Marketers need gardens that don’t have walls. Transparent trees, hedges, and cute ornamental flowers would be nice, too.
Imagine a scenario with me that you live every day… perhaps without noticing.
You go to buy a service that you desperately need. There are two, maybe three places where you can get this service. Without this service, you might actually die.
When you go, the price is not negotiable. In fact, you most likely won’t even know the price before you buy the service, and after it has been delivered you will be charged whatever the service provider decides to bill you. Even worse, the system you’re trusting your very life to is known for inaccuracies, has little oversight, and is notorious for overcharging. And finally, if you boldly go to the one or two competitors that you can access, all the records of the services you bought stay behind, and none of the learnings that you or the service provider might have accumulated during the course of your relationship can come along with you.
If you’re American, you recognise this system already. It’s our complicated healthcare system, driven by tough, profit-seeking businesses famous for obscure pricing, infamous for huge bills, and completely siloed into hundreds of databases.
On the other hand, if you’re a digital marketer, you recognise it too. Each major advertising platform you work with has its own silos. Each of them measure performance differently, and none of them prefer to share data with each other. This causes quite a bit of friction for the marketer to figure out the value of their campaigns.
Whether we’re talking about Facebook or another large publisher, we need systems that can help pull the data together in a way that is both privacy-centric and secure as well as open and transparent.
Solving healthcare is beyond my pay grade, and smarter people than me have failed. But it’s clear that increased transparency, level playing fields, and the free flow of data would solve some, if not all, of the problems we face in American health delivery. The same benefits would also hugely help another industry that is both dear to your heart and essential to your bottom line: digital marketing.
Much of this conversation to date has taken the form of an accusations toward the so called “walled gardens.” The term has been used for over a decade to describe an environment that controls a user’s access to web content and services, and in recent years the concern has grown further both for consumers and marketers as the world’s largest internet companies gain a disproportionate share of consumer attention. This has only been heightened with mobile where session times have swelled, and engagement becomes hourly, not daily.
We need full transparency in the digital advertising industry, allowing partners in analytics and mobile attribution — like TUNE and other providers - to report on activity and ROI based on identifiers and data that are both freely given by consumers and fully compliant for regulators. We need portability of data that enables marketers to own their learnings and use their customer data effectively with multiple partners. We need the wall-less garden, not the walled garden.
We need to open up our industry and create a space where communication and data access for advertisers, ad networks, technology partners, agencies, and any other needed parties is open, clear, transparent, measurable, and portable.
Ultimately, we don’t have an advertising industry if we don’t have advertisers or audiences.
Our collective goal, therefore, should be to create ecosystems that maximise value for both advertisers and audiences, simultaneously. Ad networks should compete on the basis of pure and legitimate differentiators, and not try to stifle competition and drive up costs by creating barriers to innovation and competition. Adding and subtracting partners should be simple, painless, and quick. Assessing the relative merits of each and the purposes for which they are best used should be an easy, apples-to-apples comparison.
That’s the kind of ecosystem we’re focused on enabling at Tune. To support that, we have built tools to measure marketing results anywhere, starting from the mobile device, including social networks, and allowing marketers to simply get a holistic perspective of their advertising results in one place.
We’re building the wall-less garden for mobile marketing. There’s nothing stopping you from stepping out of the garden and working with any advertising partner you choose – and any partner that offers tools, data, and audiences that you need. After all, it’s your customer data and it needs the right parameters to be freely accessible to you and your partners to create the best possible digital experiences.
Ian Sefferman, general manager Tune Marketing Console, Tune