Yes, Virginia—You Can Sell First-Party Data

Forgive publishers for being cagey when first-party data comes up in conversation. For years and years they were told by everyone in the industry—brands, agencies, and tech providers—that publisher first-party data was the gold of the Internet, the oil that everyone wanted to tap into, the most valuable stuff online. But then advertisers bought third-party data in bulk and went cherry-picking in the open programmatic marketplace, balking that the most valuable stuff online, pub first-party data, was too expensive and didn’t scale.

Now that the third-party cookie is on its farewell tour, publishers are warily giving their first-party data another look, but a big question remains: how do publishers actually sell first-party data marketplaces and garner advertiser interest?

During an AdMonsters Webinar on Nov. 12, 2020, Insider Inc.’s VP of Programmatic Sales Chris Ryan showed how to do that, sharing Insider’s experience bringing its SAGA first-party data product to market and winning over skeptical advertisers. The full webinar, shared here by Permutive, is worth a watch—check out these highlights.

Permutive's platform gives publishers an in-the-moment view of everyone on their site.

  • While first-party data may have trouble getting the scale that third-party data offers advertisers, first-party will help you demonstrate what makes your publication unique in an increasingly crowded publisher marketplace. This is an overlooked benefit—context matters again.
  • Getting buy-in from the top for a data strategy overhaul at Insider was less difficult than getting the mid-level people on board—the planners and inventory managers that would ultimately be the most affected.
  • Operations and data specialists need to give sales more credit for their smarts. Insider’s salespeople love dorking out on data—it empowers them in conversations with clients.
  • Sales guys need to get comfortable saying, “I don’t know.” Believe it or not, that builds trust with advertisers.
  • Comparing campaigns head to head, Insider found users being targeted based on affinities were more engaged (and met advertiser KPIs) than ones targeted with third-party data.
  • What tech do you need to stand up your new first-party data marketplace? First is a DMP, but next is an internal spot within the publisher to ensure the data is circulating across the organization.

And be sure to watch the full webinar here.