Big data versus bad data: Here’s why we’re not in the midst of a subprime data crisis
According to LinkedIn’s Peter Weinberg, marketers are facing a data crisis that’s got a whole lot in common with America’s subprime mortgage crisis. You know, the one from that movie with Ryan Gossling, The Big Short. But Weinberg is missing one crucial detail in his argument.
- Global Lead at LinkedIn’s B2B Institute Peter Weinberg says marketers are wasting their hard-earned cash on data-driven marketing – particularly programmatic advertising.
- The reason for this is bad data. According to Weinberg, not all data is good data. A lot of it is bad data. Especially some third-party data. Mainly, it’s inaccurate and wrong about 50% of the time. Tell us something we didn’t already know.
- So marketers using third-party data to target programmatic ads would be better off flipping a coin.
- But Weinberg says that’s not the worst part because marketers aren’t even hitting the target 50% of the time. Instead, they’re just reaching bots.
- Weinberg’s conclusion: personalisation at scale is a furphy since it’s impossible to take third-party data and personalise anything accurately.
- In this sense, he reckons it’s like the subprime mortgage crisis because fake data is being bundled with bad data and sold on to marketers.
- But all this misses the point that most sophisticated marketers have long turned their back on third-party data in favour of first-party data.
Do marketers have a toxic relationship with data?
Some might. But I’d suggest they’re in the minority.
Peter Weinberg delivers a good argument proposing our relationship to data is akin to the American subprime mortgage crisis. The crux: data is bad and the traffic is probably fraudulent so let’s make some eye-watering claims about $7 billion in wasted ad spend every single year.
It’s right out of the Ritson playbook.
However, Weinberg misses a key point. Most sophisticated marketers have long been doubling down on first-party data in lieu of third-party data.
Any marketer worth their salt knew from the early days there were problems with some third-party data vendors and they’ve been heeding the advice to get their first-party data house in order.
If you have your own decent stash of data, this entire argument is a moot point. It means you can 100% focus on personalisation which is table stakes in most industries.
Alternatively, if you’re a B2B marketer just spend all your money on LinkedIn. That’s what Weinberg was really arguing, in case you missed it.
Brands might be worried about life after cookies, but seismic shift now underway presents an opportunity to refocus on the bigger picture rather than micro conversion targets. Those that harness the best technologies to put their first party data to work – and can layer in contextual, environmental and macro-economic factors to capture the ‘moment’ of marketing – are the brands that will own the future.
Marketers are far more likely to get support for big brand investment if they can prove their strategy delivers both short and the long-term results, says Suncorp CMO Mim Haysom. That requires a clear strategy, collaborative partners and robust effectiveness metrics. Haysom says Suncorp’s sponsorship of The Block ticks all those boxes – convincing key stakeholders that bold ideas unlock big growth. Here she unpacks the key building blocks.