The term ‘Identity’, from a digital marketers perspective, has been an evolving one. Historically it meant an anonymous browser, with no way to identify any personal details about the browser (good for everyone) and no way to identify the same user using multiple browsers (bad for everyone). This meant true user level frequency was impossible to quantify, but it was accepted because everyone had the same limitation. Now we have the ability to track individual users across multiple devices, but as GDPR codified, user consent needs to be prioritised.
So, while adhering to data privacy laws, marketers are looking at the best ways to leverage their most valuable asset - their own data. They are increasingly exploring how third-party solutions can help them unlock their data, to provide new insights to inform campaign strategies and ways to reach their existing customers online and in-app. In 2020, this will move from an explorative beta test to a more mainstream tactic as the ecosystem moves towards making smarter decisions about advertising strategies whilst still sticking to GDPR-compliant use of personal data.
Ads Data Hub, Infosum and other emerging technologies are facilitating new and interesting ways of interacting with advertiser’s data, that were not previously possible since GDPR.
Ads Data Hub (ADH) is Google’s emerging product that allows advertisers and agencies to bring their data into BigQuery and combine it with their Google advertising data, which since the turning off of log level data in early 2018, has been inaccessible. This gives advertisers an understanding of their audiences across campaigns, lets them identify conversion paths, and explore attribution across channels. For example, in the case of retailers, offline store receipt data can be merged to give a more customer-centric and holistic view on reach and frequency by identifying the overlap with digital data.
Any data used goes through privacy checks before the data is combined, and personally identifiable information is not visible. The key consideration for this solution is that data cannot be exported outside the Google environment, which works well for advertisers who are embedded in the Google ecosystem, but less useful for those with a more diverse ad tech setup.
Infosum on the other hand offers a unified data platform, allowing multiple parties including publishers to use data in a safe and secure way, connecting first and second-party data sources without ever having to leave its source. The platform securely matches identities from multiple sources, enabling marketers to create audience segments based on available insights and then export them to multiple platforms. One of the ways the unified data is helpful is in using rich audiences made available by publishers. It allows brands and media agencies to discover these audiences, measure affinity and activate against them.
As incidences of data privacy and compliance issues continue to rise, it is essential that marketers continue exploring identity-based solutions and learn how to better build value using the data available. They need to start by finding out how advertising goals can be hit through the insights gained from these solutions. By doing this now, they get ahead of the curve, to future proof themselves against the continual evolution of marketing practice.
Zahra Khakoo, Data Analyst
This article is part of the Digital Media Trends 2020 series, read more trends here.