Data has (finally) become the force for change in our industry. Not only have many media companies devoted much of their Upfronts to it, but Lotame's inaugural Ignite Americas forum expanded the discussion of how data can be used to improve ROI, upend legacy measurements, tell a story and totally restructure a company. It is finally revenge of the nerds.
Data Attributes Have Evolved
There is so much information available from first-, second- and third-party data that the parameters of what constitutes a valuable dataset have evolved. Previously, data size was one of the paramount requests. Do we have a large enough sample approaching census that will get us stable results? Now, with the complexity and sophistication of data availability, the wants have shifted from size to data quality. The components of data quality are transparency (do we understand the data attributes and origins?), accuracy (are we getting actionable successful results?) and performance (do the results deliver on the KPIs and/or ROI?).
Data expert Joyce Lee, Director Global Data Sales Strategy, Oath, has seen her role evolve from accumulating third-party data to finding ways to "sync all first-party data in the Oath family." Data stitching is like cooking, she noted, from having the right ingredients to blending them together to serving a final perfect result.
Michelle Mirshak, Vice President Data Architecture and Platforms, Spark Foundry, noted that "some of our more sophisticated clients are asking us to normalize data across channels to better track performance" as the data is analyzed in a more holistic way. The importance of data quality cannot be understated. Whether it is third-, second- or first-party data "it all comes down to performance," because quality is not just a first-party data attribute, she said.
Data from Collection to Insights
Alejandro Matos, Digital Marketing Director, Omnicom Media Group, Dominican Republic and The Caribbean, explained the challenge he faced in generating insights for a local retailer who had limited data on its online consumers. His work in capturing data that explained the consumer journey focused on a variety of sources: placing beacons in various locations in the store; launching a DMP; capturing CRM on social media and on apps; placing pixels in banner ads, and gathering data on mobile, emails and websites from multiple sources and then matching it with third party data before modeling.
The result was the ability to more clearly understand the consumer journey, but it was putting the collection structure into place that made all the difference. Is every data project unique and custom? Not necessarily, according to Matos. The collection methods may be similar across clients but the insights and stories that can be crafted from the data, even from similar data sets, will differ.
A Move from Legacy Metrics to Segmentation and Attribution
With the availability of sophisticated datasets, it is time for the industry to move away from legacy age and gender demographics. According to Chris Frazier, Vice President Business Intelligence, Cadent Network, his company uses data to, “build what that audience will be” by building out a target consumer beyond age and gender, to “reach the intended target at the right time.” He added that linking to linear TV using traditional Nielsen to digital platform performance is a challenge, impeding the ability to measure and guarantee standardize-able sales deliveries across platforms. “We would like to see uniformity in how we measure impressions,” he said. “Is it two seconds? Is it a minute? We want to see industry standards.” When it comes to addressable, attribution is key. “Attribution allows you to connect your exposures to where the sales are,” he added. “It’s a measure of ROI to media spend.”
The TV industry is beginning to embrace the use of consumer data in measurement in conjunction with demographic data enabling cross platform measurement. The need for a holistic, unified view of audiences and campaigns has never been greater and is essential for the evolution of the advertising industry.
As data advocate Andy Monfried, Founder and CEO, Lotame, concluded in his opening keynote, the requirements of a DMP are to unify disparate datasets to target the right audiences, extend a brand’s position to find and reach new customers and to better understand a consumer journey through greater personalization. This requires internal buy-in, retaining talent and aligning the strategic corporate vision to better understand and execute on the data insights. We are at the beginning stages. It should be an exciting and ground-breaking time going forward.
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