A Podcast About Truth, Science, and the Future of Marketing

 

Episode 5: How to Avoid Data Strategy Overload: What the Heck to do First?

 
 

“It is important to invest in technology, but it is just as important to invest in people.”- Jess Simpson

Marketers: you don’t want to miss No Hype, episode 5. Allyson and Devon talk with Jess Simpson, the SVP of Global, Identity, and Technology at Publicis Media. Simpson, an expert in all things data and identity, drops many gems, from the similarities between today’s tech trends and the early days of blockchain and cryptocurrency, why clean rooms are increasingly necessary, and how brands need to carry on, one step at a time, in the face of massive disruption and strategic overload.

Listen out for why Simpson believes the magic quadrant of data, tech, media, and creative is making a comeback and why the future of identity lies in an “exercise bike and a peas, potato, and meatloaf” approach.

Highlights:

  • What’s the hype around data? – Do we need it in troves and how does AI figure in?
  • Where should CPGs invest? – How will the changing landscape influence how first-party data is acquired?
  • Why every brand will need an identity solution – What type of clean room is right for your business?
  • FloCs? FCADE? SWAN? Or Swaarm? – Should clients be focused on the latest acronyms? What’s viable, essential, and pure hype?
 
 

Episode Transcript

Allyson Dietz: Welcome to No Hype, the podcast about truth, science and the future of Marketing, brought to you by hosts Allyson Dietz...

Devon DeBlasio: ...and Devon Deblasio.

DD: Welcome everyone, today's guest is Jess Simpson, SVP Global, Identity, and Technology at Publicis Media. Jess has spent her illustrious career working for the world's biggest brands to drive value from their investments in marketing, technology, analytics, and partnerships with multiple leadership roles in such organizations as Zenith, Annalect, Centro, and most recently NinthDecimal. Jess is an expert in all things data and identity. We are excited to have her on the show today to unpack some of her expertise.

AD: So Jess you have quite the background in the agency world and a not so short stint at NinthDecimal. It's pretty clear that you're data obsessed and so what we're really curious about is what led you down this path?

JS: Well, I am a journalism major from Iowa who barely passed statistics and was not a super devout student. When I graduated, I actually tried to figure out who made a lot of money and that ended up being people who had the word data and analytics in their title. I started to take a lot of online certification programs and started teaching myself and took on projects and found the smartest people in the room. And usually, those people were the engineers and the lawyers and the analytics folks. And those tended to be people that nobody else wanted to talk to or listen to. And so, I tethered myself to them and I took on the hardest projects and partnered with them and just kept failing until I figured stuff out.

JS: And even last week, I was asked to join a new association that is dealing with blockchain and how that's coming into the world of social media and marketing. And it has some of the underpinnings of crypto. And the gentleman who asked me to join the association, I said, "Well, as a trade-off, you have to give me educational sessions for two hours a month in training." It's just a value exchange. You find somebody who is smarter than you and you have them teach you something in exchange for something else.

JS: But seriously, I've had some really great bosses and mentors who have given me the space to learn, and I've been really grateful for that, but I've always tried to find those really smart people in the industry and, and be around them as much as possible to learn from.

AD: That's really smart, and I think all of us need a little help, especially these days with so much swirl happening in the industry. I'm curious about what your clients are learning from you. What is the most common question that you get from your clients today?

JS: Honestly is, "What the heck should I do first? There's so much going on and how do I take it all in, and what do I do first?" And I think businesses and media professionals in general, they are facing what I would call strategic overload. From digital transformation to the pandemic to global supply chain to changes in tech or consumer taste, the pressures are literally never ending. And I think it's about managing that complexity and then simplifying it.

JS: And so, oftentimes I tell them, I'm like, "It's about baby steps. What can you literally do today? There's a number of things that are very small, simple tweaks or tests that are in market today. What can you do in 90 days, and then what are you doing 12 months? Don't take on sandbox testing today because it's not even available, but figure out how to test some of the contextual solutions that are available in the DSP, or think about how you can clean up your first party data. Those are simple things that are foundational that you can do now."

