TechBytes with Chad Engelgau, CEO at Acxiom

TechBytes with Chad Engelgau, CEO at Acxiom

How is adtech in 2020 much more closely linked to a CMO’s marketing technology stack?

In 2020, we see CMOs seeking more integration between their adtech and martech stacks because their organizations cannot definitively answer how many times each person has received their ad. Marketers want to reach real people with tailored messages that thoughtfully and meaningfully engage them.

But, that’s hard when adtech and martech are disconnected, meaning your marketing intelligence is disconnected.

For many CMOs, the majority of their spend continues to be in paid media outlets, but the performance of that paid media and the insights they could glean from it – their customers’ and prospects’ interests and engagement with their brand – is still locked up inside of walled gardens or their agency relationships. That limits a CMO’s ability to unify insights from their paid media channels with the direct marketing activities that come from their martech investments. This disconnect is compelling many companies to consider how they gather and integrate those insights and push their partners and vendors to more tightly couple solutions to share data and insights. Because only when a brand’s engagements in earned, owned, and paid media are orchestrated holistically – and collectively inform their marketing and customer engagement strategy – will a brand achieve a cohesive marketing strategy and a true picture of their marketing performance.

What was the idea behind launching Addressable Advertising suite?

First and foremost, the launch of Addressable Advertising is about Acxiom continuing to respond to our clients’ needs, and top of mind for them is to solve for the challenge mentioned in your first question. Our clients want to use their first-party data and the insights they’re gathering in paid, owned and earned media to inform who they should talk to about which products and services.

With Addressable Advertising, we’re solving that challenge with an end-to-end marketing solution that seamlessly connects a brand’s marketing strategies across direct marketing and their paid media to improve their business performance.

The second driver for the launch of the Addressable Advertising suite is simply Acxiom’s commitment to continue to innovate even in times of uncertainty.

Often, the best way to innovate is through strategic partnerships and alliances, which typically offer faster time to market, while creating new incremental value for both partners and their clients. We favored that route now versus trying to build something from the ground up or acquire a company that may have constraints that keep us from meeting our clients’ needs completely. Given that our partner for the Addressable Advertising suite is our sibling IPG company, Matterkind, there were already synergies in place that allowed us to move quickly to market with an end-to-end solution.

We are seeing the surge in First-party data management platforms. What are the various factors attributing to the growth in first party data?

The growth of first-party data platforms and client demands for improved first-party data management solutions and services are generated by three core market forces.

First, the amount of data being generated daily by the brand itself, and the need to manage it in a unified fashion, is paramount for businesses to create marketing intelligence, enabling the delivery of enhanced customer experiences through recognizing customers across touchpoints and interactions. This has to be managed consistently over time through a variety of martech investments.

Secondly, there’s the global compliance challenge companies face with regulations like GDPR and CCPA. The paradox for brands is that as more limitations on data come into law, the need for exceptional data management practices expands. Not only do you have to better manage information about people and put necessary controls in place to ensure consent is achieved in your data collection practices, you also need to manage the data over time so you can give that data back to people if they make a subject access request (SAR) or want to evaluate, change or suppress information they’ve given you in the past. This is forcing brands to get expert assistance with managing identity.

Lastly, the need for competitive differentiation and enhanced customer experience is driving interest in first-party data management. The world’s biggest and fastest-growing companies have mastered the collection and use of their first-party data and anchored it in identity graphs, creating competitive differentiation that not only better serves their customers but offers better, more relevant cross-sell and up-sell opportunities to their business. You must have an enterprise data strategy and unify those assets through a variety of connected technologies, then be able to activate it across all platforms (internally and externally), if you want to thrive as a business going forward.

Hear it from the pro: Tell us about the connection between your CDP and the ethical usage of data for commerce.

The customer data platforms we build and manage on behalf of our clients are designed with compliance in mind from the start.

Before we build any customer data platforms for our clients – whether those platforms are prospect or customer-focused – we go through a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). The DPIA process evaluates all the use cases the solution must support to ensure the data flows have the correct metadata collected and flow through the consent management frameworks for tracking.

The process also ensures we understand where the data came from, how the data may be linked or changed in the platform, and how to manage the data over time so it can be presented back to consumers if they make a subject access request (SAR). The way we design customer data platforms not only ensures our clients’ marketing activities are well-managed and compliant, but also ensures that for any use of that data – whether for commerce, marketing, service/support or customer experience enhancement – the associated use cases have been fully vetted and only appropriate data is used for those activities.

What has been your experience in working with GDPR and CCPA (We just commemorated 2nd anniversary of GDPR)?

We feel that the principles of both are sound. In fact, we believe there should be a singular national law so compliance for businesses is consistent and cost-effective. We believe GDPR got it right in identifying marketing as a supported use case within the regulation, and the only potential issues we’re seeing are in the interpretation of the law, not with the spirit of the law. On a global basis, I’m confident the industry will continue to work through balancing the intent of the laws with their implementation and enforcement. What’s clear is that data and technology are going to continue to positively impact our lives and create efficiencies for businesses and more meaningful experiences for people. This balance, when done right, creates lower costs for everyone. As people, as citizens and as an industry, we always need to keep that in mind.

Thank you Chad for sharing your insights on data management.

Chad Engelgau is the CEO & President of Acxiom, the marketing intelligence company that provides data-driven solutions to create business growth. Previously, Chad served as Global Chief Data Strategist at Kinesso, and as Acxiom’s CMO and Head of Strategy. Chad is a high-tech industry veteran of 25 years and has successfully lead Product, Marketing & Sales teams throughout his tenure.

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Acxiom provides data-driven solutions that enable the world’s best marketers to better understand their customers to create better experiences and business growth. A leader in customer data management, identity, and the ethical use of data for more than 50 years, Acxiom now helps thousands of clients and partners around the globe work together to create millions of better customer experiences, every day. Acxiom is a registered trademark of Acxiom LLC and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG).

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