26 March 2023 |
Data, Insights, Privacy
A survey study by Datonics from December 2022 has identified that data strategies enabled through third-party sources continue to be indispensable for marketers’ digital strategies to date. It found that more than half (53%) of digital marketing campaigns use third-party data from an average of 11.9 providers. This was taken from a survey of 400+ media strategists, planners, and buyers. The findings seem to defy expectations given the pending depreciation of third-party cookies and their relevant identifiers and a growing list of continually more intricate privacy regulations. The study also suggests that it will be challenging to extricate digital marketing from third-party data use. Therefore, what can we do in the meantime?
Prepare but Stay Active
In my opinion, while we should continue to prepare for the coming world by keeping abreast of emerging opportunities, we should not forget the current need for scale and acquisition that our brands face in the meantime. It will take time for the landscape to settle and even more time for brands’ stakeholders to wholly adopt concepts such as data clean rooms, which allow advertisers and ad tech partners to build data-safe, targetable data aggregation. And if that’s not challenging enough, it will take even more time to allow for scalable testing and to attain the holy grail of standardization. Look no further than the challenges that even a behemoth such as Google is dealing with in this new world. Therefore, we must not let ourselves stagnate and become complacent with existing opportunities, including with third-party data.
Evaluate Third-Party Data Providers
One thing that has always been true is that there is a need to evaluate data providers beyond their ability to generate scale cost-effectively. This includes being aware of its providence, governance, security, and accuracy. Going forward, this will also include its ability to adapt to technology changes, namely identifiers and cookies, as well as adjusting to privacy regulations.
Implement Data Management Policies
The onus is not only on providers of data to ensure that our brands are not exposed to privacy breaches. Advertisers should have clear data management and privacy policies in place to ensure that data is collected, stored, and used in a manner that is compliant with data privacy laws and regulations. This means making these a priority alongside developing campaigns and when evaluating platforms, partners, and data-led solutions.
Diversify and Test
While third-party data is able to enrich first-party data and other targeting strategies, the blended approach does not avoid the risks and drawbacks associated with third-party data. In order to truly future-proof the brand, digital targeting tactics must diversify investments into other data sources and solutions. This is especially true as Gartner expects the “majority of consumers and [business-to-business] buyers” will withhold data that’s crucial to digital marketing moving forward.
It is true that third-party data is in a vulnerable state as the media landscape evolves. However, I believe that we need only practice the strategies above, and we will continue to build on existing performance while keeping an eye on the future.
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