How to choose the right partner for second-party data

Steve-MartinCompanies struggle to know their customers. This is the harsh reality for all marketers. Achieving a full view of their customers’ data is almost impossible, especially when analysed in isolation. So how can brand-side marketers collaborate with retailers to bring creativity to the table and make the most of multiple sets of data?
The current challenge for brands that interact with a customer across numerous platforms is the build-up of multiple identifiers for each single “real-life” human being. According to Gartner, more than 90% of marketers struggle to seamlessly connect more than three channels on the buyer journey.
However, brands should not be suffering in silence, and marketers must double down on their commitment to be responsible practitioners. Help is at hand in the form of second-party data partnerships between brands and retailers, who often know more about customers than the brands themselves.
Second-party data is becoming increasingly popular and, by next year, the market is expected to grow by 26% to be used by 64% of all advertisers.
So how do brands and retailers make the most of the data goldmine they’ll be sitting on? It’s all well and good having this customer intelligence but knowing how and when to act upon it is key. Like with any campaign, trial and error will be paramount to understanding what works and what doesn’t to give marketers peace of mind when it comes to embracing creativity.
When evaluating potential second-party data partners, marketers can ensure the data is ethically sourced by following these best practices:
Customer experience is crucial
All marketers will know that customer data always comes with rules – it’s not a straightforward and seamless process. Not only must marketers aim to meet their customer expectations, they must also be aware of these expectations when it comes to their data and how it is used for marketing purposes.
It is fair to say that some customers aren’t always fully aware of how their data is being used for marketing purposes. However, action has been taken by the implementation of GDPR, which ensures there is full transparency and the option for customers to opt in or out of communications. Of course, there is still room for improvement from marketers on this front.
What constitutes a successful second-party data partnership?
In order to form a successful second-party data partnership, it is crucial that marketers always renew the privacy policies that were present at the point of collection as well as defining how, when and where the data can be used to support their privacy. To avoid disputes, it is also key that customers are provided with adequate notice and opt-out choices – performing actions like these will also help marketers remain one step ahead of their competitors.
How brands can find the right retail partners
At a time where customer data is at an all-time high, with Internet use dominating the technology industry, retailers are facing immense pressure to compete within all ecommerce channels, while maintaining brand reputation and customer loyalty. Finding the right retail partners can make or break a brand’s reputation, so it is essential that they choose wisely.
There is so much to gain for brands when it comes to strategic partnerships, but there is also a lot at stake if they fail to plan effectively. It is crucial that brands do not rush this process by partnering with retailers that aren’t the perfect fit – this will inevitably have a negative impact on brand reputation, particularly when it comes to competition.
Handling data and adhering to industry regulations and GDPR
Customers and marketers are both operating in a society that is regularly talking about ethically sourcing everything. In particular, marketers are experiencing a trend where reports of unethical data use are a regular occurrence and as a result, they must double down on their commitment to become responsible practitioners. Organisations are rightly adopting more rigorous approaches to data sourcing, in order to gain a well-rounded view of their customers.
The creative techniques to adopt with second-party data
Creativity is key when it comes to marketing and second-party data. There are several benefits to second-party data – it enables trust and transparency and quality, which have all become the cornerstone of every decision for marketers.
As with any situation, it is important that marketers are always ensuring they are one step ahead of their competition, while living up to customer expectations and providing a seamless experience.
Second-party data and creativity can enhance all customer experience. If marketers’ source and activate it in a secure, compliant and privacy driven way, they will remain one step ahead in their industry. Putting data first, while adhering to all data ethics, will make it difficult to go wrong.

Steve Martin is managing director of international data at LiveRamp

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