Advertising in 2018: Why Your Own Data Isn’t Enough

Author: Criteo

October 31, 2017

This post was contributed and sponsored by Criteo.

It’s 2017. You’re tracking web traffic and social metrics. You’re optimizing product pages and email campaigns. You’re looking into mobile engagement and app behavior.

Criteo’s new report with Forbes Insights, “The Commerce Data Opportunity,” showed that this kind of sophistication isn’t uncommon. Among more than 500 marketing executives at brands and retailers, nearly four out of five said that they use customer data to track the shopper journey across different channels.

At this point, the majority of brands and retailers understand that data is an asset. But now, they face new challenges when it comes to collecting and activating it.

Especially in the age of walled gardens.

The Growing Data Divide

Tech giants hold the keys to a lot of data. Whether search engine, social network, or ecommerce site, these goliaths keep much of your data to themselves. By building walled gardens they make it impossible to know how your customers research, discover and purchase your products.

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When Data Isn't Enough

The Commerce Data Opportunity

Marketing execs are aware of the problem. Our research showed that 50% of retailers are concerned that walled gardens from physical-digital giants restrict their access to data around their own customers and products. In many cases, there’s no way to reach customers who find your products on a third-party site, so you can’t follow up, even if they made a purchase.

If we can predict anything about advertising in 2018, it’s these two things: tech giants will continue to lock others out of their walled gardens and every channel will get louder, competing for less attention. You won’t be able to personalize your message at each touchpoint to stand out among the noise.

And that’s why, in 2018, the bits of data you have just won’t be enough.

The Collaboration Imperative

You’re probably not a fancy start-up with lots of funding or a tech giant. So how can you compete?

Our report found that marketing execs believe pooling non-personally identifiable customer data could help, resulting in increased revenue (72%), profits (65%) and customer satisfaction (56%).

By collaborating to build a data ecosystem of their own, brands and retailers can personalize at scale and reach shoppers just as well as any of the biggest companies in the industry.

Criteo is leading this effort with the Commerce Marketing Ecosystem, which is comprised of more than $550 billion online sales and sourced from 1.2 billion monthly active online shoppers across 23 billion interactions.

This ecosystem offers brands and retailers the data that would otherwise be unavailable to them and levels the playing field. With the right data–and without walled gardens—every company, tech giant or not, can connect shoppers with the things they need and love.

As marketers plan for 2018, it’s important to think about how to partner with industry peers to increase reach and influence. Collaborating on marketing campaigns and influencer programs are a good start. But, to really make a difference, we need to start thinking about collaborating on data.