By Hugh Stevens, Managing Director UK at LiveRamp
Marketers don’t have it particularly easy right now. With the cost-of-living crisis expected to continue for some time, brands across all industries, from low purchase consideration FMCG to high purchase consideration automotive, are seeing once-loyal customers change their buying behaviour and turn to cheaper alternatives. Internally, marketers are under pressure from their CEOs and CFOs to do more with less and show ROI on practically every marketing dollar.
At this time, marketers must ensure that they are taking a data-driven approach to everything. This includes aligning their business to leveraging first-party data strategies, which a sizable portion of marketers are lagging behind in preparation. Indeed, a report we compiled earlier this year found that as many as 60% of UK marketers are still developing their first-party strategies. This extends to maximising the marketing value of the rich datasets they already have access to.
A goldmine of hidden data
Improving access to fragmented data should be considered an absolute priority, as a significant portion of potential digital revenue can be hidden as siloed data inside an organisation. For example, it’s great if your teams within CRM or in-store operations are sitting on a data goldmine, but not so great if the performance marketing team can’t join the dots to present an omni-channel, consistent experience to your consumer.
By uniting internal data silos, marketers are able to remove inconsistencies and achieve a deep, multidimensional understanding of consumers to drive impactful innovation. This includes improving tech stack efficiencies and optimising data-driven marketing strategies.
For example, FMCG marketers can leverage loyalty card SKU level transaction data to analyse the likelihood of certain products being in the same basket – like burgers, pickles, and cheese slices – and then work with the marketing team to promote targeted offers to similar customers; before the shop (email), during (in-store) or post-purchase as a reward (receipt).
Privacy-centric data collaboration
For marketers to unleash the full potential of their first-party data, they need to ensure that their teams’ datasets and the unique customer insights they offer are actionable across the business. Brands who are doing this are enabling different stakeholders to utilise it to inform smarter business decisions. This requires having the right tools to leverage this data in order to derive insights, activate it and measure it – all in a privacy-conscious way.
With major tech platforms continuing to pick up large fines for falling foul of international data privacy regulations, it’s easy to understand why some brands and organisations might be nervous about the idea of sharing data more freely, either internally or by giving the greenlight to data collaborations with external partners. Fortunately, techniques and technologies exist to ensure that internal data silos can be broken down and consumer data can be shared in an entirely privacy-centric way.
For instance, marketers should audit the internal data structures of their organisations. Where are the various touchpoints where consumer data is being collated? Who owns and controls those data sets? Is the data permissioned in such a way as to make it usable for insight analysis? Once those internal workstreams are aligned to collaborate data inside the organisation, the next step is to invest in an identity solution. This is a key technology in enabling you to unify and consolidate your customer view.
Data clean rooms are another important tech solution to ensure that addressable data is accessible across the business and, crucially, can be made available in a privacy-conscious way. These safe and neutral spaces allow parties to enhance and benefit from data collaboration to safely reap the benefits without compromising personal identifiable information. With built-in privacy and security protections, enhanced data clean rooms increase the trust index between parties to drive better outcomes.
Moreover, data clean rooms also importantly enable collaboration with parties outside of the business. Indeed, no matter how much data you have internally, you’ll never have the full picture of the consumer. However, by collaborating with partners, more information can be unlocked and used to better understand audience behaviour, optimise media and boost overall return on investment.
The possibilities here are endless and extend across verticals – particularly those who traditionally have been data-poor, like automotive manufacturers. Nevertheless, across the marketing ecosystem, a premium has been placed on understanding a clear view of your customer with all available data. The only way to do this is through a privacy-centric approach to data collaboration which extends from the top to bottom of the business.