Data sourcing has never been a piece of cake. Brands, retailers, and agencies are always looking for the newest, most relevant data, but since the information first-party data provides is single-sourced, companies need to rely on third-party data for most of their campaigns.
Between managing each provider individually, overseeing numerous contracts, trying to match mobile IDs with email addresses, and weeding through the data, marketers hardly have the time to merge these disparate data sources let alone use the learned analytics effectively. With the advent of true data marketplaces, obtaining quality, real-time data pre-merged to a single unified ID is now as simple as shopping online.
Marketers have been reaping the benefits of third-party data for years, but the process of obtaining that information is easier said than done. While using third-party data allows brands and retailers to better understand their consumers, seemingly boundless intelligence can also be overwhelming. From hiring data scientists to dissect every statistic to creating an infrastructure to save every fact and figure, multisourcing is not only complicated but incredibly expensive.
A common challenge faced by marketers employing third-party data is knowing how to source, organize, and manage that abundance of information.
'The more variables you have, the more complex data gathering and consistent reporting become. Endless combinations of inputs and outputs can soon become unwieldy and hard to manage,' according to Greenstone, a leading provider of non-financial reporting software in the UK.
But sorting the information isn’t the only difficulty marketers face. They have to screen vendors, establish guidelines for data retrieval, address contract security and privacy issues, and manage the business relationship. In other words, utilizing a variety of analytics companies makes the data management process more complicated, more expensive, and more time-consuming. Often, after going through the trouble of obtaining the information, marketers find the acquired data to be too similar, stale, and, ultimately, not worth the trouble.
Another issue brands, retailers, and agencies face is linking IDs across multiple sites and platforms. Connecting users is especially important since mobile is 'the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 62% of digital media time spent, and apps alone now representing the majority of digital media time at 54%,' according to the 2015 US Mobile App Report.
Keith Sayewitz, Chief Marketing Officer at BDEX, believes that having a breadth of data that connects patterns and trends among consumers is essential to creating a successful campaign.
'When you get all of your data from a marketplace like BDEX’s, you’re not only receiving information from companies like Neustar but thousands of mobile devices and clicks in real time,' says Sayewitz. 'The ability to link customers’ mobile, cookie, postal and email IDs makes the marketing process even more efficient.'
Marketers can then target customers from a variety of angles, increasing the chance of better results and ultimately a higher ROI. Though the development of linking big data is still a work in progress, the most innovative companies have begun taking advantage of the scale of information available and are acquiring pre-merged data from the marketplace.