Interoperability In Marketing

Interoperability refers to the ability of systems to share and make use of common data. A buzzword in tech and business analytics for some time, its latest eminence is in marketing, and 2021 is the year that its significance is going to be realised.

Digital marketing is experiencing a shake-up. Between customer databases, analytics tools & Advertising platforms, companies have more rich customer data than ever, facing marketers are the tightening of regulations and the honing of privacy features by big tech with a particular focus on reducing the use of cookies.

How are the ad platforms responding?

Most heavily affected are of course the big ad platforms whose focus this year will be to maintain the ability to collect user data and turn that into targetable audiences.

Facebook needs to find an alternative to cookie-based tracking fast. The company has reported that advertisers stand to lose up to 60% in advertising-led revenue just from Apple’s iOS14 update which promises to prioritise user privacy.

Meanwhile, Google is determined to outmaneuver any incoming regulations with their new Privacy Sandbox, utilising what they call ‘FLoC’ or Federated Learning of Cohorts. This new approach leverages signals from large pools of aggregated user data instead of identifying individuals on mass via cookies.

What does this mean for marketers?

Regardless of which methods the ad platforms use to keep functioning, it’s clear that cookie-based tracking and identification methods are being phased out and with them the methods & systems that marketers use to link funnel activity back to real customers. For example, the user, device, and session ID features of Google Analytics.

For advertisers, a return to context-based targeting, albeit more sophisticated, seems to be the general direction; whilst Web Analytics platforms will focus more on the activities of user groups across the website rather than the individual at each touchpoint for non-logged-in web users.

It is here that the need for interoperability across systems becomes crucial for best identifying individuals as marketers can no longer rely on cookies to authenticate and reauthenticate users as they hit different touchpoints.

This means that marketers have to design user experiences that collect data unique to a specific user, it could be personal data or an ID or a combination of both; what’s important is that it’s consistent, robust and most importantly interoperable between systems.

The reality in achieving this that marketers are going to have to employ a whole range of different technologies that deeply specialise in dealing with activity in this or that part of the funnel; fading, are the days where the whole journey for 10,000’s of users are sat, individually identifiable within Google Analytics.

We believe fully that this push is healthy for organisations as it encourages them to build user experiences and data solutions away from the systems offered by large ad platforms and instead use impartial technology to understand what drives customer acquisition. The challenge is the interoperability of these systems, making sure that these platforms can pass data automatically and keep up with the pace of inbound customers.

At Data Pipelines we know that interoperability for marketers can be very challenging. It’s possible to force marketing platforms to talk to each other via third-party connectors like Zapier or Supermetrics, or by paying developers to write custom API integrations. We provide a platform where you can read and write from all your different systems using no-code editing and scheduling tools to transform and automate your data, preserving and building upon your existing insights.

If you’re a marketer and this has struck a chord we’d love to have a chat.

Thanks for reading.

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