DD: Right, all makes sense. Yeah, I think we fall in the same boat in terms of our clients and the issues that they're running into and the questions that they have. There's a lot of them, and there's only a certain amount of questions you can tackle at a time. But again, the point of this show is really also to focus on ... it's called No Hype. And so, we want to dig into a little bit to what is actually hyped in our industry, which is a lot. I think marketing advertising is a pretty hype-y industry, full of buzzwords.

DD: And so, we want to dig in a little bit with you to just pick your brain in terms of what you think is actually viable or accurate in terms of some of the tropes that we see daily. And so, many people talk about data's the new oil, it's a new currency, the lifeblood of our industry, all these other types of ways to describe the value of data. In your role and the clients you talk to and the challenges they face, do you believe that's actually true? Is data really the main thing that's powering this entire ecosystem?

JS: Well, sure. I mean you need data to do the things, just like you need air to breathe and calories to live, but you don't need 5,000 calories a day. You don't need troves and troves of data to do all of the things. And so, again, I think it comes back to being pragmatic and use cases. I would actually argue that you probably need a good privacy lawyer and a good data science team, more than you need troves and troves of data. Do you need a good data foundation? Absolutely.

JS: But I would say that AI is probably going to be a more disruptive force than just trying to get your hands on as much data coming from data exhaust as possible. When you think about what's going to be the replacement or the disruptor, for the lack of volumes of data, it's going to be AI, and it's going to be what powers the industry, it's going to be what powers your campaigns, and it's going to be what helps drive a lot of measurement and attribution and different, very interesting applications in the absence of volumes of data.

JS: When I think about data, I think more about: make sure it's clean, make sure it's normalized, and make sure it's representative versus making sure you just have lots and lots of it. So I see data and identity being akin to where crypto and blockchain were in 2017. And I think that there's so much conjecture around it that there's no real standards and governance yet, that I think there's just going to be so much change in terms of what you can use and how you can use it and where it can live, that obsessing over it is a bit of a fool's errand right now.

DD: I totally agree. And I think, yeah, talking about this being the lifeblood or the oil or whatever that means, I think that's inherently going to be always true and it's just a matter of doing business.

DD: And so, when you talk to your clients today, how are they reacting themselves to ID deprecation? Are they waiting? Are they trying to see what's going to happen down the road? Are a lot of them go into investing now? You talked about there's ways for them to start now and some things they can pause on. From your understanding of your client base, what is the progress been in taking action against some of the challenges, like ID deprecation and things like that?

JS: Yeah. I think there's some skepticism around the adoption of universal IDs. I think that it's an imperative for the short-term. And when I say short-term, I'm going to say the next three to five years. I think there is a concept of decentralized identity, and there's been more research published around consumers getting paid for their data via digital wallets and things like that, which again, is where I do believe that crypto and blockchain come into play. And so, you're starting to see that with some of the new browsers come up, around Brave and Edge and some of those things.

JS: But I do think that for the time being, to probably get the most bang out of your buck and reach your most addressable audiences, the universal ID and the authenticated- based identity is a good and viable solution. I do, however, think that there is some considerations that people are not thinking over, and I'll go back to the comment about obsessing over the opt-in rate. It is a bit of a fool's errand because the opt-in has to occur on both ends of the spectrum.

JS: If the advertiser and the publisher don't have the opt- in for that individual, it doesn't really work across the ecosystem. And so, it's the same principle with IDFA. It's not a scalable solution, it is a solution that is part of a new identity framework that is an important piece of a larger portfolio, but it is not the singular solution.

AD: I think you're absolutely right. We talk a lot about not having a silver bullet at Neustar, that it's going to require a combination of multiple solutions. And I think that's what you're touching on there too, is that it's going to require you to pull together assets that can tell you that full breadth of what a customer is doing or how to best reach that customer. I'm curious, what advice would you give to a brand marketer who's considering just blowing up their tech stack and starting again, because what you're describing is there's lots of new things out there that you could potentially lean on.? What can be thrown away and what is critical to maintain?

JS: I would say you need to take everything that you're hearing right now with a grain of salt. I think there's a lot of nascent technology in the marketplace, and there is a difference between leading with data stewardship and thinking you can solve all of your problems by investing in technology. Technology is the mechanism by which you are enabling a privacy preserving business model, but it is not the only answer. And so, I do think you need to be extraordinarily pragmatic, and blowing things up is probably not the advice I would give somebody.

