If you really want to know what people are thinking, nothing beats chatting with them over a glass of fine wine and a nice meal. Turn recently held a private dinner for media agency clients and as conversation and the Bordeaux flowed, the discussion turned to the value of first-party data in RTB.
One comment which particularly rang true was that many of our guests felt we’re still in the ‘50s era of TV advertising when it comes to RTB. It’s certainly revolutionised the way we buy media, with the real benefit coming from the ability to place a true value on each buying decision. However this true value can only be measured with data insights that give transparency to the worth of each and every consumer to the advertiser at a given point in time.
Whilst third-party data is widely available and usage has increased, Turn has long advocated the value of first-party data for greater accuracy in campaign targeting. No one knows their customers better than marketers, and with data now fuelling everything a digital marketer does, utilising your own customer data such as CRM data, onsite activity including transactional data, self-declared user data and social signals is far more valuable than purely relying on external data sources.
Also, because a large amount of third-party data is not validated, marketers and agencies are seeing the importance of generating their own first-party data, both structured and unstructured, which can be married with existing data within a data management platform (DMP) in order to validate and enhance campaigns. Third-party data can also enrich first-party data by helping unlock audience information. Combining the two (or three if you include advertising data) will increase the chances of scaling your campaign.
The closer the data is to the brand, the better equipped advertisers and agencies are to bid the best price for quality consumers who they know will deliver a higher ROI. It will also help publishers to monetise premium inventory that may otherwise go unsold and help change our idea of value. Without this change, it’s simply a race to the bottom.
However, despite the fact that there’s a general acceptance on the importance of first party data, accessibility has never been greater, and thanks to the cloud, the cost of storing data has never been lower, there has still not been much uptake. Marketers want to manage their own data but are facing a difficult challenge; they are not just swimming in data, but are often drowning in it. Valuable customer insights are defined by data and often times that data comes from disparate sources. Marketers need a solution that sifts through all of the complexities of unifying data to make it actionable – all in real time.
DSPs certainly changed the game, but what are really needed now are marketer-friendly data management platforms for better data integration. Marketers should be able to map their user data with existing DMP data and integrate third-party data sources to create a full customer view and reach those customers instantly.
Working with a DMP platform that is not wholly integrated within a DSP is beneficial for clients looking to separate their data from media buying functionality. Open platforms give clients the option to ingest their data into the DSP of their choice.
One of the biggest concerns for marketers is also the issue of data security. Separating data management from buying, and providing a well-integrated system that allows one to feed the other, will enable marketers to better utilise their data with the reassurances that it will remain secure.
All of this of course stems from brands wanting a precise view of their customers in real-time in order to help drive conversions, and first-party data should be the primary point of reference. Effective data management is not, however, just about creating insights, but also making sure those insights are meaningful and actionable. With continued investment in data insights, we will certainly see more effective use of RTB and if our dinner guests were anything to go by, this is an industry progression that is long overdue.Global Desk Editor