Six top myths about audience data and programmatic

In a digital landscape inundated with ads, there is growing pressure for advertisers to reach their target audiences. Kevin Tan, CEO of Eyeota, debunks some common myths about audience data and programmatic for both advertisers and publishers.

Kevin Tan

“It’s first party data or nothing.”

Marketers might feel that all they need is their own first-party data but it does not have enough scale and marketers have to perform lookalike modeling to obtain scale, making the data lose its quality during the process. The addition of high quality third-party data allows marketers to achieve scale in their data. 

“Buying inventory programmatically is all I need. Data does not matter.”

The fallacy of programmatic buying is that you achieve uplift quickly once you use programmatic, but even this machine learning plateaus quickly. Audience data is needed to help you understand your target audiences so you know where to purchase your ads, to deliver the right message to the right user at the right time.   

“Cookies = no privacy.”

Cookies in a large part are anonymised and aggregated and do not collect any personally identifiable information on their own. Contrary to popular belief, cookies are important to the ecosystem because they allow for the personalisation of content. If you are a marketer using audience data, ensure your data vendor maintains transparency throughout the data collection process. 

“The more data the better.”

Marketers can be flooded with a barrage of customer data. A large amount of data is beneficial in understanding your target audiences, but only if you have the resources to collect, process and house your data. Publicis CEO Maurice Levy made an interesting point at Business Insider’s Ignition 2015 conference when he remarked that data is only valuable when you extract the real value out of it. 

“Digital advertising is targeting.”

Having budget for digital advertising does not equate to targeting. Without a proper data strategy in place for your campaign, you might not be able to zoom into your exact target user. While setting aside budget for digital ads is a move in the right direction, marketers also need to define what percentage of their ad spend goes into actual targeting. 

“As a publisher, I should collect every single bit of data.”

If you are a publisher it’s likely that you’re attempting to capture every morsel of data about your visitors. A more pragmatic approach is to utilise a marketplace to test the data that you are capturing. This will provide a platform to review your data in the context of your competitors and the regional marketplace. You can then start defining the data segments you need to capture for the open market, private sales and your internal knowledge base. 

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