JS: I do think you need to look at it use case by use case. In the way that we frame it is you've got your business impact and you've got your operational impact and you' ve got varying levels of severity for both of those. And so, when you look at the spectrum, how does that all sit relative to your use cases? For a global brand, the necessity for certain tech is different for a brand that just operates domestically. And when you think about brands that are very heavy in APAC or Latin America, that's very from a brand who's very focused in EMEA or the US.

JS: And so, I think that you likely have technology that you can get more mileage out of, and you should be pushing the vendors you work with today to see what that mileage is based off of the use cases you need, which are always centered in consumer protections that align to insights and activation, measurement, and then of course, data unification. And so, is everyone needing a CDP? Probably not. Some people are going to need a variation of a CDP lite. Some probably will need a full on CDP.

JS: Everyone is going to need some flavor of a consent management faction, everyone will need some flavor of an identity solution. Not everyone is going to need a full-on MTA solution, but everyone is probably going to need some variable of a platform-specific clean room if they're running a lot of programmatic or social media. But not everyone needs a multi-party enterprise clean room. And so, it just really depends on the type of company you are and if you operate regionally or globally, and you really need to do your due diligence before you just go in and say, "I'm going to buy a multimillion platform and that's going to fix my problems."

AD: That's really interesting. As I mentioned earlier, I come from the land of CPG where first-party data is so limited, and I'm just really naturally curious about what you think of its role, what the role of first-party data will be in the future of marketing. How important is first-party data going to be to keep the ship afloat once the other IDs are gone?

JS: It's super important, but it's not the only thing that you can fall back on. Just because you have it, doesn't mean that it's good. And so, I think that your first party data is only as good as the love that you give it. Do you have a public and private cloud environment? Do you have the right structure to bring data in and out? Do you have the right governance in place? Are you normalizing your consent structure? Have you unified and applied heuristics to that so you have a unified and updated profile?

JS: It's the same kind of principle with cross-device graphs. When a profile had multiple cookies and multiple device IDs, what was the most recent one. It's the same principle with PII. What's the most recent mailing address or email address? There's media efficiencies tied to that. Hygiene in representation of data and the homogenization of consent across platforms is very, very important. I think for a CPG, I'm starting to see solutions come into the market where you can license first-party data from folks like Epsilon or Nielsen and lean into that first party-

JS: ... or Nielsen and lean into that second-party data as a proxy for your own first-party data, while you work on building your own, which is kind of an interesting concept. So there's a lot of regulatory infrastructure that's put into place. And of course it's a very strategic investment that someone has to make. But that is an option for CPGs who may not have a lot of first-party data. Although, I have seen a lot of CPGs invest more in creative to garner first-party data.

JS: I've also seen a lot of CPGs lean into loyalty programs to try to get more first-party data. And then I've seen a lot of them lean into companies like a BIGToken, where they think through this concept of zero party data or affirmative consent and digital wallets, kind of this decentralized identity concept where a BIGToken or a Datawallet or a Key Lee will go and they'll actually secure first party data on your behalf through surveys or other mechanisms, and then license it back to you. But it all has this layer of affirmative consent.

JS: So I think that there's more solutions that are actually cropping up for CPGs, which is great, to help them build that foundation. And again, I think if you have 9 million, 10 million records that are clean and well-hydrated and well-organized, that might be enough for a CPG in a clean room environment that has a good cloud structure. They might not need a full CDP stack. So it just kind of depends, but I do think that there is hope on the horizon for CDPs who don't have as much data as a retailer or an auto.

DD: Do you think that the whole zero party stuff, is that viable? Meaning, it's kind of not really realistic.

JS: I mean, it's hard. It takes a lot of due diligence and it takes a lot of time and a lot of money. So I think that it is well served as a validation tool. Surveys have always been around. I don't think they're going anywhere.

DD: Good point. Yeah.

JS: I just don't know if they're scalable.

