Are you making the most out of your data partnerships?

A study done earlier by Lotame, third-party (25%) and second-party (24%) data are among the most popular data types marketers purchase. As the importance of acquiring audience data continues to increase, marketers are becoming more interested in the quality of data to ensure they are making the right business decisions while reducing wasted ad spend.

Nonetheless, with varying needs and goals, marketers are unable to rely on a simple one-size-fits-all data template. Instead, they need to choose the set that most suit their needs, Jeffrey Loke, vice president, pricing and commercial strategy at Changi Airport Group said at the Adobe Symposium 2018.

In the case of Changi, the group currently has in place methods to obtain first party data, through point of sale at retail stores, wifi and CRM. As such, it turns to second and third party data as a means to “plug the gaps” in its existing data set. Using its data management platform (DMP), the group is able to organise and analyse the consolidated data sets and better optimise its media spend to effectively retarget consumers.

“There are still points in the travel chain that we don’t know. For example, how can we maybe partner with other companies such as Grab or certain hotel brands?” Loke said. These are all part of the travel chain that its consumers also engage with and Changi Airport hopes to be able to get a holistic view of the consumer journey through second and third party data.

Tip 1: Have barter system

Changi Airport is not the only one that makes use of various data sets. Malaysia Airlines has also established several second party partnerships, especially with credit card companies through its loyalty programme. Peter Pohlschmidt, head of digital, Malaysia Airlines (MAB) said companies need to decide whether they want to sell their data or barter it for campaigns. He recommends having a small barter agreement with a partner to test each other’s data to see if it is useful.

“We can see how our audience is receptive to someone else’s data. That gives us and our partner a playing field to say that this is a partnership we want to engage further,” he said. Currently, MAB partners with hotels and tourism boards to obtain second party data. But Pohlschmidt said, maybe in the future, it might be possible for the airline to also work with an FMCG company.

“[Marketers] need to test a lot of verticals, a lot of individual partners on the barter basis to see if they want to bring the partnership further,” he added. While partnerships are valuable when it comes to obtaining second party data, Pohlschmidt said one challenge he face is the difficulty of finding the “right person” in a partner company to work with who is in charge of data.

“There is no real common organisational structure and processes in place to actually work with [second party data],” he added.

Tip 2: Going beyond the data management platforms

While it is easy for companies to implement a DMP, the challenge is going beyond the simple use case of audience suppression to effectively personalise and segment their messaging. According to Alan Tsui, digital analytics head, Asia Miles, the company enables each team to manage their own audiences to leverage their data inside DMP and personalise the message.

“But to enable true people-based communications, we also do marketing that slices through all the channels,” Tsui said.

One of Asia Miles’ key KPIs is getting consumers to apply for American Express or Standard Chartered cards, and it wants to shift from campaign-based targetting to always-on. Thus, Tsui’s team, along with the data science team at Asia Miles, are responsible for defining that particular segment of consumers.

“Once we have that segment created, we work with every individual channel team to let them know that when they are prioritising segments within their channels, that this is a high priority segment,” he explained, adding:

The process is to be always-on first. Then we’ll work with each team to do campaigns for specific communications.

When it comes to establishing partnerships to obtain data, Tsui believes that a data component should be part of any type of business partnership in today’s world. However, the company needs to have employees know how to leverage the data, or at least put a valuation on the data that both companies are bartering.

Tip 3: Build a tag team

To effectively spot, interpret and leverage data points, Pohlschmidt suggests building a tag team by pairing a data scientist with an individual from the data-based marketing team or programmatic team.

“We want to look at how far and how much you can go on the data side, and finding data points that maybe a digital marketer wouldn’t even know or think about. So, it’s good to blend theory with a more use-case execution-driven scenario,” he said.

Pohlschmidt added that finding talent in the data space is “quite difficult”. As such, companies should ideally recruit individuals with the right attitude. He also stressed the importance of building the skill set of handling data in-house.

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