The down and dirty about clean rooms

Want the dirt on clean rooms?

It's a term du jour for many marketers. As data deprecation comes front and center for brands, many companies are trying to find new ways to obtain and use consumer data in ethical and privacy-compliant ways. But to do that, they need to "clean" it first.

Data clean rooms are privacy-safe environments that use anonymized data to facilitate data sharing. This includes advanced audience identification, activation and measurement—all which improve cross-channel performance. In layman’s terms, data clean rooms host anonymized data in a way that is secure and isolated to give brands insights across activation partners and channels in one, cohesive view.  

And it’s clear to see this strategy is working. According to a Gartner report, 80% of advertisers with media budgets of $1 billion or more will use data clean rooms by 2023.

Wiping away third-party cookies

Starting next year, Google's Chrome is getting rid of third-party cookies. This isn’t a big surprise: Safari and Firefox have already said bye-bye to cookies more than five years ago, but because Chrome is so widely used, this update is really shifting the open web landscape.

How big of an issue is this, really? According to Epsilon research, 69% of marketers surveyed said they believe the elimination of third-party cookies will have a greater impact than CCPA and GDPR, and 83% anticipate moderate to significant impact on their digital advertising efforts.

This data deprecation is going to force brands to find new ways to identify and reach consumers with their own data sources. This is going to be especially important for brands in industries that historically struggle with data collection and sharing, like CPG brands and financial services institutions.

That’s where data clean rooms come in: To mitigate these dwindling connections, marketers can now take back the power of their data while also ensuring they’re privacy compliant. Clean rooms essentially replace the need for third-party cookies because it instead aggregates all channel strategies into one cohesive place. This gives a brand a clear view into their marketing on a customer-level across channels instead of a channel-level view across consumers.

Squeaky clean data sparkles for all

A data clean room performs as an enterprise-wide solution that democratizes anonymized data for brands and their partners. This enables the right people to look at and analyze the data quickly and more granularly than ever before, and as that data set increases over time, this opens the door to new insights and even higher performance.

There’s two ways this can work. Walled garden platforms, like Facebook, Google and Amazon, provide brands with great insights and data about how advertising performed on their platform. The catch? Brands can only use that insight within each respective platform, meaning optimization only happens in one space.

The other way is through agency data solutions, like the one offered by Epsilon. These operate across channels and offer more flexibility in how the data is shared. The downside: Data collected in walled gardens typically has more impression-level insights because they serve a majority of the marketshare. But if a marketer needs to see how they're reaching people across Facebook, Google and publisher media buys, impression-level information is a mild trade-off for the increased cross-channel insights they'll get.

Ideally, this type of data sharing creates symbiotic relationships between brands to better understand the consumer. And that fuels things like personalization, identity resolution and media planning, which is essential to not only reaching the right customers but also knowing who you've reached, how often and with what messages across channels.


Grab a bucket and a mop

If you’re a marketer looking to spruce up your data, there are plenty of things to consider. First, where are you activating your ad spend? If it’s primarily on one of the walled garden platforms—and you’re not looking to increase your spend elsewhere—it might make sense to stay amongst the flowers.

But, if you already are or want to activate on other channels—and if you’re trying to analyze the entire customer journey—a data clean room solution might be the best option for you.

This was the case for Anheuser-Busch InBev. In 2021, the international brewer partnered with Epsilon to shift their focus on marketing by consumer preferences using Epsilon PeopleCloud. Focusing on individual customers--across channels and activations--allowed the brand to move away from blanketed marketing campaigns to ones where customers sat at the forefront, unlocking growth opportunities on the global level.

At Epsilon, our privacy-safe clean rooms span first-, second- and third-party data. This allows us to give brands a 360-degree view of customers and prospects aligned with our person-based CORE ID. All of which is housed in a secure data bunker, so both consumers and brands can feel good about delivering relevant messages in the right way.

Don’t let the dust settle on your consumer data. Brands should be empowered to understand their customers and to use connections with other brands to drive better marketing.