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2024: The Year of Data Collaboration? Here’s Why You Should Care

Forget the cookiepocalypse – 2024 is the year of data collaboration. From big agencies to independent shops, everyone’s integrating data collaboration platforms into their tech stacks. Why the sudden shift? Unlike those fleeting ad tech trends, data collaboration is a strategic imperative in today’s data-rich, privacy-restricted advertising landscape.

What is Data Collaboration and Why is it Important?

Think about it: privacy regulations and the crumbling third-party cookie have thrown traditional advertising strategies into disarray. But fear not, 2024 is shaping up to be the year data collaboration takes center stage.

So, what exactly is data collaboration, and why is it in the spotlight?

Data collaboration is the art of intelligently combining insights from diverse sources to unlock a powerful understanding of your target audience. Imagine it as data fusion – merging various datasets to uncover hidden patterns and fuel data-driven decisions.

We’ve seen glimpses of this collaboration in closed platforms run by tech giants. But data collaboration platforms are different – they offer the freedom to choose your partners, not be dictated to by a single entity.

Data Collaboration vs. Data Clean Rooms: What’s the Difference?

Data clean rooms might seem similar, but their focus on one-on-one matching limits them to massive datasets. For smaller sets, the insights remain locked away.

However, by connecting to a wider data marketplace with universal identifiers and throwing in some AI-powered modeling, even modest datasets can be leveraged for valuable insights. With the right partnerships, a generic “auto buyer” segment transforms into a detailed profile: “women over 35 with families and a dog living in the suburbs” – the perfect audience for your new SUV campaign.

How Does Data Collaboration Solve Today’s Advertising Challenges?

In a time when audience targeting is undergoing a major overhaul, data collaboration becomes a lifeline. It empowers organizations to enrich their first-party data (their own audience information) and second-party data (trusted partner data), all while reducing reliance on those fading third-party cookies. This allows them to thrive in a privacy-conscious environment.

The rise of data collaboration is fueled by some key trends:

  • Fading Signal Strength: Device signals are weakening, making targeted advertising for brands and ad revenue for publishers a challenge.
  • Walled Garden Growth: Closed ecosystems like Facebook and retail media platforms are dominating the landscape, hoarding valuable first-party data.
  • Privacy First: Regulations are putting user privacy and data security at the forefront.

But how does data collaboration solve these challenges?

While earlier collaboration efforts favored big spenders, data collaboration platforms are becoming more accessible. They simplify onboarding and data transformation, making them a win for brands of all sizes. This is where machine learning and predictive modeling come into play, accelerating data processing and revealing hidden gems within the data.

Data Collaboration: Benefits Beyond Advertisers and Publishers

Without needing a team of data scientists on payroll, brands can finally understand how their products resonate with consumers, benchmark campaign performance, and enrich audience profiles with previously out-of-reach details. The sophistication of these platforms makes them perfectly timed for the challenges we face today.

Data collaboration also opens doors for data monetization. Organizations with anonymized user or device data might be sitting on a hidden asset, just waiting to be unlocked through strategic partnerships.

Furthermore, it fosters stronger partnerships between advertisers and publishers, enabling more precise customer targeting and encouraging media investment beyond the walled gardens. This is a win for open web publishers who saw their audience value decline during the cookie era.

The benefits extend beyond brands and publishers too. Data suppliers tap into new revenue streams and see increased media spend. Consumers, on the other hand, experience fewer irrelevant ads, more engaging communication, and products and services that are more user-focused.

The Future of Advertising is Collaborative

Ultimately, data collaboration will be the bridge that connects the various data sets and technologies keeping ad spend and revenue flowing in the post-cookie, privacy-first web. The future of advertising won’t rely on a single solution, but a diverse portfolio working together in harmony thanks to data collaboration platforms. This collaboration will enhance not just behavioral targeting, but also contextual approaches.

To navigate these turbulent waters, we need to break down the walls within the advertising ecosystem and embrace a “rising tide lifts all boats” mentality. Data collaboration is that tide, and by working together, we can create a more ethical, diverse, and resilient industry for the future.

Learn more about Lotame’s end-to-end data collaboration Spherical, and how it can help you onboard, connect, enrich, and activate data — whether you have it or need it — to better understand and engage consumers. Contact us today!

This article was written by Lotame’s Chief of Revenue, Chris Hogg and originally published in Advertising Week