Annoyingly, your data lives in a bunch of disconnected systems. Data integration is the process of combining data sets that live in different applications so you have a unified view of your customer.
There’s a lot to think about. In addition to field-naming conventions (think “F.Name” in Data Set 1 vs “First Name” in Data Set 2) or alias values (CA vs California), you also need some way to recognize that Janet Smith (maiden name) and Jane Johnson (married name) are actually the same person.
The picture gets even more complicated when you want to start matching offline records to online data, like the digital ads that Jane was exposed to. To put these data sets together, you need a privacy safe approach to recognition and data connectivity that anonymizes your records before matching and linking your data.
Data Privacy is the intersection of the collection and sharing of data, people's right to privacy, the laws regulating personal data and how it is used, and industry best practices to protect and build consumer trust. As such, the responsibility for data privacy stretches across teams, from legal to security to engineering.
Data privacy is so important that it even has its own holiday—Data Privacy Day (January 28th). So mark your calendar.
Data matching is the process of connecting the anonymized identities assigned to people and devices in one platform and the anonymized identities assigned to people and devices in every other platform. This is what powers people-based marketing.
For instance, you could match CRM data about your customers to cookie data from your website to make sure Joe Customer gets treated like Joe Customer deserves, whenever he’s on your site. To protect users privacy, comply with regulations, and adhere to industry best practices, offline data needs to be anonymized before it can be matched to online devices or digital IDs.
If you’re evaluating any platform that matches data, it’s important that you’re armed with the right questions to ask. Check out these five questions to get you off to a good start.
Data Management Platform (DMP)
A ‘Data Management Platform’ sounds simple enough. It’s a platform for managing data, right? Pretty much.
DMPs evolved out of a need to analyze the data collected in the anonymous cookies that are collected by websites and DSPs. They allow you to build segments—using behavioral data from your own campaigns and/or a 3rd party—to target specific audiences with the right ads.
They centrally manage and present all your campaign activity and audience data to help you optimize your media buys and creatives.
DMPs can do all this because they use identity resolution to tie disparate IDs back to real people. (We hate to brag but *ahem*, the best ones use the best identity resolution service available—ours. Who are we kidding? We’re marketers. Bragging’s what we do.)
An evolving species with remarkable resilience; capable of withstanding immense technological fragmentation to give customers and prospects better experiences.
Adaptable, highly intelligent, and easily distracted by shiny new channel opportunities, the data-driven marketer feeds on the fruit of the conversion tree.
Profile of a data-driven marketer:
This is the good stuff, the richest source of insight into your ideal customer—data that’s collected, owned, and managed by your organization. It’s the data collected by you, from your audience and customers, and stored in your systems.
So, technically, it should be the easiest to learn from and activate. But if you can’t tie the data in all your siloed systems (like your marketing platforms, CRMs, POS systems, ERPs, contact center databases, etc.) back to real people, it’s not so easy to tap into.
This is data that consumers provide to another company that—with the consumer’s notification and consent—you may access through a partnership agreement. Put another way, it’s someone else’s first-party data.
For instance, you could broker a deal with an airline to share loyalty card data to improve your targeting.
This is data that was collected on other sites, platforms or offline, by…you guessed it—a third party. Third-party data is used extensively by companies to better understand their audiences and to better target prospective customers.
It’s great for demographic, contextual, and behavioral targeting. Like if you needed to reach an audience of 24- to 36-year-old males who love wine but not cheese.
Data ethics is a company’s approach to protecting the data they own and have access to. While complying with the law is the bare minimum, many companies, including LiveRamp, take data ethics further, establishing data governance practices that encompass what their customers and users consider to be fair and just.
Today, because of data breaches, laws like the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and countless other news-making events, data ethics is becoming another measure of consumer trust in the brands and companies they support.
Data can be funky—and not in a good way (see data quality for why).
The solution to this problem is data hygiene, or data cleansing, which is the process of fixing all these glitches and making sure all your data complies with your own set of standards. Data hygiene is one way to ensure better marketing metrics as regular cleansing removes old or inaccurate data from your files. This greatly decreases your instances of reaching the wrong people or sending the right folks the wrong message.
Your CRM database is a great initial place to scrub away. To learn four best practices for data hygiene, watch this webinar.
Data onboarding is when you match data collected offline to data collected online.
Your offline customer data can include first-party information, like purchase data (collected in-store) or call center data, and third-party information like demographics and buyer propensities.
This offline data is matched to online devices and digital IDs in a privacy-safe way, then delivered to the ad platforms, DMPs, and social channels where you run your campaigns. The process enables more strategic cross-channel and omnichannel campaigns.
There’s a 5-minute guide to Data Onboarding right here.
The thing about data is that it’s usually pretty dirty. Different systems write dates in different ways. The addresses stored in your database become irrelevant when your customers change homes. There’s a whole lot of ‘erosion’ and variability that’s really important.
Demand-Side Platform (DSP)
A ‘Demand Side Platform’ is software that automates the buying of display, video, mobile and search ads for you.
It automates the grizzlier bits like targeting the right audiences, buying the right impressions in real time, delivering the right creative, and finding the right publishers.
Digital video has two distinct flavors. One is short, viral content of varying production quality streamed on platforms like YouTube. The other is premium, high production-value TV content viewed via internet-based streaming sometimes requiring authentication via an MVPD or a programmer, such as TNT, ESPN, and HBO. Both short, viral, and premium TV content can be viewed on a range of screens in and out of the home: smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TVs.
Digital video is already leveraging the tools of digital advertising technology, but remains siloed from other, more traditional modes of viewing.
Imagine a normal creative and then explode it into all its component pieces—the copy, the background image, the size and color of the call-to-action button.
Dynamic creative is able to cycle through different combinations of these components, optimizing the whole thing in real-time for every viewer.
So you could have a banner featuring that 24- to 34-year-old male that loves wine transform into a 55- to 65-year-old female who loves it too.