The deprecation of third-party identifiers, including the now infamous third-party cookie, has had a dual impact on the advertising ecosystem. Media owners have experienced a loss of addressability, impacting the audiences they can offer for targeting. For brands, a loss of reliable third-party data they used to inform their media planning.
Increased focus on first-party data
In both cases, first-party data has become increasingly important. Media owners are building their first-party data assets by following the blueprint laid down by other emerging media, such as streaming services and social platforms, to build known authenticated audiences through user registration.
For brands, who have previously invested time, money, and resources into buying and collecting third-party data, the collection and growth of first-party data is imperative. However, forward-thinking marketers are not only looking at these data assets to power their own advertising, but they are also exploring how this data can help others achieve greater results. The result is brands discovering new ways to create new revenue streams from this data that are often as valuable, if not more so, than their original business. The result is a blurring of the lines between brands and media owners.
Some brands have taken significant steps in their media owner journey. Red Bull may be one of the best examples of this transition. Starting as a popular energy drink, today, Red Bull has an entire division, Red Bull Media House, dedicated to creating content and building an audience across Digital, TV, Film, Print and Music. That audience is valuable to Red Bull as a brand and is monetized with other brand partners.
Outside of single examples, one of the most prominent business categories we have seen fully embrace this transition to acting more like a media owner, is retail. This shift has resulted in the rise of retail media.
The rise of retail media
As we covered in our previous blog, the rise of retail media emerged as an incredible opportunity for retailers, brands and media owners in 2023. Retail media is an advertising solution that, at a minimum, allows CPGs and other brands to tap into the retailer's shopper data and use that information to build custom audiences for activation across the retailer's various online and offline properties.
As retail media matures, it is evolving quickly to offer use cases outside shopper marketing, including:
- Bringing powerful second-party data assets into the network that allow brand partners to enrich their customer understanding and craft more tailored audience segments depending on their campaign goals.
- Partnering with media owners to offer off-site activation, enabling brand partners to activate their audiences across the retailer's properties and other media properties, unlocking omnichannel customer experiences.
- Providing robust measurement solutions that utilize the retailer's sales data intersect with the exposure data held by themselves and their media partners to close the loop on measuring campaign success.
The rise of retail media has been driven in no small part by changes in consumer behavior, which is increasingly digital-first. Alongside retail, the television industry has shifted similarly, with viewing habits increasingly moving online.
The rise of Connected TV (CTV)
Within the advertising industry, we love a good acronym. However, the television industry has gotten out of control. So here is a quick cheat sheet.
For simplicity, the industry has primarily adopted CTV as a catch-all term for all of the above. We will do the same here.
Consumer behavior has changed significantly over the last decade, with more and more favoring streaming services over traditional TV. In fact, in July 2022, streaming overtook cable TV for the first time in the US, with streaming services capturing 34.8% of viewing time in the month, compared to 34.4% on cable TV.
For advertisers, the highly engaged nature of TV viewers has always made it a premium inventory to reach target audiences. The rise of streaming and the emergence of CTV has provided these traditional media owners with a fresh coat of paint that makes their audiences of even greater value.
With content consumption moving increasingly online, the owners of these various media platforms are creating more and more first-party data. This growth enables those media companies to create highly valuable, authenticated audiences that can be made available for brands to match their first-party data against to create tailored audiences.
For brands, this unlocks the ability to bring the data-driven targeting capabilities that have been enjoyed on digital media for some time, to TV. These advertising solutions vary from in-program advertising for broadcasters and other streaming services to on-platform advertising for device owners such as Smart TVs.
The combination of retail media and CTV
As a brand, especially a CPG, the combination of retail media and CTV is an invaluable opportunity.
One of the critical advantages of retail media and connected TV is that brands can use shopper data, which demonstrates high intent, to unlock rich customer insights. By using data on past purchases, browsing behavior, and other indicators, companies can target their advertising to audiences most likely to be interested in their products. The result is more effective advertising campaigns and higher conversion rates.
The combination of retail media and connected TV reaches consumers at every touchpoint in their journey, from initial awareness to final purchase. Additionally, the ability to bring together shopper, sales, and exposure data empowers all parties to accurately and transparently measure campaign performance.
How data clean rooms are unlocking this opportunity
The advertising industry increasingly relies on direct data collaboration to power such solutions. Data clean rooms have emerged as a fundamental component of the modern data stack to unlock data collaboration opportunities, empowering organizations to build innovative first and second-party data solutions with zero risk to the security of their data and the privacy of their customers.
Data clean rooms are secure environments where data from multiple organizations is analyzed without risking the security of the original data or customer privacy. In a secure multi-party data clean room, data owners have complete control over exactly how, when, and for what purposes the data will be used.
All the previously mentioned use cases are unlocked instantly by enabling multiple data sources from multiple organizations to be connected and analyzed. Including:
- First, second and third-party data planning
- Omnichannel activation
- Transparent measurement capabilities
- Bridging between multiple walled gardens
Today, the convergence of CTV and Retail Media is a reality thanks to the InfoSum data clean room. ITV recently announced two retail media solutions in the UK with Boots and Tesco. Channel 4 also announced a retail media partnership with Nectar 360, the loyalty card program of Sainsbury's.