Chris Andrews, Wake The Bear: “Everyone is collectively responsible”

“Everyone is collectively responsible”

Over the past few years, there has been one constant - the looming deprecation of third-party cookies in tandem with rising privacy legislation across the globe. With Google’s final deadline approaching, organizations are more focused than ever on building and scaling first-party data strategies, adopting and testing new technologies, and placing data privacy at the heart of everything they do. 

In the latest episode of our Identity Architects podcast, InfoSum's Associate, Customer Success, Marion Dacquin, sat down with Chris Andrews, Head of Marketing Technology at Wake The Bear, to discuss privacy, first-party data, measurement, and more.

"Having the right strategy is the kind of thing that's actually going to help you collect the right information [...] - as granular as you need to without necessarily going for the unnecessary. [...] As long as you can ask the right questions in the first place you can understand the motivations."

Having a solid plan for building your first-party data strategy is vital. A clear vision will allow you to ask the right questions and collect the right information. This is crucial as it will allow you to utilize this data in your marketing efforts to reach the right people, with the right message, at the right time.

“That's going to really frame how you're doing it because if you’re thinking about the strategic approach to how to collect the data that's going to help how you structure your team in the future. It means the tools you're going to get, the processes you need to put in place, how you're going to store it, how you're going to query it, all that kind of boring functional stuff which is really important. It's those kind of things. If you can understand why you're using it, why you want to have it, what you need first-party data for, then that's really valuable.”

It’s like a snowball effect. You start with an assessment, and then you test and learn, building knowledge and expertise over time to refine and enhance your strategy and put different use cases in place. With that set up internally, there is another important aspect to address, the consumer. As an industry, we still have a lot of work to do to rebuild consumer trust.

“Ultimately the industry is absolutely nothing with other people who are buying the products. Everyone is collectively responsible for that in the short time. So I think everyone within the industry is a stakeholder and everyone has to kind of understand and comprehend their role within that, and has to respect the tradeoffs that we need to make. The value exchange is so skewed [...]. There's always going to be a market for the easy over the good.”

So, what can we do?

“There's things we can do to reduce consumption, there’s things we can do to be more respectable of privacy and there are things we can do to actually prioritize good quality content, good quality ads, good quality environments, that actually ensures that publishers are able to make money, tech partners are able to get make money, enabling that to ensure that advertisers ultimately are getting their message out, and customers are getting a good internet. No one wants to be going onto a website and getting bombarded with 20 different repeating non-viewable ads or bombarded with non-viewable ads.”

And that’s just one of the challenges the industry is facing right now. 

“Talking about cookie deprecation - whether it happens next year or the year after, whenever it happens - the collaboration, the kind of interoperability, the mutual benefit that we're talking about, there's a recognition that has actually been around competition [...] and not monopolizing things and that's valuable. There are ways to work in dialogue working in collaboration. It’s a very collaborative industry.”

Wake The Bear is working with lots of brands on first-party data strategies and collaboration. What are some of the learnings and experiences?

“The best brands we've worked with are the ones that definitely have been very conscious about that collection of that process, have been very conscious about their privacy permissions, what they're going to use it for, where they're going to load it in.”

That’s great to hear! And what kind of technologies are emerging in the space that Wake The Bear is excited about?

“Obviously the work we're doing with InfoSum in the data clean room space, absolutely fascinating. It's been really instructive over the last period of time that we've been working together to properly understand that and I think it's such an intuitive use case and intuitive solution to that problem. We've got this first-party data, we've collected this information, completely consented customers who are willing to engage with us, willing to understand that. You want to understand them in a completely compliant, completely privacy-safe way and so it's actually being able to query that to link up with other partners in the industry to go I want to learn about my customers, here's the information so you can tell me about your customers, let's connect those bits together and it’s completely secure. [...] We've been able to get some really useful insight quite quickly out of it.”

Amazing! It’s always great to hear about success stories. How can we do more?

“It's about being collaborative, continuing that sphere of collaboration, continuing that spirit of innovation, honesty as well is one of those key things. […] Everyone is able to bring something to table from their perspective which can then enhance once everyone's invested, more collaborative, more trusting and everyone's kind of invested in the process. […] It’s about creating the market for the good rather than just that easy.“

Absolutely. We must come together as an industry. It’s about doing the right thing and not the easy thing!

Thanks, Chris, for the chat!