Cannes Lions 2018 Key Takeaways

Key Takeaway From Cannes 2018: The First-Party Data Economy Is Here

Richard JonesLast Updated: First-Party Data, Insights

As the sun sets on another year of rosé and pastel colored shirts, the overwhelming key takeaway from Cannes Lions 2018 was the turbulent pivot that the advertising and marketing ecosystems are in the midst of. The background to this year’s week of Riviera fun and frolics has been a seismic shift in how advertisers and marketers can use data.

The preamble to this was Mark Zuckerberg being hauled before Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, with the ensuing fallout resulting in Facebook and Google recognizing that they were in the cross-hairs of a new age of privacy. This realization meant that both companies took a series of quick actions to protect themselves, such as suspending the use of third-party data for targeting on Facebook and YouTube. Data that was previously freely available through their APIs was curtailed, new data policies were set, and some of the more egregious data sharing agreements with third-parties in the adtech space were shut off completely. Simply put, the companies were in a tailspin and many marketers, advertisers, agencies, adtech and martech companies are still trying to adapt to the change.

Next, the EU started to enforce GDPR penalties at the end of May – a grenade that has rippled through the adtech world causing disruption within the traditional advertising supply chain. For brands it’s now too risky to base targeting strategies for marketing outreach on third-party data sets.

The safest option, indeed the only option, is for marketers to pivot towards first-party data where they have control and proof over how that data was collected, and the permissions necessary to use the data for personalizing marketing and advertising efforts.

The atmosphere amongst agencies at Cannes demonstrated a palpable fear from the dawning realization that this shift in priorities to first-party data means clients will inevitably want more direct control of their marketing as it becomes more programmatic-led. The current propensity for clients to take more direct marketing in-house will only be accelerated by this trend.

“We’re reinventing media from mass blast to mass one-to-one, we’re reinventing agency partnerships from less outsourcing to more of our people’s hands on the keyboard.”
Marc Pritchard, P&G CMO, Cannes 2018

That said, there will always be opportunities for agencies to support clients on their first-party data strategy. However, merely pooling the first-party data clients already have into a homogenous data lake won’t provide competitive differentiation for brands in the long run.

That’s just a base of data to work from for personalizing marketing outreach. A longer term strategy of how to continually collect and deploy first-party data to drive marketing results and efficiencies needs to be executed.

92% of marketers believe first-party data is critical to their brand's growth

*Google/Econsultancy, “An Audience of Individuals”, 2017
**eConsultancy Survey, May 2015

Wayin’s Studio and Customer Success teams help clients create a strategy for interactive experiences that collect first-party data right across the customer lifecycle at speed and scale. From initial awareness, through knowledge, selection, loyalty and advocacy. At every touchpoint with the consumer there is an opportunity to learn more about them, their interests, characteristics and motivations.

Collecting marketing permissions and PII data is just the start. The richer the first-party data a brand collects about it’s audience the more personalized it’s marketing outreach can be across paid, earned and owned channels, which is directly related to better marketing ROI.

Wayin has the technology platform and the service capabilities to help brands and their agencies make a successful pivot to the first-party data economy.

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