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May Expert digital publishers share best practice for collaborative data matching 1

Expert digital publishers share best practice for collaborative data matching

Published: 30 May 2023

Collaboration between digital publishers and advertisers opens the door to a wealth of opportunity. And with the future of third-party targeting still up in the air, the time has never been better to explore how the two parties can work better together and how data matching strategies can drive more effective digital advertising.

Five leading digital publishers shared their insight with us on what they saw as the opportunities that such collaboration created for publishers and advertisers alike, and the potential pitfalls that advertisers should be watching out for.

Be confident – and look for bespoke options to meet your KPIs.

Data and data matching strategies present a huge spectrum of opportunities for advertisers to work more closely with publishers on a direct basis. Publishers sit on a wealth of first-party data that is continually being updated whenever users engage or take actions from their content. The insights available for advertisers to shape the audiences they are targeting is immeasurable, because there are so many bespoke options to cut that data to suit different KPIs.

The challenge is making sure everyone on both sides is confident in making data driven decisions and using these audiences, especially as this is such a dynamic and heavily regulated area which can seem daunting to unpack, and try to apply in a useful way. There may never be a one-size-fits-all solution, so the focus remains in communication and collaboration to ensure publisher data is utilised to its full potential.

Lauren Dick, Executive Director – Media & Data Services, Mail Metro Media

You need to understand your audience for a seamless transition away from third-party targeting.

Over the last 2-3 years, clean rooms and secure, privacy safe data matching has been a core part of Immediate's identity strategy. The challenge previously has been relatively slow uptake from advertisers and limited demand from the buy side. This in part could be due to relative costs for both sides in a world where advertisers can still target at scale using third-party targeting.

However, with more solutions than ever in the market and third-party finally set to end, the opportunity to data match will be essential for advertisers and publishers alike to develop a much deeper understanding of audience and customer behaviours and deliver high performing GDPR compliant ad campaigns.

James Walmsley, Director of Digital Trading, Immediate Media Co

Be transparent about what you’re trying to achieve.

Data matching offers an incredible opportunity to publishers and marketeers, but we must be mindful of the legalities, which any premium publisher should be able to talk you through. Then it comes down to scale, which can be a challenge for publishers who don’t have a big logged-in user base. Working with publishers to model out audiences and/or insights can be a way to work through this issue depending on your use case, but engaging with your publishing partners on what you’re trying to achieve is a must and the best publishers will work with you on finding a mutually beneficial outcome.

Nathaniel Francis, Digital Revenue Operations Director, Bauer Media

Keep privacy and brand safety front of mind.

As we look to new ways of working together and testing strategies to approach the demise of the third-party cookie, the opportunities for closer collaboration between media owners and advertisers is huge.

From clean rooms to ids and addressable audiences, the technology is evolving every day, and just as the cookie served many functions, so too will the solutions be varied. There is no one size fits all strategy and it’s important to take a consultative approach and try to understand the client's key needs, capabilities and aims, as well as what success looks like, whilst keeping privacy, brand integrity and the user at the forefront of any solutions proposed.

Alex Kirby, Revenue Operations Director, HELLO!

Find the sweet spot that allows you to achieve scale with your audience.

Recent changes in privacy and addressability across browsers and devices means that brands and publishers have a new opportunity to work directly together on data-driven media planning and buying. Now, brands and publishers are collaborating on bespoke data-driven media strategies utilising their own rich data sources that provide more efficient, effective and privacy-compliant targeting through the use of data clean room technologies.

Data clean rooms provide a way to define and curate data strategies across participating parties, but brands and publishers should be conscious that a 1:1 targeting approach will limit scale. Instead, applying a layer of data science and predictive modelling will help deliver on data targeting at scale.

At Global, we’ve developed proprietary technology that matches data points from our addressable and non-addressable inventory. Using machine learning, we’re able to predictively model and find similar groups of people so advertising clients can buy into specific DAX audiences, enabling them to take advantage of data-driven audience targeting that also offers precision. So far, audience reach for DAX audio campaigns has expanded ten-fold.

Mia Mulch, Programmatic and Data Director for DAX, Global