What Will Future Data Strategies Look Like? Top 10 Takeaways from our “Managing Complex Change” Series Panel

August 18, 2020

On August 6th, the agency hosted a panel discussion to dive into what the future data ecosystem will look like, given the intense focus on first party data and how the landscape is changing due to the death of the third party cookie, global privacy regulations and expectations for transparency and value from consumers. Check out the key points and view the discussion below. 

1. The fear and anxiety caused by the “doomsday” headlines around Apple’s IDFA changes, the death of the third-party cookie and the end of audience targeting as we know it, isn’t warranted. Our energy, as an industry, should instead be directed towards embracing these changes and working to create a better ecosystem for all.

2. There’s more opportunity than ever before to lean into the process of developing new data strategies and focusing on digital transformation, with the dramatically increased shift to digital caused by COVID. Whereas marketers haven’t always had access to the right datapoints across channels, they are now more proactively having the conversations around technology and digital, and more ownership is being put on digital teams to focus on the value exchange with customers.

3. It’s time right now to remember what customer loyalty really looks like – focusing on your best customers, how you activate them, how you reactivate them, how you nurture them and create a valuable experience across the entire digital journey with your brand, are all crucial pieces to rethinking your data strategies. A lot of growth over this year has come from the best customers coming back and repeat buying, and we can apply this knowledge to efficiently target new prospects.

4. The challenge for brands is not necessarily how to stitch disparate data together, although that is part of it. The challenge is understanding that when you’re talking to one individual (the universal identifier), there needs to be a new structure that can handle this personal data, activate on it and manage consent. It’s about changing the brand dialogue with customers and changing the mindset about managing personal data.

5. Right now, only about two percent of businesses are at the “multi-moment, digitally mature stage,” according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report. Now is the time to take ownership, take advantage of these challenges and turn them into solutions. Work with your legal team, make it easy to update your privacy policy, and think about your partnerships – make sure they align with your privacy values.

6. First party data isn’t just a transactional log of who your customer is and what they bought. It’s also what we know about how they behave on-site, what we know about them in-market – it’s all those different signals. Brands should start thinking about their first party data in this way to access its full potential.

7. As data privacy policies change, don’t close yourself off from what’s possible to do today. There are ways to direct your second party data direction with your first party data, and it can inform what kind of data partnerships you want to form. Think about partner relevancy, and how second party data partners can help fill your gaps to make more actionable decisions – whether that be targeting, segmentation or building personas.

8. In the future, we could see whole new types of industry collaboration and data partnerships. Brands can consider sharing their data in a complementary fashion, and people who weren’t talking to each other historically may find mutual benefits in doing so now. Another brand’s first party data can be your second party data, to enhance the view of your customer and tell you something you didn’t know before.

9. Internally, make it a priority to get your house in order so you can be on the “winning side” of these changes. This means thinking beyond traditional matching identifiers, like mobile IDs and location IDs. The holy grail is a single view of customers across all channels and touch points. Get the data right, get the identity right across channels, get the customer experience right, and be compliant.

10. Relevant data is more important than more data. Look at your data holistically and fit it in with your brand objectives and customer needs.

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