LiveRamp aspires to make it safe and easy for companies to use data effectively.

How CMOs Can Accelerate Revenue Through Privacy-First Data Collaboration

Retail Media Networks (RMNs) are one of the fastest growing areas of interest and opportunity for CMOs. This year, Amazon’s RMN made it a bigger advertising platform than YouTube. In America, Walmart’s advertising revenue reached the $US2 billion milestone twice as fast as Twitter did.

It’s easy to understand the appeal of RMNs. They optimize marketing efforts and improve knowledge of the customer journey, so retailers and their brand partners can better reach consumers with highly relevant and personalised experiences for their customers that build brand loyalty over time. RMNs show no sign of slowing down. A Wakefield Research report into the interest on RMNs shows that 64 percent of marketers expect to increase spending in RMNs this year.

However, all of this comes with a caveat: as social and regulatory awareness around data continues to increase, the more critical the responsible use of data becomes. Amazon itself currently has the record for the largest fine under Europe’s GDPR regulations for the misuse of customer data ($US877 million), and while the GDPR was a forerunner in many ways, most other jurisdictions are now rapidly catching up.

How a CMO handles data has become a critical opportunity to the business, and an area of risk if handled poorly.

“Data collaboration is only successful when executed in a way that preserves privacy and enhances customer experiences at scale,” said LiveRamp President, Warren Jenson. “It’s critical for brands interested in RMNs to seek a partner who can not only deliver on their desired business outcomes, but also meet requirements for data provenance, governance, and permission.”

Balancing data privacy with data utility

As a data enablement platform that has been protecting consumers' personally identifiable information (PII) for nearly 50 years, LiveRamp is right at the forefront of the responsible use of customer data for both onboarding and collaboration.

The solution to the tension CMOs feel between the way they need to use data, and concerns around privacy, regulation, and compliance, is twofold, Jenson said. Organisations need to find the right partners, which have a focus on data integrity and privacy. These partnerships exist internally also. For example, CMOs should ally and work closely with their CIO counterparts to make data accessible without losing fidelity or compromising privacy. This can be achieved by leveraging solutions such as privacy-enhancing technologies, or PETs.

“Utilising PETs will offer businesses the ability to accelerate safe data collaboration, build customer intelligence, and maximise the value of data without compromising consumer privacy or falling behind the shifting regulatory landscape,” he said.

One example of this is LifeRamp’s Safe Haven, a permission-based data collaboration environment that allows organisations to collaborate with trusted partners safely and securely by setting tailored privacy controls. It is this commitment to privacy and security that has made Safe Haven an appealing solution to retailers, as the platform powers many of the RMNs in-market globally today.

As behemoths like Amazon have proven, data collaboration environments such as RMNs are a lucrative opportunity. For retailers and brands, this includes creating new revenue streams, but also being able to achieve targeting and measurement capabilities available within the walled gardens.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a Safe Haven customer utilizing the platform for these advantages. As Joe Keating, the brand’s Associate Director, Insights and Analytics, said at the RampUp 2022 conference earlier this year: “The challenge is we are trying to help retailers compete with the biggest and most sophisticated retailer on the planet, who knows everything about everyone. And it’s in our interest to make sure we are balancing the scales and bringing some of those advantages and, with that, we can offer the right message at the right time to the right person. What we’re learning is, when and what you’re saying is just as important as who you’re targeting.” 

The opportunity for leadership

With data privacy a board-level concern, and the CMO representing the voice of all customers in the C-Suite, there is an opportunity for CMOs to become a leadership voice internally, Jenson said. “CMOs should advocate for a seat at the decision-making table and encourage a culture of collaboration to help eliminate the possibility of missing new revenue-generating opportunities,” he said. “By creating opportunities for internal teams to win together, CMOs can help establish and deepen relationships among marketing and commercial teams, as well as the groups that serve them, such as data and analytics.

“It is the CMO who must bring together the old and the new. Marrying the worlds of traditional marketing and data science is what collaboration enables to drive businesses forward.”

To deliver results and show leadership, Jenson recommends CMOs start small with test projects that can demonstrate value quickly and grow from there: “Test campaigns are the ideal way to get started with data collaboration,” he said. “Scaling and growing of these early results will lead to a business model viable for your specific needs and generate a fundamental new revenue stream.”

This is also an opportunity for CMOs to shift the ROI discussion and help drive a more focused and results-orientated organisation, Jenson added. “What’s important to remember is marketers no longer need to justify these activities with impressions and clicks,” he said.

“Data collaboration allows marketers to obtain measurement that matters, including incrementality, closed-loop measurement, journey analytics, revenue impact and more.”

With this approach, CMOs will be well-positioned to drive better returns on the investment into data, and fully capitalise on the opportunity of data platforms, such as RMNs.

For more information on LiveRamp’s secure, compliant data collaboration solution, click here.

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