Unifying adtech and martech: Clean rooms and CDP bridge the activation gap

Ultimately, brands are focused on one thing: performance.

Getting a customer to buy a product, sign up for a newsletter or join a loyalty program is critical for a brand’s bottom line, but doing so isn’t always easy. To deploy high performing advertising, brands need to find the best in-market customers, create a relationship with them and keep them engaged as their preferences change.

How does a brand make that happen? By combining the power of martech and adtech.

Martech solutions, like clean rooms and customer data platforms (CDPs), can unlock deeper insights about current and prospective customers, and allow brands to optimize their media activation strategy based on that knowledge. Being able to move that information seamlessly over to the advertising technology is where the rubber really meets the road—that’s where the activation of the data pays off in reaching the right people for your campaign. 

When adtech and martech can work together, they create a closed-loop system from audience selection to media activation and campaign measurement. And then, that same tech stack combination can take insights from that campaign (and the many before and after it) to apply to future campaigns, starting the cycle all over again. This creates a seamless, personalized customer experience across channels and devices.

Here, we’ll look at the fundamentals for creating a strong martech-to-adtech onramp to help bridge the activation gap across campaigns.


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Laying a solid foundation

In the face of data deprecation, the customer journey is becoming even more fragmented. The best way for brands to control their own marketing destiny is to define (and refine) their data strategy.

Some brands have a plethora of first-party data at their fingertips, others don’t. Martech solutions aim to bridge those data gaps. CDPs can organize a brand’s existing first-party data while clean rooms use a combination of first-, second- and third-party data to help derive audience insights and find prospective customers

However, it’s not enough to simply have data. The most effective CDPs and clean rooms—like the solutions at Epsilon—will enhance and enrich a brand’s data to enable sophisticated marketing insights. Using identity resolution, Epsilon can do this at an individual level.

Customer insights—both of current and prospective customers—drive better media activation. That foundation doesn’t just deliver better ads, it enables:  

  • Deeper knowledge: Understand not only know who to target, but with what messages, on which devices and channels, and at the best time.
  • Better customer experience: Connect owned and paid marketing, including insights into the highest performing channels for customers individually and in aggregate.
  • New revenue streams: Create a privacy-compliant environment to collaborate with partners for monetization.
  • Reduced ad waste: Optimize ad spend, get higher returns and reduce duplicate records.

A connected brand experience

High-performance marketing requires an omnichannel experience for all customers, not just the ones a brand knows. When working together, a clean room and CDP enable acquisition, retention and loyalty.

New customers can become loyal customers if a brand nurtures that relationship. The right martech lays the foundation to be able to reach those customers across all channels and devices, and the adtech side allows the brand to push campaigns out to those people wherever they are in their journey—with brands and in life.

Picture this: Jane Smith signs up for a brand’s newsletter. The brand is using Epsilon as their advertising and marketing technology partner, with a Customer as their CDP and Epsilon Digital for their digital media activation.  

Using identity resolution within Customer, we align Jane to CORE ID, include her in a modeled audience alongside other in-market customers within Customer, then that audience is activated through Epsilon Digital where she gets an ad.  This sets off a series of events that takes Jane from just a newsletter subscriber to a  purchaser, and eventually a repeat customer.

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Using martech solutions in conjunction with adtech let this brand see Jane the moment she signed up for their newsletter and develop a relationship with her that ultimately led to conversion.

Make measurement do more

Another benefit using martech with adtech: Better measurement. These solutions are designed to dig deeper into a brand’s customers and create better touchpoints across each person’s journey.

People may need different product offerings based on where they’re at in life, and as brands evolve, they too might dip their toes into new markets that have new faces to find.

When brands have closed-loop insights across all their marketing investments, they can make smarter decisions about how to evolve and enhance their media activation strategy. Because Epsilon has identity resolution at the center, we enable person-based analytics across owned and paid channels.

Finding the right solution

For brands hoping to bridge the martech and adtech gap, the options can seem overwhelming. With the right vendor, having a seamless, integrated experience that drives better marketing campaigns and customer insights is possible.

The first step for marketers is understanding where and when a breakdown in the customer experience occurs. Is there a certain channel creating a disconnect? Is there underutilized data? Then, they can look at the tools they’re currently using and their capabilities, and  determining whether there is an opportunity to align those solutions.

Questions to ask your vendor:

  • Can my martech/adtech solutions enhance my existing first-party data to build more robust insights?
  • Is there a solution I can use if I want/need to have data collaboration with trusted partners?
  • Do my martech solutions plug directly into my media activation solution? Is there an option to provide both as part of the same tech stack?
  • For media activation tools, what channels can I currently reach for ad campaigns? Can I deploy on both owned and paid channels, and can I attribute conversions on both?
  • How comprehensive is the attribution and measurement, and can I see it in real-time.

Finding solutions that are designed specifically to work together can be a gamechanger. Higher performing ad campaigns require not only a strong adtech solution for deployment, but martech solutions that can set a brand in the right direction on day one.

Read more about our Customer and Clean Room solutions, and discover why a partnership with Epsilon might be right for you.