DD: I think the zero party markets come in and they haven't really said, "This is a survey." I think people are misleading or misunderstanding, but this is a one-to-one give-to-get type of scenario in terms of, "I'm a customer. Here's this, my data. This is how much it's worth. Give me something back." It kind of happens that way, but I think people are thinking it's something else than what we already know is a panel-based data. Right?

JS: Yeah. I mean, I will say that I am fairly convinced that the concepts of the financial technology sector are bleeding into the marketing technology sector very quickly.

DD: Well, if you're on the Bitcoin, Doge coin board right, I mean whatever you're doing, blockchain, I think that that makes a lot of sense, right?

JS: Well, it does. And I think that, I mean, it is not a very popular opinion. And again, like I said, I am not discrediting the fact that universal IDs and digital identity is absolutely critical for the time being. It is. And the technology industry is amorphous. Like we just, we completely, we evolve. We always evolve, but there is something called decentralized identity and it is coming. It's coming to our industry. Look at the concept of NFTs and look at the way that people are being rewarded for their attention span.

JS: I mean, look at Apple and Google. This is not something that was a knee-jerk reaction. These privacy regulations have been budding in their four walls for years. They knew this was coming down and they've prepared for it. And Apple moving to a subscription based model? I mean, they take 30% off of like every app that's downloaded. You know, I mean, it is-

DD: That's why everyone's so pissed off.

JS: Yeah. It's not something where it's reactionary. These guys are masterful chess players. They understand the ecosystem far better than most of us do. And they're prepared for that. I was listening to Scott Galloway. He's not everybody's cup of tea, but he does have some really great insights. And he was actually proposing that Apple is going to end up buying Peloton and monetizing ads on Peloton, because Peloton sits on like the top 30% of the wealthiest Americans, and build off of a subscription model that way.

JS: So you're starting to see the evolution of identity, not just centered on first-party data that lives on a phone or a TV or a computer, but it's now going to start living on the mirror that you work out in front of, or the bike that you spend the only 40 minutes a day that you get by yourself. So how does that work when the ad technology can't actually keep up with that? Well, it goes to the unfavorable concept of zero party data and digital wallets and decentralized identity, because how else are you going to get to a consumer unless they decide to talk to you? In exchange for something.

DD: It'll find a way, like life funds a way or whatever the quote is from Jurassic Park. Right?

AD: I was thinking more along the lines of Minority Report when you were describing that situation. I love that you went for Jurassic Park, but okay.

DD: Yeah, life finds a way to evolve forward, meaning that people are going to find a way to make money off of consumers, right? That's kind of what the industry we're in. So we talked about CPG and they have access to data. We talked about Google. They kind of own a lot.

DD: And then the brands, right? The brands that we all are clients of ours today, a lot of them do have a lot of data. And a lot of them are going to be sitting on that data. They're protecting that data. We've got the Walmart and the Target and the Amazons and all the other brands who are also publishers and also media conglomerates. So I want to talk a little bit about the data sharing within their worlds, right? Whether it's decentralized, where they're using clean rooms, do you think their appetite is going to lead to a world where a CPG brand will tap a retailer to share data with each other or a consumer services products organization will tap an entertainment group for data as well? Do you think this interoperable, future state world of advertisers sharing data with advertisers and publishers sharing data with advertisers will be the future?

JS: Yeah. I actually think one of the most interesting spaces right now is the concept of second- party data marketplaces, which I mean, to be clear has been around since I was at my last stint at Zenith and Publicist like 10 or 12 years ago, which kind of dates me a little bit. I'm getting very old, but I mean, we were trying to get publisher data into the client that I was working for, the DNP at that point. So it's the concept of second-party data marketplaces has been around forever, but I think the value that it brings to the table in this context is from a retail media standpoint ... You led the question with CPGs, retail media networks, so think about Walmart, Macy's, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens. I mean, the data that these guys are sitting on is invaluable, not just to CPGs, but to everybody else.

JS: So you're seeing a crop of agencies actually spring up to service these specific types of media players and clients that want to lean into this that are kind of coming up as a tier two of the Amazon e-coms. And I was actually just listening to Allison Schiff on her podcast and they were talking about this, and there's a whole sub category of agencies being built against this.

