What is Data Activation?

Data Activation defined

What is data activation? Data activation is the concept of unlocking value in data through development of insights and turning those insights into action. Put another way, data activation is one of the ways that marketers use valuable data and customer insights to power the customer experience across all marketing channels.

Data activation aims to build a 360-degree view of the customer to inform and enhance customer experiences across all marketing and advertising activities. Accurately and seamlessly collecting, storing, and analyzing digital interactions requires robust and scalable marketing data solutions. Data activation requires data collection in real time across all digital channels on various devices. Real-time analysis of the data accelerates the ability to create great customer experiences.

Customer data informs marketing decisions

Data in. Unlock value. Data out.

Data-driven marketing is not a new concept. In fact, using data has quickly become a core strategy and will drive marketing efforts for many years to come. Enter the data management platform (DMP), a software platform used for collecting and managing data. By using DMPs, marketers are using data to inform their marketing activities. A DMP is quickly shifting from a "nice to have" solution to a "must have" solution.

Here are the three stages of data activation:

1. Data ingest—Capture all interactions

Get data from any location and bring it into a centralized platform within a single structure so that it can be used in aggregate. Data comes from any number of sources. A marketer can aggregate data from different locations, such as websites, mobile-only sites and apps, offline databases or CRM systems, media impressions, transactional data, and more.

2. Unlock the value of customer data—Marketing insights

Once that data is in a single location, you unlock the value by running analytics on the data and use it to drive advertising and optimization for outbound marketing. Examples include audience profile analysis, look-alike modeling, and act-alike modeling as well as other opportunities.

3. Marketing data integration—Hyperpersonalization

This is one of the most difficult elements of data activation and requires the most work. But with deep integrations throughout the ad and marketing ecosystem, you can share data segments that have been developed with marketing partners, drive efficient customer outreach, eliminate waste, and get higher performance on the back-end. Hyperpersonalization and creating great customer experiences plays a central role in driving engagement and revenue across cross-channel marketing campaigns.

Data activation is unique

Data activation is a combination of all these stages, and a DMP platform makes all of it possible. Every company that works with a DMP creates their own 100% exclusive solution due to the unique nature of the data that comes in, the combination of products being used to unlock the value, and the unique partners where the data is shared.

Data activation scale = data unchained

Data unchained is the separation of the data layer from the execution layer inside your martech stack. This philosophy is based on scale and efficiency. If you operate with an execution partner, such as a demand-side platform (DSP) or a site-side optimization (SSO), and give them sole access to your data for targeting and modeling purposes, you risk being efficient with that single partner alone. In that case, you restrict learning and insights from every other partner.

Any given marketer works with an average of 18 different execution partners across various forms of media. You need a single execution platform that’s integrated with every major DSP, portal, social network, mobile ad server, video ad server, or publisher in the world. This gives you the freedom to unchain your data and activate it across any media partners you desire. You also will be able to manage media budgets based on performance, rather than any conflict of interest created by using a partner that provides a data platform in combination with a single media execution platform.