Why now is the time to democratize data

Data traveling inside a tunnel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The MarTech industry is undergoing seismic changes. The ‘cookie-less future’ on the horizon, the specters of rising consumer concerns around data-tracking, and a looming global recession mean that marketers are navigating a rapidly evolving environment.  

Given these factors, they rightly expect their technology to go the extra mile by providing actionable insights that can inform campaign strategy and demonstrate return on investment (ROI). But, as the leaders within MarTech cater to businesses who can pay large amounts, smaller companies miss out on these valuable benefits. The MarTech giants need to be challenged to allow others to have a seat at the table for real change to occur throughout the industry.

Having previously relied heavily on third-party cookies, marketers must explore other options to gather usable audience insights. This makes zero-party data crucial to the future of marketing. Simply put, the industry has little to no choice but to evolve with the times. And the tech needs to be democratized.

Ensuring data is accessible to all 

Consumer data is gold dust to marketers. It provides essential information that steers campaigns and influences audiences. Without data on what customers like, hate, want, or need, marketing teams are taking a stab in the dark with their campaigns.  

The way the industry works means that smaller companies will always lose out. Market research is complex and often outsourced to research houses and consumer research companies. This can become expensive very quickly, costing hundreds of thousands of pounds for a single project.  

With a global recession on the horizon, where marketing budgets are often the first to be cut, the cost from research companies alone makes data inaccessible to SMEs, start-ups and any other companies struggling to balance budgets. This means they lose out on crucial data and information that could transform their campaigns. 

There is a clear need to reinvent the marketing and consumer research industry. Marketers need technology that unlocks consumer insights. As a first step, they need data. Good data is often expensive to get a hold of, and even when they do acquire it, what then? Anyone can have the best and most comprehensive data, but it’s meaningless if you don’t know what to do with it and what it means for your business.

By showing marketers how to convert insight into action so companies can have meaningful communications with consumers, all guesswork is taken out of advertising campaigns. ROI is drastically improved and time is freed-up away from the research-to-activation process.

Ahmad Al Khatib

Ahmad Al Khatib is CEO and founder at Qudo.

Third-party cookies: do we really need them? 

While third-party cookies enable marketers and advertisers to get a snapshot of consumer habits, they are also incredibly invasive. They track an individual’s online journey without explicit consent, often over several domains. As data becomes more regulated, it becomes scarcer.

Google plans to phase out third-party cookies by 2024, and this issue has rightly been brought to the forefront of businesses’ priority lists. Marketers must now consider an alternative which can provide true insights into consumer habits, whilst making data accessible to all.

The best way to defeat a Goliath is to put it in a box, minimize it and scatter pieces of that box. Zero-party data can challenge old habits and force the giants of MarTech to consider it as a necessary alternative to third-party cookies.

Zero-party data is the future

Zero-party data provides clear and precise information about consumer behaviors, allowing marketing teams to properly action data that has been collected. It is the solution to the problem of data privacy and consumer consent. Consumers have all the information needed to fully consent to data collection whilst any data collected is anonymized, giving consumers greater control over their privacy.  

Not only is it great for consumers, but it is also useful to marketers. With marketers growing increasingly concerned about signal loss from cookies, it’s clear the alternative must provide detailed consumer insights too.  As consumers know how their data is being used, and with the appeal of anonymization, they are much more willing to share crucial information that can provide marketing teams with a different perspective. Information that comes directly from the consumer means companies are much more likely to get accurate data. This helps to create precise, targeted consumers groups, allowing marketers to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and guarantee they are one step ahead of competitors. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

Data is essential for marketing, and the need and demand for actionable insights is only growing. However, this does not mean that consumers should be kept in the dark about how their data is being used. Research companies must aim to empower marketers by giving them clear, actionable insights, without breaching consumers’ privacy.  

The ongoing move away from third-party cookies gives the MarTech industry a prime time to revolutionize. Zero-party data is not just another buzzword, but a catalyst for widespread change which represents the future of MarTech. By liberating marketing teams away from the old guard, we can utilize tech to lift people up and even the data playing field.

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Ahmad Al Khatib is CEO and founder at Qudo.