JS: Luckily, we have our own practice so we have a woman named Amy ALansie? [inaudible 00:39:19] who actually runs this. And we meet with these retailers on a day in and day out basis to talk about how we're going to strategize for our clients. Then my team, who actually works with data and tech providers, we've been building out a category for this since last year. So we're a little bit ahead of the game. I can't speak to other whole CO's, but we've seen the writing on the wall as, again, these guys coming up as the next crop of walled gardens. So yeah, I mean, the value here is extraordinary.

JS: I can't really speak to their media offerings, but I can say that the data that they sit on is just unparalleled in terms of the value that it can bring. And one of the things that we've been pushing on is, can we bring our math to your data? So you don't need to move the data around. We've got AI and we have a tool called Decision Sciences and it's a framework, and it's just math and it can come in, it can sit on top of the data and it can build feature sets and show propensities across not the attributes tied to the individual, but actually tied to the inventory or the impression or the keyword. It's really cool. And then you surface that, and that can help build out derivatives to inform creative targeting and audience briefs and all sorts of good stuff.

JS: And so you're not moving around 80 cohorts or audience aggregates or IDs. You're literally just lifting feature sets and propensities of what's actually making people tick, and then you can layer that on to first party data sets in a very privacy compliant way to help inform the creative and media strategies. And that's kind of how we're trying to lean into working with those folks, in addition to tapping into second party data marketplaces via clean room environments, whether it's hosted by them or somebody like yourself or an Epsilon or a LiveRamp.

JS: And then I think when you think about just the way that you guys and LiveRamp and Epsilon and the DSPs, everyone's working towards multi-party faceted clean rooms. Everybody knows we need to build towards having multiple sets of sensitive data living in an environment where the data is this immovable or non moveable concept with edge processing so that the attributes can be matched, but the data never actually moves. And I think that that's just where the world is going. I think that this privacy safe, intersect model where everybody can bring different data sets to the table without actually ever having the data touch. So think about a three-year-old who doesn't want their peas and potatoes and meatloaf to touch.

DD: Of course, that's a really good analogy. I like that. Yeah.

JS: That's exactly. I mean, that's what you guys are building. That's what LiveRamp wants to build. That's what Epsilon's building. That's what everyone wants to build. So I think that's the way of the future, I think that’s the way measurement, targeting, all that's going to work when the "decentralized identity" whatever era comes. So yeah.

AD: We talk about it as privacy-based measurement. So being able to lean on clean rooms, and to your point, have the math move, but not the data necessarily. So I think that that's a really interesting point to think about what does that look like in the future and how do we lean on ... we talk a lot about differential privacy, for example, at Neustar and our data scientists have been really investigating how we can lean on those principles and take learnings from places like healthcare, where data is not able to move, and how do we still utilize that data in a way that's meaningful so that we can get customers, or in the instance of healthcare, how do we get patients the information and the things they need without disrupting their privacy? So I think we've been talking a lot about data, and you mentioned earlier, how do I identify what thing to do first? So I'm kind of curious if you think compliance has fallen off the radar because everybody's been so focused on ID deprecation, and how to manage ID deprecation, loss of cookies, IDFA. How are you working with privacy leaders across different brands?

JS: Yeah. So from an agency standpoint, we are really careful about our stance on privacy education versus legal advice. So our general stance is that privacy is the embodiment of the new normal. You don't really have a choice in the matter anymore. You got to lead with a consumer first privacy led business model. And that if you lead with data stewardship you're going to come with the best outcomes. The way that we focus on consent though is, in terms of the strategy, we defer to that legal team. So we provide best practices. We provide guidance in terms of the updates of what the ledger of the law says, but we don't really provide interpretation of that law. So it's more about here is the law, and here is the technology and the infrastructure and the workflows that have ...

JS: ... and the infrastructure and the workflows that have surfaced to support that law. And then we hand that back over to the client so that they can go and work with their privacy and their legal team, just because there's obviously some things that we need to be cognizant of. But I think that in terms of this idea of affirmative consent versus informed consent and transparency and choice and control, I mean, we believe all of that is front and center. I would actually argue though that we're doing a lot of this in vain. Because in order for any of this to work, you can build policy frameworks around an addressable ID. You can build policy frameworks around different technology solutions.

