Three Steps to Agile Data Activation: Accumulate, Silo Break, Activate

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Impending marketing battles will be won or lost when bringing human and data models together, but more importantly, they will depend on who can do it with agility and precision. The dissolution of cookie technology demands that brands and agencies must adopt a holistic first-party (1P) data strategy. But what does that mean? At its core, there are three components: Accumulate, Silo Break and Activate (ABA).

Accumulate: Firms that rely on second- or third-party data, or even 1Pdata that has not been governed and warehoused effectively, will need to start accumulating, warehousing and segmenting. This includes all click-stream data points relevant to making good, human-based valuations, using onsite analytics, CRM or customer data, and media clickIDs as the three major source pillars.  

Silo Break: This is the largest internal hurdle. Teams on the data, media and business intelligence sides have historically been charged with their own KPIs that influence a business holistically, but have generally never shared unified tactical KPIs on the day-to-day. Melding a pod of these individuals together will only be activated upon if those individuals are trained and have general working knowledge in the why and how of each other's respective universe. 

This knowledge will foster a unified team that acts agilely, and can become tethered to a unified KPI—or northstar—that leads to revenue. Unified teams need to understand that data is no longer meant to be simply aggregated in mass, or through visualized storytelling alone, and media is no longer about click metrics. The two together, however, can dissolve the assumption gap and turn big data into thick data, which is where this new breed of teams need to be talking the same language. 

If you are a brand, the first decision should be garnering the right teams and connecting them with the right sherpa, or partnering with the right consultancy to augment your team in tandem. If you are an agency, having fluid conversations with your end clients about their 1P data strategy and where you can assist them, whether it’s via team direct or a tandem partner engagement, is crucial as all clickstream data points need to be exposed and fluid in a closer relationship. 

Activate: If the previous steps are in place, the right tools also need to be in your stack. There is a fair amount of Data Joins, SQL, Cloud and human-guided modeling that dictate which tools should be used alongside the equally important media tools. All the right components can make this process much easier and can turn siloed data into meaningful media. Predictive 1P-based models as outcomes can look like various amazing things:  predictive LTV bidding, natural language bidding, churn-based ad serving, content recommendation engines and more. Further, these models and data are owned by the business side (not tool side), and will double as sources for all channels. Plus, they are automatically generated at the split-second of a search query or programmatic bid auction to known users (clickIDs). Your storytelling and acquisition efforts can become efficient and under the pareto principle, - natural margin and revenue uplift should begin to occur rapidly. And, you will be  privacy compliant, and future-proofed if industry regulations continue to shift. 

Although this is a simple take, the milestones are tested and true within this clarity. The path in between these milestones is the great variable, which can take shape in a thousand ways depending on your firm. Alignment with a ground-floor data, media and goal audit is the first step to begin understanding where basecamp should be. And aligning with a battle-tested  consultancy to assist can make the cost-to-market and agility-to-market gap easier and less expensive to jump. 

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