4 Risks You Take When You Aren’t In Control of Your Data

Identify the moments that matter

Your ability to create standout customer experiences is synonymous with the strength of your brand. In fact, 81 percent of marketers today say they plan to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.

That’s great news. Except other stats point out that most companies just aren’t ready to do this. According to Forrester, fewer than 43 percent of organizations say they are capable of capturing scalable customer insights, and fewer than 39 percent claim capabilities in campaign measurement and attribution.

As a brand, you have no shortage of customer data to provide you with insights about the customer journey. Learning how to identify critical moments that signal levels of interest and intent is key to delivering valuable experiences in real time. It isn’t easy, however, especially if your customer data is scattered across CRM systems, transactional databases, social media platforms, IoT sensors networks and third-party databases.

Mastering your data is vital to your success. Your ability to target and build reach depends completely on owning and managing your data effectively. If you don’t, the impact may go far beyond losing ROI on your programmatic efforts. Without it, your brand is exposed to many potential risks that can decrease your ability to compete, innovate and maintain the trust of your customers.

1. If you don’t harness your own data or manage your own programmatic capabilities, you risk missing the moment that matters

Simply put, you can’t flight new dynamic creative or optimize your campaigns in near real-time if you have to wait two weeks for insights from your agencies or technology partners. But when you own your data and manage it well, you can unlock insightful and timely brand experiences. Couple that with direct ownership of your programmatic capabilities and you can extend your brand promise.

Companies are rightfully asking about owning the necessary programmatic capabilities and also developing business cases to harmonize the corresponding technology stack. In fact, according to Google DoubleClick, by consolidating media buys onto a single platform that is connected across other sources of data, marketers and agencies have found they save 29 percent more time. With near real-time insights and optimizations, brands can assess and dynamically optimize for customer value.

2. When you don’t control your first-, second- and third-party data in concert, you could sacrifice your ability to turn insights into dollars

In a data economy, trust is paramount. One way that brands build and maintain trust is by sharing only thoughtful, value-add experiences. And that requires an understanding of how customers interact with your brand across device and channel.

Delivering a meaningful set of experiences means that you understand how to deterministically identify your customer on-platform and who your target customer is before they are a known customer. But many brands today continue to let data live in silos or on second-party platforms. For example, while brands typically own their CRM data, they often agree to allow agencies to own their advertising-related data. In other words, brands don’t typically ingest—let alone mine—their complete data set for insights. The good news is that some brands are waking up to that reality and asking for help to take ownership of their programmatic technology contracts and, therefore, their audience data.

Once brands have the contractual right to own their second- and third-party data, they should start to manage it within their own firewalls. Those brands can start to drive real-time insights and an improved return on advertising spend by reducing non-working spend. In fact, we have seen some of our clients save substantially in advertising costs from owning their own programmatic capabilities.

3. When you don’t have access to your own advertising data, you are forced to rely only on a third party to protect you against fraud

Ad fraud is a huge problem. The red flags lurk in the details of your raw data, so the less access you have, the less you will be to detect it. And when you don’t detect it, you sacrifice brand safety, viewability and ultimately performance. At the same time, the reality is that no agency or vendor wants to report they have bought fraudulent media.

We find that brands that have access to their advertising related data can detect fraud with the help of independent third-party vendors such as Double Verify or Integral Ad Science and/or via common sense analysis. In fact, eMarketer found that 63 percent of brand advertisers worldwide believe data transparency is the key obstacle of programmatic advertising. When brands take control and manage their advertising data, the lack of transparency typically goes away and brands are left with the ability to detect things like a mismatch between ad clicks and your destination page or suspicious IP addresses.

Brands that take control of their data at the ad server level and also leverage third-party verification vendors are actively protecting their brand and customers. eMarketer also found that two-thirds of consumers would no longer use a brand after a negative ad experience, while more than one-third said their perception of a brand changes if its ads appear on questionable sites. Getting this risk under control is something you can’t overlook.

4. When you don’t control your data, you sacrifice broad insights that lead to business innovation

Over the next few years, we are going to be moving from a world where people own three to four connected devices, to one where they may own 40 to 100, according to Deloitte’s recent Global Mobile Consumer Study. If you think you’re swimming in data now, it’s only going to get harder.

Your long-term ability to keep up with the marketplace and identify new insights (not to mention, grow your cognitive abilities to do that) is all dependent on getting control and managing your data house so to speak. Leading brands are busy at work now.

The good news is that technology is no longer a limiting factor to solve this problem. But brands need to launch a successful data mastery initiative to get control and manage it across the organization in a way that is scalable. Rather than giving control of your data to vendors and third parties, it’s time to master your own data and drive your insights across your business today and going forward. The risk of inaction today will only grow.

Todd Paris is managing director at Deloitte Digital. He is helping to shape the future of advertising by “programmatically personalizing” the online and offline worlds while also running its Google DoubleClick Alliance. Before joining Deloitte, Todd was CEO of an IoT sensor-based company where he leveraged the power of mobile presence and physical locations to help clients create new customer insights real-time.