JS: But if the browser and the OSS systems don't actually adopt it, it's not going to work, right? And if the consumers don't understand it, it doesn't matter. And I think that, that's been a fundamental issue the entire time. Is that these complex data flows that involve so many different parties, the consumer never really understands what they're consenting to because the policies are so long and complicated, they don't either have the time or the desire to read them or the legal training to understand them. And so I think that it's our job as an industry to, again, simplify it and take it back to basics. Because I think at the end of the day, it does come down to branding. I am a brand and brands are usually synonymous with trust and vulnerability.

JS: And if you trust me and you're willing to be vulnerable with me, and I'm giving you something that you want, you will give me something that I need which is a piece of your data. And I think it really is as simple as that. And I think if you can kind of bring it down to that myopic point of view and then support that with a legal and technical framework that makes sure that they have consent and choice, and that you are unifying and harmonizing all of their different consent experiences across the ecosystem just like you would journey orchestration, I think you're good. But that's my non-legal advice and non-legal opinion.

DD: With a disclaimer, yes.

JS: With a major disclaimer for my GDPR and legal.

AD: Totally get that. So there's a couple of things that we were going to try and unpack which are a little bit more, let's say, hype. Hyped concepts that have been floating around in the industry in the last year or so. So one of them in particular is FloCs. What do you think about FloCs? Do you think that it's going to work? Do you think that it's ready to roll out? What is your perspective on that?

JS: Man, that's a loaded question.

DD: No easy questions here.

JS: So I mean, Google... What I will say is that Google has really actually been a good partner to us trying to unpack this. They've been very available to answer our questions, but I do think that Google has run into a lot of challenges. I would also imagine that they knew this was going to happen because, again, it's Google. So as we all know, FloC has been sort of, from what I understand, indefinitely paused in EMEA because of GDPR concerns and has been pushed out to testing in the US until June. And so I guess that aside, fundamentally what's really important for us is for us to be able to design our testing framework for our clients that really focuses on the measurement constructs. And so we're partnering across our global organization and really working with a lot of our data science leads across Publicis, Global, as well as Epsilon so that we can test the efficacy. Because one of the things that I struggle with is that if broad-based contextual targeting works as well as they say it does, then what have we been doing for the last decade?

AD: How'd did you know I was going to ask you about contextual next? How did you know?

JS: And so I do think contextual works and I've seen studies come out that say that broad-based contextual works, but does it work for everybody? I don't know. And in the absence of opt-in, when everything defaults to an SKAdNetwork or a PCM last touch, last click, whatever you want to call it, can you really measure it? It gets pretty complicated. So I think ultimately we're going to be forced into whatever model the industry forces us into. And I go back to the Tim Cook quote, "Advertising worked in 1995, it's going to work today." And he's right but we just didn't know what part of advertising worked in 1995 so we didn't know how to optimize. And I think that might be the case for a while. So I just try to tell my clients and my marketing friends, everything's not going to break, it's not going to implode, but you are going to have to work harder to claim that conversion. And your life might be a little bit more stressful for the next couple of years.

DD: And so there's a couple of others we want to cover off real quick from a rapid fire perspective. Just kind of your initial two second opinion on these things. So the first is CADE, right? So those who are playing along and don't know what that is, it's the Chinese advertising ID. It was backed by P&G and a bunch of other Chinese organizations and also government affiliated organizations, state backed consortium, and so to speak of over 2000 members. And they're essentially trying to strong arm AT&T to provide transparency and allow them to use identifiers in China. What is your opinion on CADE?

JS: So I actually talked to someone on the ground there and they didn't think this was going to fly. So they're optimistic, but they didn't think it was going to fly. It's a paid service. They thought that it might be dead in the water.

DD: The next one is SWAN right? So SWAN is the Secure Web Addressability Network, more commonly known as SWAN Community. They're trying to create that global consent framework for consumers. What do you think of SWAN?

