Whatever your digital advertising/marketing objective, one thing is certain, it will involve data. Lots of it. Increasingly, the challenge for today’s executives is not only to make sense of that data, but also to leverage it consistently. To do this, it’s necessary to choose the right tools and platforms to maximize this knowledge. It’s therefore frustrating when those platforms can’t be integrated, when you can’t bring your own data together to activate it, when your ad tech providers try to have full control on the value chain. I describe this as being a hostage to your own ad tech stack.
Having a background in the ad tech sector and in digital publishing, I know only too well the frustrations of navigating and manipulating rich customer data. Sophisticated as the myriad of available ad tech platforms are, they have their limitations too. A platform leveraging only the last three web pages a visitor browsed (or actions taken within an app), for example, could be helpful in the context of the other information you hold about that very user, but... it’s not always the case. While you, no doubt, collect intelligence on your programmatic campaigns, email marketing actions, content consumption, ecommerce transactions, etcetera, this information is often sidelined by your ad tech providers, preventing you from leveraging the complete view of information you hold about your user.
The answer is to regain control of your own data strategy first, but also fully own the way it is actioned, and that’s what I’ll be talking about at dmexco this year. Building a single customer view is key to success. It can go beyond your own rich data sets to incorporate your proprietary sources such as purchase data and cross-media usage. We work with our clients to understand what data they have and what data they need to build a deep, single view of the user that meets their requirements.
Taking a macro lens to this issue, I believe it’s time for the ad tech industry to collaborate more closely with each other to benefit their clients and make leveraging the single customer view a reality rather than a marketing stunt. End users want this integrated solution, so it’s time for some flexibility and ingenuity to help the sector deliver this. Now is the time for openness, transparency and co-operation, and for assigning murky ad tech with selfish agendas to the past. The opportunity for the future is in freeing customer data to help businesses realize their full potential. Only then will you no longer be a hostage to fragmented data and ad tech will fully become a facilitating element.
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