I understand why brands are frustrated. There’s a massive amount of choices, and there’s not enough quality, clarity or transparency. That’s why my resolution for 2018 is No More BS. I want to help brands get and use the kind of quality data that’s really going to make a difference for their business.
We have spent a lot of time as an industry in the past few years just getting whatever data we could and scaling it up to use it. Now we’re at a point where we can see what’s in there, what matters, and how to increase ROI by taking that scale and using it smartly. I want brands to benefit from this dramatic rise in quality, so here’s what they (and you) need to know about data now:
Data is all about the metrics that go into it; you want provenance, accuracy, and efficacy. To get that you need to know where the data comes from, how accurate it is, and how it performs.
There are three types of data; first party data is what you’ve captured, and second and third party data is what someone else has captured.
All data comes from one of three places. First party data comes from the brand itself, but most brands have very little first party data. Instead they rely on CRM files, or a partnership with a loyalty company, or access to credit card transactions.
Second party data is usually acquired via a private exchange, where companies get together and pool information to develop a better understanding of their specific targets.
Then there’s third party data. My company, for instance, puts third party data about subjects like sports up on a DSP or exchange, and companies use it for targeting media.
Which Data Is Your Best Data?
To be successful, a company has to use everything. So instead of looking for the best data, look for your best data partner. Find someone who can help you get as much first person data as you can, whether it’s through social media, partnerships, contests, Youtube, or any of the other ways you can interact directly with consumers, because that data is unique to you, your customers and your products. Then use your data partner’s expertise to combine your data with second and third party data to fill in everything you need to know.
The more advanced a brand is at finding ways to acquire data, make data partnerships, measure data, combine data, and understand what to do with it, those are the brands that will win in today’s marketplace.
Evaluating Second & Third Party Data
To find out if you’re being given quality data, you need to understand what makes good data. Here are some questions to ask to make that determination:
Where was it collected?
Was it on a phone, through an OTT like Hulu or Netflix, via social media with an interstitial video, or through cookies?
How did the data get into digital form?
Was it collected digitally from phones browsers, or collected offline, like from a census or a survey? There are a million different ways to collect it, and those collection methods will greatly determine the quality.
How did it get from the collection point to the marketer?
Where it was collected will greatly effect its efficacy and accuracy. If it was offline, how was it turned from an offline signal into an anonymous cookie profile?
How was it scaled up?
Was it declared user-generated data and that’s the scale, or was it taken from user generated data but then modeled to create look-alikes based on the network of another data provider, data aggregator or a data owner who then used their technology to create scale?
I know it’s a lot to understand, but honestly, as data providers, we are still trying to figure out how to agree on the meaning of quality ourselves. That’s where my passion lies, and that’s what I’m resolving to do; to figure out how to use the data you have, the data they have and the data we could acquire to make more goals happen for everyone this year.
Setting Quality Standards with the ALM
The Interactive Advertising Bureau is helping develop quality standards and best practices for digital marketing. That’s why I sit on the board of the data committee, and why I’ll be attending and presenting at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert this February. I hope to see you there, and to continue my mission of helping you cut through the nonsense to find and use the data you need.