Make no mistake, first-party data will play a critical role in the future of marketing, as it always has. But agencies as trusted advisors, and the industry overall, need to be realistic about what first-party data can and can’t do for clients, especially in the face of a global pandemic that has upended everything we thought we knew about consumer behavior.
The Covid-19 pandemic altered fundamental daily behaviors in most consumers’ lives almost overnight. For some, it had even more drastic effects for better and worse, shifting jobs and spending habits as well as where people go and how they spend their time.
For businesses, the drastic changes of 2020 mean existing data may be unreliable. Ruby Brenden, head of data products at data management platform Lotame, described the stakes of the current situation to Street Fight and gestured toward opportunities to meet the moment.
Creating great customer experiences is ultimately what matters most, and this requires a single customer view and data enrichment techniques for a deep understanding of your customer. Organizations that rely on only first-party data are at a disadvantage. They risk missing out on valuable new information as time passes. For example, did your customer just move to a new state or buy a new home?
Google’s recent announcement of its intention to phase out third-party cookies in the Chrome browser over the next two years, in addition to sparking plenty of speculation and doomsday prophecies, has led to much discourse over what a future driven by first-party data, as opposed to third-party data, might look like for marketers.
But there’s a lesser-known type of data that’s being left out of these conversations—one that sits in between first- and third-party data and delivers both accuracy and scale. It’s called earned data, and it warrants the attention of every marketer who’s planning their transition to a cookieless world right now.
Long live the road trip. Experts predict that people will largely look to visit domestic and drivable destinations because of new health and economic concerns. We’ll see more three- and four-day trips because of finances, work pressures, safety concerns, and changing school schedules. That said, travel companies, hotels, and CVBs are now considering reinvesting in marketing to local audiences. It’s time to hit the gas at this first sign of recovery.
Marketers have to think about geo-optimization because there may be pockets of travel in certain regions and an opportunity to be more fine-tuned. Larger brands that do national advertising may miss an opportunity to be more targeted on a regional basis.
In the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, Europe’s General Data Production Regulation, and the California Consumer Privacy Act, the massive market for consumer data no longer operates unbeknownst to most Americans. But for digital marketing practitioners and the average consumer alike, making heads or tails of the industry is no easy task.
To break down the different kinds of customer data in the market, the impact of data sharing and selling on consumers, and the potential of privacy regulations to shape the industry going forward, Anindya Datta, founder, CEO, and chairman of Mobilewalla, recently checked in with Street Fight.
For years, digital marketers have paid hand over fist in the digital gold rush for data. Instead of a tangible product, tech companies earn millions in revenue from the data they collect on previous, current, and future digital consumers. But digital marketers seeking to gobble up as much data as they can for their campaigns — while not stopping to consider the source of or methods used to collect it — are taking the wrong approach. The age-old mantra of “quality over quantity” has never been more relevant in online advertising, and marketers must quickly and fully embrace first-party data or risk their digital campaigns (and bottom lines) falling flat.
Using first-party data is a win-win. As marketers, you are fostering an ongoing relationship with your customers and prospects by better communicating and serving them. But there needs to be a strategy and long-term commitment. In a survey of US digital marketers by Advertiser Perceptions and programmatic agency MightyHive, respondents said they were, on average, tapping into just 47% of their company’s first-party data potential. It takes the right strategy and technological infrastructure in place to activate first-party data at scale.
Amazon’s success comes at a cost for publishers. Its growth means that retail and CPG brands are shifting digital spend away from publishers, siphoning off a key source of revenue. How can publishers compete? Their survival may come down to better ways of monetizing existing channels like email, as well as more effective use of their greatest asset: first-party data.
The hope for publishers lies in email and the power of the email address. With email, publishers have a logged-in channel that’s virtually fraud-free. Email represents a direct relationship with the consumer and one that is detached from platform intermediaries that have unfairly claimed revenue and attribution from the rightful influencer: the publisher. And contrary to popular belief, email is still a channel where people spend over five hours a day. What’s more, email is impervious to subtle shifts of an algorithm that force a publisher to buy the right to reach people, as opposed to owning the relationship with those who have requested a publisher’s content in the first place.
Rather than developing entirely new inventory strategies, which is a heavy lift, publishers can look to what they already have—rich behavioral, subscriber, and social data, most of it seriously under-leveraged. When used properly, first-party data can help publishers drive revenue in two ways—directly and indirectly. It can help them to stop working harder and start working smarter.
From brands to vendors to publishers, DMEXCO is a good bellwether to consider when trying to understand where things are headed. Brands taking control, data quality, and publishers getting smarter about data are key topics I kept hearing about—and for good reason.
More and more marketers are using first-party data to eliminate wasted impressions and achieve the strongest ROI on their data-driven marketing efforts. Who doesn’t want that?