I recently participated in a podcast with our Acxiom Identity team. We talked about the ever-changing landscape of identity and how it impacts Financial Services. If you missed it, you can still check it out.
Acxiom’s heritage is in data and identity. Our capabilities have evolved, but ultimately we have always focused on helping our clients increase conversions and reduce waste in marketing. Recently, especially in the last few years, we have seen an explosion of signals, channels and technology that has created a ton of complexity for our clients to navigate. Measuring media performance, delivering a great personalized customer experience, even knowing if their media was delivered as planned is more challenging than ever, and it’s about to get even harder when third-party cookies are retired.
During the podcast, I briefly touched on our point of view when we talk to our Financial Services clients. In a nutshell, in the marketing and advertising environment, consented first-party data will be the currency going forward. Key steps:
- Start by educating yourself and those around you.
- Take inventory of your use cases and prioritize.
- Assess your first-party data to determine: a) are you collecting consented data at every touch point; b) are you delivering a value exchange with the consumer.
Most of the technology conversation in trade publications is focused on the sell-side of the ad exchange equation. That’s because thousands of publishers depend on ad revenue to survive and adtech companies are in a technology race to see who can create the most compelling, workable solution. There are big players innovating solutions to solve for a world without third-party cookies, which have long been the connection point in the programmatic landscape, but they are focused on helping publishers deliver impressions.
We can all expect that this mayhem has only just begun and will result in a ton of smart and not-so-smart capabilities.
At Acxiom, we are focused on the brand side of the equation, the buy-side, because this is where our clients can take control over how they navigate this changing media landscape.
Specifically, in Financial Services, at our core we understand the regulatory requirements that impact every marketing decision. Transparency is not just a nice to have, it’s a regulatory imperative. Solutions that target individuals, even anonymous ones, are generally required to perform a disparate impact analysis to prove the targeting does not have any bias against protected classes even when the targeting approach doesn’t overtly use any data elements like age, gender, race, etc.
Black box solutions that utilize modeled data and algorithms that cannot be unpacked will not suffice.
Brands need to take four key steps:
- Build a first-party data identity graph to capture and harness the power of your first-party data. This data can relate to prospects or customers, but in the future it will be defined as people who have consented to interact with your brand.
- Collect your data as you interact with the media landscape by placing your own first-party tags on owned and paid media. This will be the way you measure your media performance and part of the solution for delivering personalized experiences.
- Connect to the ecosystem in real time, using true real-time solutions for powering personalized offers and messages relevant to your customers. The better the experience, the higher the conversion rate, and the lower the opt-out rate.
- Test emerging capabilities to identify those that solve your use cases and support your need for transparency.
Brands will definitely need to understand and take advantage of the supply-side technologies that emerge in 2021. There are likely players innovating right now that aren’t even on the radar.
2021 will be a test and learn year, but I would warn marketers to avoid creating new third-party dependencies rather than focusing on a first-party solution that benefits from interoperability and scale across partners. Many third-party solutions may not survive in a more consent-based ecosystem.
Brands that invest now in a robust first-party solution will be more resilient and ready to deliver the consented, personalized experiences people expect.