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?