Unleash the power of data

How can mastering metadata help advertisers tap into context and decode data? SYZYGY’s Anthony Magee explains.

By Anthony Magee, Director of Data & Experience Technology, SYZYGY

It’s been dubbed “drowning in data” – using data with limited context and no real focus on use-case.

This year, IAB UK warned brands about being ‘clickheads’ and encouraged them to take a more diverse approach to measurement strategies in order to effectively inform and optimise digital campaigns. The biggest numbers – click through rates, impressions and reach – aren’t always the most appropriate ones to focus on, and campaigns suffer as a result.

The plethora of data available, with traditional cross-touchpoint identification and targeting methods perceived as increasingly difficult, means clients feel like it’s a battle to unlock value from their data and orchestrate meaningful and measurable experiences from it, or so it’s claimed. I would argue that it’s not the size of the data or regulation/technology challenges. It’s what you do with it that counts and focusing on designing a marketing framework that enables smart data-driven campaigns.

The issue is that digital media and other data sources often have limited context applied. Brands know a lot about their customers but, without context, the possibilities for use are generalised and limited. It’s simply information for information’s sake: ‘vanity over sanity’.

The answer lies in mastering metadata. It’s not the top layer of information that is often most critical to understanding, but something laying deeper. When metadata is leveraged as the common denominator between all the data coming into a business, it helps curate, interpret, and categorise. It puts knowledge into focus, or at least it starts to.

Most importantly, focusing on metadata initially means that disparate data can be transformed into unified profiles – not the unattainable Single Customer View, but a form where actionable context is surfaced. Digital metadata, properly categorised, can be the enigma machine to decode that flood of inbound information.

Once this common meta context is established, it can be modelled into action, giving shape and addressable identity. It can then be formed into clearly-defined use cases – because it has been given meaning. With increasing pressure on marketers to realise return on investments in Ad Serving tech, DMPs, content management and CRM, the time to act is now.

Embracing open source technology to synthesise data, compose use case application, and then orchestrate via agnostic adaptors has meant that SYZYGY is delivering award-winning results, for brands like Virgin Experience Days, without fear of creating more technical debt.

Brands may think they are drowning in the detail and battling an increasing set of challenges, but in fact a simple mindset switch is all that’s required to take stock of data inventory and merchandise it into value.

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