We’re kicking off a new blog series focused on people-based marketing and identity-enabled media strategies. For this series, we'll interview experts about how marketers and media companies are adapting to new media realties spurred by industry shifts, consumer consumption habits and more. This is the inaugural post of the series.
In this interview Krista Panoff, VP of Digital Partnerships and Business Development for TransUnion’s Media Vertical, asks Kaitie Coghlan, VP of Data Partnerships for LiveRamp, how the acceleration of digitized media consumption has shifted her priorities in her role, and what she’s most bullish on looking ahead to 2021.
Krista Panoff: Kaitie, tell us about your role at LiveRamp.
Kaitie Coghlan: I lead third-party data business at LiveRamp. My team manages all our data partners using LiveRamp to monetize their data assets — whether in our marketplace or private exchanges — as well as our data partners using LiveRamp’s technology to build their own products and services.
Krista Panoff: I’ve had the pleasure of working with you on partnership strategies between LiveRamp and TransUnion for many years. I think we can both agree, the last three quarters have uncovered some unique opportunities. Can you tell us how the pandemic’s acceleration of digitized media consumption has shifted your 2020 priorities?
Kaitie Coghlan: That’s a great question. It’s crazy to think that RampUp San Francisco was just this year and how far we’ve all come since that time. While some of the dust is starting to settle, some common themes are coming into focus.
Better customer experiences. This isn’t to say this wasn’t already a priority of ours — or even the industry’s — prior to current economic circumstances and market forces. But if you layer in privacy regulation and impending end of third-party cookies, we’ve had to rethink how we can power the customer experience. We’ve identified data as the backbone of this better, more personal customer experience and have been using that as our North Star.
Reinforcing the importance of data transparency. Through both our marketplace and onboarding, we’re seeing buyers invest in partners that display a commitment to transparency and how their available audience segments are detailed and sourced. This allows advertisers to better evaluate based on their own standards, needs and use cases.
Third-party data is more important to advertisers than ever. Full stop. Brands that once had considerable foot traffic in stores now see their customers masked by third-party shoppers via the app economy. Advertisers are seeking a more complete picture of customers and potential customers as they increasingly lose this data collection in house.
Krista Panoff: The landscape of data and identity experienced some significant evolutions as well. Looking ahead, what are your top three predictions for data-driven, people-based marketing trends in the next 12 months?
Kaitie Coghlan: I likely alluded to it in the previous question, but truth be told, so much of our priorities for the year are intentionally tied to the future state of our industry.
Identity-based infrastructure will play a larger part. Enabling your partners and clients to better connect, control and activate data is rooted in identity-based, neutral and privacy-first solutions. Many in the industry are already realizing this important point, and I only anticipate it to continue as marketers become more savvy.
Leaning into a trusted ecosystem. Sitting at the intersection of consumers, marketers and technology offers a pretty unique vantage point. We know what drives these distinct but interconnected groups: Marketers want to deliver impactful experiences to consumers; consumers want to dictate how and for what value their data is used; and technology companies, specifically publishers, want to rebuild their relationships with consumers. The sooner we all lean in to building a value exchange that’s privacy-focused and transparent, the sooner we’ll be able to create a better, open Internet for all.
Heavier investment into cross-screen measurement. Taking a look at the TV space, for example, viewership has fragmented. This fracturing represents an opportunity for marketers to explore all the ways data can improve addressability — which includes finding smarter ways to use OTT. Making OTT data more addressable not only makes more media investments accountable, it unlocks the ability to apply learnings from addressable linear to OTT to improve targeting, discover new audiences and measure on business outcomes.
Krista Panoff: This year has been unlike anything any of us could have predicted. What are you most bullish on for 2021? And what do you think advertisers have to be hopeful about in the year to come?
A re-energized and re-engaged industry. I suppose I can only speak for my team and myself (but maybe also LiveRamp, if not the industry): We’re fired up! There’s a massive opportunity for all of us to improve upon the status quo, shape the future of our industry, and fundamentally change how we think about data. I anticipate all players will be coming into 2021 with their “A game” which will drive healthy competition, technological advancement and better business outcomes.
Cookieless solutions. With the impending deprecation of the third-party cookies and Apple’s IDFA announcement, marketers still need the ability to activate and measure audiences across digital platforms. We, along with other leaders in the space, offer solutions to tackle this challenge head on. So while the “fear” of this uncharted territory looms, advertisers can find solace in the fact that leaders are cognizant of this trepidation, and are actively building and putting into place alternatives that persist, regardless of restrictions handed down at the device and browser levels.
Better customer experiences. I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to reinforce this point. We believe allowing companies and partners to connect, control and activate data transforms customers’ experiences and generates more valuable business outcomes to protect and grow market share. And who doesn’t want that? On a more tactical level, though, advertisers have a very real opportunity to improve the customer experience and it starts with a commitment to data access, transparency and privacy.
Krista Panoff: And because I know podcasts are making a big come back, including LiveRamp’s very own Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud podcast, what podcasts or audio books are in your queue?
Kaitie Coghlan: Ha! I will say, I LOVE podcasts and they’ve been essential to me during shelter in place. I wish my answer to this included a list of highly intellectual podcasts, but the truth is a little more… embarrassing. My confession: I’m a Bravo TV die-hard and will consume any podcast recapping my beloved Bravo TV shows. My two favorites are SUP and Watch What Crappens — you won’t get through one of those without laughing. I also enjoy Radio Rental and Spooked which are true short stories of weird events. And finally, How Did This Get Made and My Favorite Murder (looking at my fellow Murderinos out there!) are foundational to the genre of comedy podcasts. And of course, I’m definitely listening to audio books about quantum physics as well. *wink*
LiveRamp and TransUnion work together to offer marketers, and the media companies who serve them, omnichannel lookalike audience solutions that deliver relevant, personalized experiences, and activate more precise and scalable audiences that perform against KPIs.
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