Decision Marketing Data Clinic: Publishing and media

DM ClinicIn the latest in a series of articles, designed to provide advice on data-driven marketing strategies in these turbulent times and beyond, we look into the issues facing the publishing and media industry.

The Decision Marketing Data Clinic, in association with REaD Group, is open to all companies and organisations big and small. If you have a burning issue which you would like advice on please email us on

The phasing out of third party cookies is presenting us with a major challenge in tracking website visitors, improving user experience, and collecting data to help us target ads to the right people. We’re left with an IP journey with no personal data. How can we overcome this?
To overcome this, organisations are looking to their own data to help them understand and target ads, either to existing customers, or to the profiles of those existing customers.  To do this, there is a need to match and profile that data in safe environments, which has seen the creation of walled gardens.

For example, REaD Group has partnered with InfoSum to make our UK-wide comprehensive and permissioned database of online and offline consumer data available for brands and publishers to discover new insights and improve audience targeting. It provides publishers with greater audience reach and richer insights in the fast-moving digital advertising world, enabling you to future-proof advertising revenues and increase audience addressability at scale.

Available via InfoSum’s decentralised infrastructure, media owners and publishers can connect data without ever sharing it, meaning that you no longer need to rely on third-party cookies. This means that you can run IP addresses and match them with name, address and contact information and that, using responsible and diverse third-party data, you can match first-party customer data to highly valuable interest and behavioural data to enrich your understanding of your customer. By removing the need to share or commingle any data, the privacy of the end consumer is protected, as is the security of each data set.

How can we learn more about our customers?
Being more constrained in terms of targeting also increases the need to understand who your customers are and what motivates them. This is another use of the walled gardens where third party data can be used to enhance what you know about your existing customers.

REaD Enhance is an accurate, in-depth and insightful view of the consumer population in the UK. Our data asset repository holds multiple, trusted sources of consumer data representing virtually every marketable individual. It covers everything from who consumers live with, to what they earn and spend, how they transact, and their hobbies. It includes over 900 variables including comprehensive demographics, household characteristics, behavioural and attitudinal attributes.

This data can be appended via InfoSum to any dataset and used for the creation of segments and profiles and can be matched at IP, email, mobile or even good old-fashioned name and address.

Recruitment via social media and Google Ads is working well but what other channels should we be looking at?
Since GDPR, recruitment via email has become very difficult to achieve. However, when consent is gained and email is used then the results are very good. Bear in mind that GDPR wasn’t designed to kill advertising or direct recruitment but to make sure that consumers allowed brands to contact them. So if you ask, you will find that lots of people do want emails – particularly from cool media brands.

Talking of GDPR, there was also a lot of talk that cold mailings would not be allowed any more.  That is not true and many sectors, such as financial services and charity, are doing well in terms of highly targeted cold mailings, particularly when supplemented with non-addressed mail such as door-drops or partially addressed mail (PAM). This may seem like an odd choice for media brands to use but, when combined with other media such as social, the results can be very strong.

Is there anything else we should be doing to maximise our data?
In addition to ensuring access to quality data, you must maintain data quality as well. With data coming from multiple sources, media brands may struggle with duplication issues and data cleansing must be seen as a necessity.

By following legislation you can ensure a more effective and altogether improved approach to responsible marketing, improved campaign targeting, reducing costs and increasing ROI. REaD Group delivers one of the most accurate, comprehensive, trusted and up-to-date data services in the UK. Combining three leading products – The Gone Away Suppression file (GAS)GAS Reactive and The Bereavement Register (TBR) – your data has never been easier to achieve and maintain.

Phil Ward is account director at REaD Group

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