The Role of Data in the Advertising Cycle

Liam Corcoran, VP Ad & Audience Measurement EMEA, Research Now SSI

Most businesses – both brands and agencies – recognise that in order to achieve greater ROI on marketing investments, they have to get smarter about how they use data. It would be fair to say that marketers’ and advertisers’ use of data is evolving, and that there is a general awareness that there is room for improvement, both in data quality and application, such as for measuring advertising effectiveness. As companies continue to invest billions in technology to collect and house proprietary data, they need a way to tap into and leverage this investment, as well as enhance it.

Our recent research report ‘Data – The New Oil: Building a Customer View Through Data’ confirmed data quality is indeed important to building a complete customer view, with a business’s own internal customer data as the cornerstone, the core, to data-driven customer engagement. While a company’s own CRM data is truly first-party data, marketers face trade-offs between what they seek to learn about customers and the friction they add into the path to purchase. Fortunately, there are other data sets available – quality data sets – that can be combined and integrated with those company assets to enhance profiles for a truly robust, well-rounded, accurate, “in the moment” customer view.

We are seeing that marketers are increasingly building complementary data partnerships, and turning to trusted second- and third-party data sets. Market research panel data is one kind of complementary, enriching data. Market research data companies that recruit and manage survey panellists collect information from verified, permissioned consumers, and manage it on independent platforms so that it is richly attributed and maintained. Market research data collected in this way offers a different kind of first-party data, authentic and directly from consumers and business professionals. And because the data is offered on an independent, open platform, access to it is not filtered or restricted as it can be through closed platforms (“walled gardens”) that control both the buy side and sell side of their data.

Building a 360° customer view in this way helps get to the “why” as well as the “what” behind brand preference or path to purchase because an actual consumer has provided the data. Ultimately, quality depends on this kind of authenticity. Beyond data quality and a complete view of the customer, integrated data – across channels – is also crossing into the next frontier of cross-media ad measurement and effectiveness. The two – data and channel – go hand-in-hand for accurate assessment and, therefore, optimisation.

In a world of heightened awareness about and concern over the proper use of data, particularly in a post-GDPR age, it has never been more important for marketers to find trusted partners to help educate them around the value of their data and the potential to leverage it through integration.


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