming Technical Barriers

“The majority of advertisers foresee that data enriching will become even more important in the coming months and years,” says Rodriguez Fisac. “Although advertisers love the promise of unlocking the power of their first-party data, there are still several challenges associated both with privacy and technical barriers to connect the data assets, which is why the choice of technology will be key.”

Rodriguez Fisac says data management platforms (DMPs) are the solution here. DMPs and “clean rooms,” such as Salesforce, Lotame, LiveRamp, Safe Haven, and Infosum, can help marketers collect first, second, and third-party data in a unified platform. They also generate detailed insights about what each audience is interested in and what actions they take.

DMPs help brands by mapping chosen audience segments to first-party data, working within privacy-safe frameworks to connect first-party user-consented data with third-party datasets and matching custom third-party segmentations to first-party data for enrichment limiting.

Although there are outside firms that can handle the heavy lifting when it comes to combining first-party and third-party datasets, Rodriguez Fisac says most brands have the resources to handle the process in-house. Brands can also maximize the potential of in-house data by incentivizing user registration through discounts, reaching consumers through click engagements, and learning about consumers through events-based tracking.

“In addition to increasing the actions to collect data first hand, it will be equally important to ensure that they adopt a technology-accessible program across multiple teams within the organization to ensure the use of that data is maximized,” Rodriguez Fisac says. “Connectivity is also key, as the tools the advertisers take in-house can deliver actionable insights.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.