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The Advertising Ecosystem Answers the Call for Data Collaboration

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I’ve previously written about the cooperation that will be necessary in the identity ecosystem to overcome challenges posed by the demise of cookies and other identifiers, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape. There’s no silver bullet or singular identifier that spells success, but rather, a flexible, multikey approach will allow marketers and media owners to prevail.

If we broaden the scope of this discussion beyond the playbook for identity, cooperation and collaboration are poised to be key themes of data-driven advertising in 2021 as well. Driven by the same dynamics impacting identity, the industry is seeking alternative ways to share data in privacy-safe and scalable ways to effectively target, measure and drive deeper insights — all in the vein of creating better, more consistent consumer experiences.

Data collaboration is not new. A November 2020 survey from Winterberry Group found 81% of brand marketers in the US are currently sharing data or intend to. Now, the pressures to shore up data sourcing and governance practices are pushing the ecosystem to take a privacy-first approach and renew the emphasis on the infrastructures and solutions that drive more privacy compliant cooperation.

In its latest research, Collaborative Data Solutions, Winterberry Group outlines six primary drivers and areas for discussion across brands, media owners and solution providers:

  1. Multilevel permissioning: Understanding the data usage rights permitted from consumers to brand, brand to brand, and brand to media owner is critical. This exploration of permission is likely to spur a review of what’s encompassed in data lexicons of first-, second-, and third-party data.
  2. Multiparty partnering: Much like the identity landscape, this is unlikely to be a winner-take-all market, and marketers and media owners will likely forge multiple partnerships to fit various use cases and needs.
  3. Multiple solutions in parallel: Per the above, expect market participants to implement multiple solutions at the same time. Winterberry estimates no fewer than three to five solutions will be adopted by brands and media owners.
  4. Solution applications will live across clouds: Cloud neutral and API-driven solutions will increase connectivity and speed for sharing and activation — helping facilitate the promise of real-time or instant data connectivity.
  5. Organizational adaptation: As the regulatory environment and data availability continues to evolve, organizational flexibility and agility in configuring these solutions will be needed.
  6. Steady rate of adoption: While data management practices are maturing, it will likely take several years for much of the industry to reach a place of scaled, comprehensive data assets. In the near term, turning to partners with scale, and modeling solutions will continue to bridge the scale gap.

In this new data environment, data cooperatives and data marketplaces have become some of the most accessible forms of collaboration. Many of these solutions have been in market for some time, and the barrier to entry for usage is low. However, there’s room for continued innovation and application with a privacy-first mindset.

No matter the type of collaborative data solution used, the undercurrent to everything in this era is going to be trust. Creating sustainable and scalable ways to share data with an eye toward control, consent and compliance will crumble if the foundation of these partnerships is devoid of trust.

I’m excited about the role TransUnion can play in this more addressable, connected, trusted and transparent era of data cooperation and collaboration. 


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