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Flashtalking Research Uncovers Disconnect Between Marketers’ Desire for Ad Personalization at Scale and Data Confinement within Walled Gardens

Flashtalking Research Uncovers Disconnect Between Marketers’ Desire for Ad Personalization at Scale and Data Confinement within Walled Gardens

Cooperative study with Industry Index and Deloitte Consulting reveals pronounced gap relative to data transparency, ownership — and trade-offs on scalability, ease of use

New York, New York – Flashtalking, the leading global independent ad server and full-service provider of programmatic creative solutions, announced the release of research conducted in cooperation with Industry Index and Deloitte Consulting, surveying over 180 brand and agency buyers, shining a light on the disconnect between what clients want from their advertising platforms and what they can expect to get from the predominant “walled garden” platforms.

“As walled gardens like Facebook and Google rapidly expand, marketers are awkwardly navigating between competing interests. On the one hand, they need the scale walled gardens provide, but on the other, they want more and more to maintain control over their own data, to consistently leverage it for more personalized advertising across every channel and inventory source,” said John Nardone, Chief Executive Officer of Flashtalking. “What we found fascinating in this research, is that despite the very clear disconnect between desire and actuality, certain trade-offs have been allowed to stand. These include sacrificing data ownership and transparency for scale and access; or even accepting some inherent level of media bias to achieve that scale.”

With 58% stating it is their most important criteria, the study identifies data ownership and access are top priorities for marketers, nearly all of whom go on to note the particular importance of applying their data assets across media sources and creative executions to achieve 1-to-1 personalization — and being able to do so at scale. Follow-up interviews with the marketers reveal anecdotally that data has become marketers’ most prized asset and integral to achieving their own broader marketing vision. Yet, they also prioritize scale of execution, so they face a very real conflict.

Also not surprisingly, the study found that 95% of advertisers think it’s important or very important to have data transparency at a user level; 92% believe it’s important or very important that viewability, brand safety and fraud measurement should come from a source not affiliated with inventory; and 81% believe that it’s important or very important that they have exclusive ownership of campaign data.

“As we talked to these marketers, it was clear that perceived strengths of scale comes with major costs. For marketers that cost can be the loss of control of their most precious asset — their data,” continued Nardone.

“While many marketers continue with business as usual, working with the walled gardens, we did find that some have begun asking hard questions around access and use of their data and how much they will have to compromise their vision and goals for personalization in order to access the scale of the walled gardens,” said Ed See, Principal at Deloitte Consulting.

In a follow-up interview from the survey, a chief information officer at a large brand summed up the marketers’ paradox: “The same tools that excite CMOs present CIOs with some difficult challenges. These platforms basically ask us to give up control of our data, and that’s a huge issue for someone whose job it is to manage that data.”

To read the white paper and review detailed findings, please visit: http://marketing.flashtalking.com/acton/media/18589/data-ownership-research

About Flashtalking

Flashtalking arms the world’s largest advertisers and their agencies with data-driven precision, measurability, and control over their advertising messages. We have evolved the ad server into a programmatic creative platform that enables the art and science behind the perfect message. We support our clients at the digital crossroads where data activation, intelligent ad units, and unbiased measurement intersects with expertise, service, and a deep partner ecosystem. Using our media independent platform advertisers can deliver the most relevant and arresting HTML-5 advertising messages across standard, rich, video, and DCO formats, on any device and in any channel. Born in the U.K., headquartered in New York, Flashtalking spans the globe with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Leeds, Cologne, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Sydney. For more information, visit www.flashtalking.com.