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Roundtable recap: data ‘revolutionaries’ gather in London to discuss collaboration

NDA, in association with LiveRamp, has recently published new research ‘The Data Collaboration Revolution’ exploring the current marketplace around data collaborations. The report also features additional insights from the ‘Revolutionaries’ featured in this article. You can download the report for free here.

To celebrate the success of the year-long ‘Meet the Revolutionaries’ series of interviews, NDA and LiveRamp recently hosted a special lunch event, where six of the industry leaders featured in the series gathered to discuss the latest developments in the world of data collaboration. 

NDA editor Justin Pearse chaired the discussion, where he was joined by LiveRamp’s UK MD, Hugh Stevens, plus Clementina Piazza, Business Development Lead, Pinterest; Dan Cohen, Director of Product and Innovation at Sky Media; Bedir Aydemir, Director of Data at The Sun; Irin Rahman, Chief Data and Technology Officer, Wavemaker UK; Dean Harris, Head of Member Rewards and Retail Media, Co-op; and Sarah Robertson, Director of Product at Experian.

Harris opened the discussion, explaining that while data collaboration is an area that’s relatively new to the Co-op convenience store chain, it’s an opportunity that the organisation is actively investigating. 

“We now have almost five million regular loyalty card users, so it’s worthwhile for us to start exploring the potential of data collaborations with key partners. The Co-op brand is built around trust and transparency, so it’s important for us to lean into our strategic supplier base to make sure we handle any data collaboration well and create the feedback loops and capture the insights that each partner is looking for.”

Cohen of Sky Media commented: “Quality data is like gold dust for marketers. There’s no question that high quality data, wherever it originates, will be the tool that drives the industry forward. At Sky Media, we’re lucky to have our own customer data, not only in terms of who our customers are but also how they are using our products, which is really powerful. 

“We also recognise the need to collaborate with other data providers to provide the depth of understanding that our advertisers need. Having a full-funnel view of the customer journey is becoming hugely important. That’s going to require data collaboration.”

The need for quality data

Advertisers’ need for quality data is something that large retailers have been quick to leverage through the creation of their own Retail Media networks. 

The Sun’s Aydemir believes that the rise in popularity of Retail Media among advertisers may also provide a boost for the publishing community. He said: “Retailers are going through a data journey right now that publishers already have gone through. We were building segmented audiences years ago. You want to reach football fans? Great, we have a quarter of a million of them. In reality, though, it’s been tough trying to get the buy-side to care enough about that kind of segmented data. The explosion of Retail Media has tuned more advertisers into the potential of data collaborations so I think publishers will start to see the benefits of that.

“Right now, the vast majority of ad buys are still based on poor quality third-party data, so it’s encouraging to see more clients start to leverage the first-party data that’s available to them.” 

Robertson of Experian made the case for third-party data providers, arguing that first-party data on its own will never provide the scale that advertisers need, again making data collaboration essential. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our data and having the ability to scale out remains hugely important to marketers. Experian has a strong reputation and the way we maintain that is by making sure our data is up-to-date and relevant. In addition, being transparent on data usage and that is achieved through our Consumer Information Portal which also provides consumers the ability to opt out.”  

Piazza added: “Pinterest has a wealth of first party data. Users’ signals from browsing, saving Pins and curating boards combined with our machine learning models, it’s what drives improved relevancy and personalization on our platform. 

“At the same time, we are constantly looking for new ways to boost our advertiser’s results in connecting the dots between their own first-party data and their customer’s actions on Pinterest. We are collaborating with partners like LiveRamp to establish pathways and pipes for data collaboration that are compliant and secure. This spans from working with data cleanrooms, where Pinterest was a launch partner of LiveRamp Data Hub, to, for example, the number of API for conversion integrations we are establishing.”

Collaborate for success

Of course, collaboration of any sort is never a purely technical exercise. Whenever human beings (and the organisations they create) attempt to work together, there can often be sticking points that no one foresaw.

Providing an agency perspective, Wavemaker’s Rahman commented: “We’re fortunate to have been at the centre of various data collaborations and we’ve learned that an important factor is what we call the ‘validity of the data partnership’. We’ll assess potential data partners on behalf of our clients to understand not only the quality of the data on offer but also how easily it can be ingested and how much data our client actually needs. It’s important that a client has a clear idea of what it’s trying to achieve at the outset.”

Stevens agreed: “Everything comes back to ‘use case’. What are you trying to do through collaboration? Gain new insights into your customers? Activate (or suppress) your campaigns? Measure outcomes? All three? 

“In the data collaboration space, we really focus on three key things at LiveRamp. The first is helping brands, platforms, data owners, to think about how they can create omnichannel experiences for their customers. The second thing is creating efficiency in the way that data can be leveraged compliantly across as many places as possible. The third is helping to measure the impact of our client’s media  investments.”

NDA, in association with LiveRamp, has recently published new research ‘The Data Collaboration Revolution’ exploring the current marketplace around data collaborations. The report also features additional insights from the ‘Revolutionaries’ featured in this article. You can download the report for free by entering your details below.

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