The growing role of second party data in marketing

May we see second party data have a growing role in marketing today if secure platforms are to enable such marketplaces to emerge?

In an age where data is THE hot commodity, the trading of first party data between publishers, brands and like-minded organisations is a welcome and natural opportunity. The purchase of second party data is becoming increasingly accessible with the more savvy data management platforms (DMPs) increasingly facilitating this trade through data marketplaces and syndicates. It is likely we will see this become more and more mainstream over time.

The maturity of the data market may herald a new wave of strategic alliances between organisations. Brand partnerships are nothing new, however, the role of data in determining the commercial value of such tie-ups may be about to elevate dramatically.

Typically, brands have primarily collaborated to reap the perceived benefit of one another’s reputation and to offer something new to an increasingly despondent consumer base, such as the Apple and Hermes watch or the Adidas and Fitbit partnership. However, the ability to trade primary data has the potential to transform marketing efforts by opening previously untapped markets or audience segments, while remaining (relatively) sure of the integrity of their data source.

Facebook’s recent move to exclude third party data from its armoury could signal the importance of second party data as a legitimate growth strategy for many. And while shrouded in controversy, the decision marks an undeniably positive step-change in data transparency and integrity for the digital advertising world.

Are some brands too reticent to monetize their audience data, or too cavalier with it?

While data monetization is topic of hot debate, there are but few public examples of brands that are getting it right. This can be attributed to a number of things. Most notably is a blanket lack of understanding of what ‘data’ means in practical terms; understanding of the scale of an organisation’s data landscape; understanding of the opportunities for data monetization. Couple this with the fear surrounding GDPR, data security and cyber terrorism and we begin to understand why there are only a handful of brands boldly putting data at the core of their commercial strategy.

One brand that has set a new standard in data commercialisation is media streaming behemoth, Spotify. It has long been in the game of data-driven strategic brand partnerships, with brands like Starbucks and Uber joining the ever-growing list of collaborators. But Spotify went one step further with its Christmas 2017 campaign – billboard takeovers around the world threw the spotlight on just how powerful data can be. The theme ‘2018 goals’ inspired the ads, which drew on the data behind Spotify’s user listening habits in 2017 to suggest New Year’s resolutions and life advice for 2018.

No longer is data the behind-the-scenes engine for ad targeting, it is the star of the show, inspiring creative that delivers honesty, humour and credibility, and importantly, drives loyalty. This brings the idea of data monetization into a whole new realm, from the mere trading of data between organisations to the exploitation of data to develop creative messaging platforms that resonate with customers and cut through markets.


By Dominic Zammit, Head of Digital, Conran Design Group

European Data Protection Summit will take place on June 3rd in Central London and will play host to 800 DPO’s, Security Professionals and senior business decision makers looking for; information, updates, clarity, advice and solutions. For more information, visit the website.

We have been awarded the number 1 GDPR Blog in 2019 by Feedspot.