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Success in identity is success in everything else you do: Merkle exec

November 3, 2017

Facebook is one of the largest companies acquiring data. Image credit: Facebook


NEW YORK – Identifying individuals across channels is both a daunting challenge and vital for brand growth, but a shift could be coming that threatens data collection.

During the “The Future of Identity” panel at Ad:tech New York on Nov. 2, a variety of executives in the data collection industry stressed how important transparency will be in the future. The DCN CEO explained that a first party relationship with consumers is extremely important and will be vital in the coming years.

“The future identity to us is the relationship,” said Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next. “It is much more than segments and data. It’s built on the trust in that relationship.

“Most of the companies in our space that have been built up over years, have no real relationship with the audience,” he said. “It has been reduced to data.

“That will be a huge problem in the years to come.”

Currency of data
Television and print are becoming much less relevant in the advertising world. Mr. Kint believes that digital is the future and marketers need to combine machine learning and the human to best drive digital experiences.

Location data is valuable for marketers but they run the danger of angering consumers if it is collected unscrupulously

“There is this unique combination of the human and science that is going to need to meld together in a big way,” DCN's Mr. Kint said. “I think this is where the biggest opportunities are.”

Facebook and Google are the dominating companies in data mining, but the future ahead is murky. New regulations in Europe threaten their way of retrieving and sharing data and could be replicated in the United States.

The marketing industry is rooted in a history that strongholds the consumer into compliance. Right now, Google and Facebook operate in a way that gives consumers no choice but to allow data sharing.

If users do not want to share their data, the only option they have is to not use these platforms.

However, the industry is shifting in a way that consumers will be in control in the future. Brands and platforms will need to offer incentives in the future in which consumers will want to opt in to share their data.

Facebook could face repercussions for its bullish data strategy. Image credit: Facebook

Companies will no longer be able to bury and bundle content. Currently, consumers are opting in to share their data without really understand how much or what they are sharing because it is bundled into user agreements and the user experience.

In the future, companies and platforms will not be able to get away with is.

Additional insight
For luxury brands and retailers, ensuring an online advertisement is seen by the right target audience is difficult to gauge and has led to lackluster ROI and wasted ad spend.

The current retail environment sees consumers demanding seamless service that is both relevant and consistent across all devices, channels and through each step in the path to purchase. This environment has proved beneficial for online giants such as Amazon and China’s Alibaba, who have had a head start in leveraging data solutions to better serve consumers’ near-instant expectations (see more).

When it comes to ecommerce, luxury brands would be best served by spending their resources finding out who their most valuable customers are and doing whatever they can to retain them.

Speaking at Luxury Roundtable: Engaging Gens X, Y & Z May 3, three panelists during the "Ecommerce and Mobile: Symbol of the New Path to Purchase" session spoke about the ways that luxury brands can tackle ecommerce. The consensus among the group was that building a flexible, strong ecommerce model is important and that consumers should use data analytics to analyze who their best customers are and adjust their models to target those consumers (see more).

“Success in identity is success in everything else you do,” said Matthew Mobley, chief technology officer at Merkle. “You have to get that right in order to get anything else right.

“Identity and compliance are getting pushed further and further together,” he said. “It is not good enough anymore just to build a solution that manages identity.

“You also have to be capturing the compliance associated with these things.”