Data activation in a cross-device world


DMP, DSP, CRM, DAP, SSP… Sometimes it feels like you can get bogged down in all the acronyms and jargon around data. But what does a successful data strategy actually look like?

A lot of customers approach us with one of two problems. The first is the classic “cross-device challenge” we all know—they want to understand how they can target customers on their buying journey, on the various devices they use throughout the day.

The second challenge that we are seeing more frequently now is what we call the “data activation challenge”. Customers are already aware that their data is valuable, and they are carefully collecting and segmenting all types of data, but they aren’t sure how to activate it in their marketing strategy.

RELATED: Turning Data Into Action: 2017 Data Management & Activation Guidebook

These two challenges are two pieces of the same problem and can be tackled together. If you lead with data, you can target your users across their devices and achieve true people-based marketing.

The 5 whys of data activation

A tried and tested method to ensure you’re getting value from any approach or tactic is to ask yourself ‘why?’, five times. Let’s use this to look at why we should be adopting a data-led strategy for our marketing activity.

1. Why should you activate your data?

Because it brings value to your brand.

2. Why does it bring value to your brand?

Because it increases your success rate in achieving whatever KPI your business is looking at—whether it’s sales, brochure downloads, registrations, or something else entirely.

3. Why does it increase your success rate?

Because it reduces waste by learning from existing customers.

4. But why does this matter?

Because these insights give you the true attributed value of your customer and the cost to acquire new ones.

5. Why should you care about that?

Because ultimately, this allows you to allocate your budget in the most efficient way possible which, in turn, enables you to achieve a return on your investment.

Three pillars of successful data activation

So now that we’re agreed on the fact that activating your data brings value to your brand—how can you be successful? Data activation can take many forms, from the simple (such as retargeting) to the very complex, but there are essentially three pillars of success in any strategy.

1. Cross-device

Looping back around to the common customer challenge—your strategy needs to be omnichannel and cross-device.

2. Advanced modelling

You need to be able to expand your (often limited) first-party data where required to achieve actionable volume.

3. Closed loop

You need a robust measurement and analytics solution to understand what you did in the context of your data, and feed that back into your future planning.

If you want to learn more, watch our recent webinar which discusses the topic of data activation in more detail, and even shows how it works in reality for our partners at Sky Media.


Turning Data Into Dollars | White Paper