The First-Party Data Reality Cheat Sheet

IAB Canada hosted our Business of Digital: First-Party Data event this week. The discussion included a full slate of thought leaders that are on the frontlines, working with and shaping the future of this sustainable media fuel on the daily.  

We’ve summarized the core themes emerging from the discussions into a cheat sheet below. 

Privacy-First and Compliant Data 

When all roads are built for first-party data, ensuring that the data that runs on them is based on transparently disclosed, consented and preference-enabled qualities, is the only way forward. We heard about the role that consent management plays to procure this consented data from Quantcast and Didomi and also learned that the evolution of privacy includes extensions into preferences of how consumers wish to be communicated with and about what. Unified consent profiles that allow for nuanced control and easy changes are the future of securing and managing first party data.  

The New Rules of Engagement 

We heard about the enormous power of relationships and their role in building trust with brands. Many of the most remarkable relationships have effectively migrated from decades of analogue touch points into the digital realm. Tim Hortons and Media.Monks discussed the integration of digital experiences into the offline world using interactive tools to enhance guest experiences while actively capturing customer preferences.  

Later we heard from Loblaw about the history of flyers to drive footprint and how this has now been converted to a powerful loyalty play underpinned with first party data. The value of proximity to the customer when it comes to understanding purchase intent and behaviors was also discussed and how leveraging the first party data of a retail media partner can present opportunities that are tied to real-time shopping events – the lower funnel does not get much lower than retail’s point of sale. 

In a panel discussion with publishers, similar perspectives on the transition of how content developers view their audiences were shared. Leveraging technology to gain deeper insights into readership, video consumption, commenting and other interactions are invaluable to build out next generation segments with Globe and Mail citing the attention to developing experiences that drive loyalty is through data. 

Trust as a Strategy 

After Didomi’s presentation on the value of trust and transparency from a business perspective, it was interesting to hear about strategies (outside of implementing a consent management platform and preference management platform) to do just that. 

Postmedia shared a modernized approach to developing trust with audiences. Given the complexity of today’s user journey, planning for success is better served with a top-down approach: 

  1. Determine what the end goal looks like – what should the relationship be? 
  1. Plot out which types of experience would serve as proof points towards developing the relationship. 
  1. Pair the experiences with moments to capture fundamental success metrics on the levers towards experience. 

The Shift Away from Vendors to Partnerships 

Optable presented a clear definition of clean rooms and demonstrated their importance in the world of cookie independence. Privacy enhancing technologies (PETS) like clean rooms are by design, collaborative services that are based on shared but non-disclosed and secure data. Matching high quality, consented first party data sets with partners in secured environments is a big part of the future of online advertising. 

LaPresse presented a case study showing impressive results after leveraging clean-room technology. With double the success rates on the interactions and 1.5X improvement in engagement. 

The Power of Device 

Samsung presented a compelling case for the power of device-based first party data. The ability to capture content consumption based on the device as opposed to the source of the content is a revolutionary way to access deterministic data. The ability to capture data from linear, OTT and streamed content through one interface certainly presents an appealing opportunity to advertisers who increasingly are investing in video content. 

Rogers also cited device-level data as a key factor to developing accurate models and providing exciting segmentation opportunities. Rogers-enabled data (RED) includes an identity graph incorporating online and offline data with an impressive 14 million deterministic data points. 

Contextual Future 

Most of the presentations touched at least partly on the future of contextual advertising. The advancements in technology are allowing for amazing new offerings in the market. Quantcast presented Ara TopicMap, their new solution that gathers and analyzes content from billions of URLs in real-time. Through natural language processing and machine learning, Ara can understand interest and intent independent of third-party cookies. 

The publisher panel was particularly bullish on the topic of contextual signaling. The increased sophistication by which publishers are analyzing their own content, is leading to new and exciting way to position audience segments. Globe and Mail mentioned the opportunities that contextual would have by way of content packaging while Postmedia added that context has a broadened definition to include device-level information like where the content is being view and how. 

IAB Canada would like to thank all the participants who provided tremendous thought leadership through their presentations and discussions. A special thanks to our topic sponsors, Didomi, Optable and Postmedia. 

We’ll see you at the Location Based Data event on April 27th