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Agency outlook on leveraging data in a post regulatory world

We sat down with Oliver Gertz, Managing Director EMEA for MediaCom Interaction at DMEXCO this past month to find out more about how agencies are leveraging data in a post-regulatory world and what that means for clients, vendors and the advertising landscape as a whole in the near future. 

Oracle: How has regulation changed the way that advertisers, agencies and publishers are using data?

Gertz: Regulation is about changing how we work with data to give consumers more control and transparency. Consumers will be given more choices and as an industry we’ll be able to deliver on the promise of more relevant advertising. In the past, conversations with advertisers about data have traditionally been about scale, and regulation certainly can decrease volume but it will increase quality. The hope is that the increase in quality will actually drive better consumer engagement because higher quality data will deliver audiences that are actually in-market for products versus intent signals that may not necessarily mean “in-market”. For example, we know that clicking on an article in a publishing environment that is related to automobiles doesn’t necessarily mean that reader is in-market for a car.

Hopefully the industry will get to a consensus on frequency and publishers will be able to monetize their data better. We’ll deliver much more value to customers. Certainly regulation brings challenges like complicating the steps in the data chain, but I think this can be an opportunity for everyone to win.

Oracle: What are the advantages for advertisers who leverage 3rd party data?

Gertz: 3rd party data is the most established, most easily available data source. It’s connected to all our buying platforms, easy to activate and identify relevant segments. It helps us to increase campaign performance because it creates more relevance for the advertiser. The data has to serve the client and the budget, relevancy does that – scale not always- more granular segments perform better. 

Oracle: How are your clients thinking about brand safety and context in their digital strategies?

Gertz: Clients are adopting the idea of a quality impression, one that is brand safe, fraud free and viewable. It needs to meet all 3 requirements and then it’s a quality impression. Brand safety is client specific, there is not a universal definition of brand safety, the client needs to be empowered to define that for themselves and the use of technology helps support that. Advertisers want to be able to control this and are taking it into their own hands because the big publishers and platforms aren’t doing it.

Oracle: What is an innovative way that you have seen clients leverage data for marketing?

Gertz: We have an FMCG client that is combining offline purchase data with online data to get a much better picture of the interests and motivations of people buying their products. They are building very targeted segments and then closing the loop to see if that buyer shows up in the purchase data again. 

E-Commerce has been doing this for a while, there are many technical complexities but we’re seeing promising results and we’ve seen a mindset shift to looking at more specific audiences with messaging tailored to multiple signals rather than classifying shoppers into demographics. 

This shift is really driving some interesting developments. For example, testing how much personalization you actually need when you are selling products that every household buys on a regular basis across multiple categories. Some clients believe you can sell shampoo using micro segments. Then you’ll see even in broad demo targeting just a tiny bit of personalization works to influence a purchase. 

We see automotive clients having a very aggressive mindset to see where in the process journey a shopper is and then really honing in on what will push that in-market shopper to become a buyer, then scaling that across 30 markets. 

Watch this video to learn more about what leveraging 3rd party data means for global agencies and their clients.

About Oliver Gertz

Oliver Gertz is a pioneer of digital marketing in Germany, playing a major part in building two digital agencies. Oliver became Managing Director EMEA for MediaCom Interaction in January 2009, charged with growing MediaCom’s digital footprint by growing the service offering across EMEA. His focus is now on programmatic and working with MediaCom’s global clients on their programmatic strategy.


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