In the new data economy, true innovation will be driven by the interconnected

In the new data economy, true innovation will be driven by the interconnected

In a world where innovation and networking are pivotal to success for any brand, the support structure offered by I-Com comes into its own. The organization embodies that notion of innovation and sharing, something our industry – and the many industries we support – is about to do a lot more of.

When we look beyond our industry to global or national economics, it is the combination of the large and small working together in one connected ecosystem that’s essential to their existence. The huge multinational and the sole trader each doing their part. This is mirrored in nature, where long-term survival of the large may be dependent on that of the small. It also applies to data marketing, with the results of our work occurring across all the many industries we support.

In today’s customer experience-dominated world, it is data and technology that will enable brands to do their best to win and keep customers. No matter how big data is these days, it remains a case of the insightful needles needing to be found in ever-expanding haystacks. The truth is, if each company took the trouble to make sure its own data was at its best, and then made it available to non-competitive companies to enhance their marketing, we’d quickly arrive at a far better standard of data for all.

We have an industry with influence and impact across various business sectors, a keystone for client success. Yet we’re extremely humble as a discipline. Take data monetization, and how data talks about extracting tangible value from useful information. Data monetization is exactly what it says, but the term is just too simplistic. All it suggests is X sells its data to Y and makes some money. However, there’s so much more to data or audience monetization, and so much more potential for all.

Importantly, early into any exploration of audience monetization comes privacy. Companies must know their data, know the law and know what they can and can’t do. If in doubt, don’t. Trust is the number one reason consumers share their data, so let’s ensure good practice is sacrosanct.

Something so often overlooked is the consumer benefit to audience monetization. The ‘selling’ company may be a brand they use regularly, and this revenue stream may keep prices down or support the quality of the product, as we’ve seen in publishing circles. By sharing this information, if any brand is trying to market to them with relevance, the more accurate the data will be and the better the targeting.

All that said, making audience monetization work is not child’s play. It’s one thing for two companies to realize their data is of value to each other, and share or sell it. It’s quite another getting your data to market in a general sense. How do you contribute into the data ecosystem, what permissions do you need, what data model should you use, what governance is in place, what is the price, who will promote it, who will ensure quality, who will distribute it, who will recover fees and pay me? These are important questions. With the growing sensitivity surrounding consumer data, the answers need to be right.

The term may be over-simplistic. Perhaps we can learn from that simplicity and start thinking simply about how data monetization can work for each of us. The good news is there’s a place for the big, the small and those in between. The big should consider opening their data up to their partners and networks. In fact, we’ve seen major retail organizations go down this route, changing the ability of brands to measure the impact of their marketing. The small should consider whether they have niche data to contribute. For both the big and the small, the mindset should not be solely how they can supply data to others to make money, but also what data might be valued and needed.

With an eye on permissions and privacy in this new data economy, data reaches the right places to do good things for all involved, including the consumer. That’s surely an ecosystem we’d all be proud to be part of.

Jed Mole, European Marketing Director, Acxiom

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