“When you’re completely tech agnostic and your try to be all things to all people, you create inefficiencies,” Muldoon said. “By creating bias and making bets, we have a consistent ID that can flow through our system. As a result of technology and data ownership, marketers [can] see custom audiences [and] insights out of the efficiencies of the activation.”
GroupM has made a similar bet on audience data with its [m]Platform initiative. The idea behind [m]platform is to create an “mID” that “helps marketers bring together disparate data sources, find that ID across channels and engage with folks [across platforms] in a way that’s measurable,” said Matt Sweeney, North American CEO of Xaxis.
“Marketers want to break down the silos,” he said. “The best way for GroupM and Xaxis to understand fundamentally who that person is and what they do both online and offline is to build technology.”
While IPG Mediabrands hasn’t decentralized its trading desk, it will continue to build technology on top of its AMP platform to help it peer across walled gardens, said global President Arun Kumar.
“We’re looking at how do we integrate across walled gardens and what are the data sets we need,” he said. “A lot of our work has been building platforms less so from a programmatic perspective and more so for the planning agencies to be able to create insights.”
Trading desks are also using the complexity of first-party data as an opportunity to act as a consultant – helping clients identify and activate their CRM and other data assets, Xaxis’ Sweeney said.
“[Marketers] need to get smart quickly and they’re looking for trusted advisers,” he said. “The best meetings tend to be around first-party data, what they have and how they can activate it.”