JS: I actually think this is a great solution for smaller publishers who don't really care as much about link redirects. I think the fundamental issue in this solution is the link redirect, which is troublesome, especially for larger publishers. I also know it's already been blocked in some publishers and in some browsers. I actually know the guys who developed this very well and have great respect for them. But I think the adoption for big browsers and big publishers is going to be hard in this. Conceptually, it's great. I think the link redirect is the only big issue here.

DD: But isn't it also a B-to-C product? What I thought I understood is you have to install something on your computer, don't you?

JS: It is a single sign-on. I had gotten a demo on it and it is kind of interesting. It lives in the background. You can refresh it like a cookie. So I actually know Josh and James pretty well, who are running this. And I've talked to a bunch of folks that sit on the IB and pre-bid, I do actually think it's... For smaller publishers, I think this could work really, really well for them. I think it's a good solution for publishers who are small. I just don't think larger publishers and browsers are going to take to it. And that's about the extent that I can really say on it. In terms of the install, I do think you're right. I do think it's some sort of browser extension that you have to log into. But I do know that it can be completely reset like a cookie. So you can go in and you can reset it, you can disable it at any time. And again, I think generally speaking, it's 90% solid outside of the link directs from what I can ascertain, but that's my non-technical opinion.

DD: So CADE, not so viable. SWAN, probably totally viable depending on who wants to do it. What about-

JS: Minus the privacy and the security issues with the link redirect. That's a problem.

DD: Exactly. Exactly. The last one is Swaarm. That's Swaarm with two A's, which I don't think it's an acronym. Thank God, right? And so this is the privacy- enabled attribution. Sounds a lot like publishers and advertisers, networks sharing data via fingerprinting to my personal opinion, but they swear it's not. You have an opinion on Swaarm?

JS: I don't think it's going to work.

DD: Okay. Fair enough on that one. And so again, there's a lot of these, we talked about through the whole discussion today kind of sprinkling in these different types of solutions. And just any advice you have for your clients, or what advice have you given to clients in terms of what they should be focused on and what they shouldn't be focused on in terms of these weird acronyms?

JS: I mean, again, just kind of take it all in. You don't have to react to every single thing you see in the news, media or in the trades. Go and talk to your agencies. That's what you're paying them for. And if they're not giving you a good answer, then go find somebody that you trust and ask them. So right now is the time where people are capitalizing on vulnerabilities. So make sure you're making pragmatic decisions. It is important to invest in technology. It is important to invest in data, but it is just as important to invest in people. So just be pragmatic and make sure privacy first, people first. And with that, the data and the tech is going to follow. So just kind of take a breather. No knee-jerk reactions. The world's not going to end. We have figured it out before, we will figure it out again. This industry is full of very, very smart people. We've got your back.

AD: So, Jess, we have one final question for you. And this is more of a prediction, a future. We've been talking a lot about at Neustar post pandemic, what does the post pandemic world look like? What do you predict will be top of mind for marketers 24 months from now?

JS: Where can I go on vacation?

AD: I don't think that's 24 months out, just so you know.

JS: I am fully vaccinated. Where can I go without my children? Maybe even leave my husband at home. I do think it is around the concept of decentralized identity and sovereign identity. I just, literally, while we've been on the phone, have gotten five requests for how blockchain is being introduced to social media. Like I said, I see the disciplines of fintech really bleeding into martech. I also see that privacy is becoming a premium product feature. So I think this concept of the introduction of new browsers that are very, very focused on cookie lists, monetizing on attentions through an FTE. So the Brave browsers, how Edge is kind of coming up, I think that'll be something new and how that impacts search, frankly. Because right now search has been relatively uneffective or unaffected.

JS: And then I do think it's about how to manage this strategic overload, right? So how do you think about shifts in profit pools from... It used to be, how do you create value maps based off of what can I get my consumers to pay for? And I think now you're starting to build value maps based off of how can I get my consumer's attention? And so I think it's an exercise of everyone's so focused on data and technology, I think people are going to start to take a step back and really start focusing again on that magic quadrant of data, tech, media, creative, because it is very much going to become about that experience again. That experience becomes so important and really the consumer 360 in tying it all together. I think people who play in that area are going to become highly, highly in demand.

DD: Jess Simpson, thank you so much for being here today.

JS: Of course. Thanks for having me.

View Full Transcript