Navigating the Ever-Changing Data Landscape

by Alex Looker
January 16, 2020

Customer privacy concerns are causing fundamental changes to marketing and measurement.  The data we leverage daily to perform analysis and execute targeted media campaigns for customers is slowly going away. There are two main reasons for this: 

  1. Updates to cookie tracking and legislation like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) are limiting what consumer data can be collected and shared. 
  2. Media budgets continue to move to the walled gardens of Facebook and Google, which now control an estimated 60% of ad revenue in the US (eMarketer).

These dynamics present challenging questions for performance marketers. 

  • What new technology is needed? 
  • What old tools are going away? 
  • What tactics should be pursued, and which should be avoided? 
  • How can we effectively connect with our customers in an authentic way? 
  • How do we respond to ever-evolving privacy requirements? 

As marketers ponder questions like these, they should engage their tech partners. Strong partners will be working proactively to adjust strategy based on these evolving needs. Marketers should also be working to set up internal teams to respond, arming them with the proper resources for success. 

Tech Partners

As policy and legislation move to protect customer data, targeting and measurement will become increasingly complicated. The value of first-party data is skyrocketing, and a test-and-learn mentality is essential as the availability of 3rd party data degrades. Successful tech partners will need to pursue creative solutions to: 

  1. Integrate data across walled gardens (Facebook, Google, Amazon).
  2. Collect low-granularity, user-level data
  3. Fill gaps through more flexible analytical frameworks (e.g. Media Mix Modeling).
  4. Leverage measurement tools that enable action within your organization.

Internal Teams

Organizations need to invest more in measurement expertise to navigate this complex space. There’s a high risk of teams rejecting good measurement capabilities in the face of increasing nuance and complexity. Organizations that can build smart internal capabilities for wielding the many tools available in a cross-channel, cross-functional way will be able to develop a strong competitive advantage. Successful leaders will build the internal capabilities to:

  1. Gain buy-in for complicated measurement systems within their organization, understanding the use cases of each tool and the relationships between.
  2. Drive usage of the tools and a willingness for test-and-learn to prevent analysis paralysis.
  3. Push measurement and activation partners to be more transparent and collaborative to find strategies for moving the needle.
  4. Effectively, consistently, and confidently test performance in market—this will be the only steadfast way to gain channel learnings in the face of industry and technology changes.

As we’ve seen in recent news, changes to browser-based user tracking are coming faster than ever. Further, legislative action like GDPR and CCPA are only the beginning – similar legislation (e.g. the New York Consumer Privacy Act) continues to develop at a rapid pace. If you are not already working with your tech partners and internal teams to get ahead of these changes, reach out to our Measurement Solutions team to start the conversation. 

Related Post: Death of the Cookie


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