How to use clean rooms to create a VIP data experience

Using data clean rooms can allow you to create real, useable data to drive campaigns in a post-cookie world.

Any advertiser can get the VIP treatment; it’s all about making the best use of publishers' investment in first-party data strategies, explains Vlad Stesin, Chief Strategy Officer at Optable

Sometimes it feels like we’re caught in a loop: it’s 2022 and we’re still talking about the imminent demise of cookies and other personal identifiers. And here’s something else that never changes: any campaign is better off when it starts with real data. 

Forward-looking publishers understand this, which is why data clean rooms are rapidly gaining currency. Because smart people understand, too, that the data clean room approach is not just about dispensing with cookies and mobile identifiers – it’s about creating media opportunities that are rooted in quality first-party data.

So as publishers invest in first-party data strategies and attempt to ensure their end-users have the proper privacy-oriented experience, the ways that we make audience data available to brands also need to change.

The data clean room approach ushers in a whole slate of new ways to do just that, allowing publishers to amplify the value of first-party data and making it actionable for brands. It allows advertisers to feel the wealth again, after years of fearing that their data-driven marketing practices were destined for ruin.

But what does this new data wealth feel like in practice? Here are our four steps to creating a VIP advertiser experience: 

1) Connect

Connect first-party data to the clean room, whether it is housed in a CDP [customer data platform] or in another data warehouse. Some data clean rooms, such as Optable, also allow publishers to use their tags/SDKs to collect data at the edge, without intermediaries.

2) Invite

Invite brands to collaborate around audience data. The collaboration starts with insights based on their customer data. Optable’s Flash Nodes feature allows publishers to invite any number of brands to specific data clean rooms, without those brands having to be customers of Optable. 

3) Activate

Using audience insights, activate campaigns directly or use lookalike modelling to expand audience size. A modern data clean room offers a range of activation capabilities – whether it’s through an integration with the publisher’s ad server, using the emerging standard of seller-defined audiences, or simply labelling user records in the CDP, where the CDP’s own activation capabilities may be used. 

4) Measure

For advertisers that have identity-driven customer records, a data clean room can also be created to measure conversions. The optimisation loop can happen continuously, using ad exposure data and conversion data as source audiences.

A VIP advertiser experience, served via a data clean room, starts with leveraging real customer data to discover the right audience to activate and measure against. A modern data clean room solution provides end-to-end capability, which means it is integrated with the sell-side stack in order to enable the direct activation of audiences.

In a world without cookies and identifiers, such a solution represents a luxurious portal into data rich enough to allow brands to securely plan, measure and activate campaigns – the kind of insights many marketers feared they would never see again once the fate of third-party cookies was sealed.

And the best part is, any advertiser can potentially be a VIP.