A Challenge to Advertisers – Build an Online Data Asset
JR CrosbyMarch 31, 2015
At Xaxis I’m fortunate enough to meet and have deep conversations with all sorts of advertisers. Whether I’m meeting with a global travel advertiser, major CPG manufacturer, or an up and coming Ecommerce company – one thing they all have in common is a desire to get better at harnessing, segmenting and utilizing their online data. Some are bold, if not defiant, that their company is deplorable at this, while others seem embarrassed at their current abilities. Regardless, everyone seems relieved to hear the truth: very few advertisers do a great job in online data management. Don’t get me wrong, most advertisers are brilliant with data and analytics –just not when it comes to the activation of this data across digital channels and platforms.
So what led to this tipping point where advertisers have suddenly found a need to manage this data? It seems to be running a parallel course with the proliferation of programmatic audience buying. As companies start to see the power of buying audiences rather than sites, GRPs, or high indexing personas, they are beginning to think about consumers as individuals and how to better communicate unique messages to them. The ability to harness and organize this data at the individual consumer level is imperative to success here.
Advertisers who are ahead of the data management curve are leveraging Data Management Platforms (DMPs) to achieve this, with varying degrees of success. This success is contingent on a number of factors: volume of data collected, velocity in which it feeds into their DMP, the segmentation of this data for targeting and deeper analysis as well as their ability to activate it across their digital channels.
There are several ways to go about obtaining a DMP solution. For advertisers who do not have the internal infrastructure to manage the outputs of the DMP, it would make sense to find a solution that comes with part of a media service. For those choosing a turnkey, white-labeled solution, benefits can arise rather quickly. Those building proprietary systems are doing so to align better with their internal systems, but face a tall task in doing so. My recommendation to any advertiser without a current roadmap would be to evaluate white-label solutions or those that come with media services before taking on the expensive and time consuming task of building it internally.
For too long advertiser’s valuable site and campaign data has been held in silos with 3rd parties who can only use it to drive better results within their own properties or platforms. The advertiser who is footing the bill is completely reliant on these partners to provide audience and campaign insights that most of the time cannot be replicated outside of the partner’s walled garden. These soiled learnings may provide a sliver of light on a particular partner’s portion of a campaign, but it certainly does not tell the whole story of the campaign or more importantly across campaigns, owned properties and over time. I challenge all advertisers with a digital investment to develop a DMP solution that puts learnings in their rightful hands.