Advertising New Publishing Tech
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Q&A: Lotame’s Panorama, a mission control center for data optimization

Lotame is an independent provider of unstacked data solutions, helping publishers, brands, and agencies address varied business challenges with data. The company has recently launched Panorama, a solution that gives publishers and advertisers the ability to leverage data from multiple sources and create a unified, actionable view of consumers. WNIP caught up with Chris Hogg, Lotame’s Managing Director EMEA to find out more…

What business problem is your company addressing?

It’s widely accepted that first-party data is a valuable starting point to understand customers. Consumers share information with trusted websites or apps and that intel provides a peek into who they are and what they like that can be used to drive publisher success on multiple levels; from maximizing subscriber retention through tailored experiences, to enhancing inventory appeal for digital advertisers with audience segments.

But, as a solo act, its power is limited. Consumers are multi-dimensional people with diverse interests and passions that are changing all the time, now more than ever with the changes happening in the world. And by design, first-party data only captures part of the picture from within the confines of its own universe. To effectively engage individuals and bring in higher yield from more diverse advertisers, publishers need a wider, three-dimensional audience view. A news site visitor would look the same today as they did in 2019 and we all know that is simply not the case. Everything has shifted for consumers — where they work and how, how they eat and where, what they shop for, watch, the list goes on and on. The shifting panorama of the consumer simply can’t be captured by a publisher’s first-party data alone.

Our mission at Lotame is providing the additional data that completes the puzzle. We connect both publishers and advertisers with quality second and third-party data, as well as the smart tools required to integrate and apply it effectively. Offering an essential boost for first-party data, this supporting insight enables publishers to enrich their understanding of multi-faceted and constantly changing consumer attributes and behaviors, and harness that deeper knowledge for better results. Now more than ever, it’s painfully obvious how first-party data doesn’t go far enough for marketers. And that’s okay. It’s a challenge we intend to solve for all parties.

Why now?

Joining up online and offline consumer activity signals was always challenging, but the difficulties are growing fast. In recent years, the industry has not only faced more stringent privacy regulations and the absence of a universal device ID, but also rising changes in how leading browsers handle cookies. From Safari’s blocks on third-party cookies to Firefox’s time limitations on first-party cookies, parameters are getting narrower — and as cookie restrictions increase, visibility into consumer life is decreasing.

The future of the free internet is under threat, and that means urgent action is required. Publishers need a way to leverage their existing data more efficiently, and fill the gaps left by their own limited views and also cookie blocking, so they can continue to offer enticing targeting options for advertisers and use the funds this generates to support great content.

Understanding the challenges ahead, Lotame has developed a way to best capture the increasingly complex digital life of the consumer and ensure marketers can understand changing passions, interests and behaviours. This includes using that intel in a responsible and meaningful way while still respecting user privacy and consent signals. Panorama will produce holistic insight that helps publishers and advertisers keep thriving; both independently and as mutually supportive players in the open ecosystem.

What is Panorama and how is it deployed?

The idea behind Panorama is to build deeper understanding of customers and make the most of every digital advertising opportunity; allowing sellers to build more addressable, actionable, and targetable audiences by enriching their data, and helping buyers match ads with greater precision.

At a practical level, it’s a mission control center for data optimization. Powered by Cartographer, our advanced ID graph technology, Panorama gives publishers and advertisers the ability to leverage data from multiple sources — whether that’s first, second, or third-party insight — and create a unified, actionable view of consumers.

To ensure simplicity and usability, we’ve developed a specific solution for each data need. For example, Panorama Seller enables publishers to monetize inventory across the web, mobile app and over-the-top environments, without the necessity for cookies. By connecting consumer attributes and behaviors held within varied data sets, it paves the way for unified insight, more precise CPMs, and greater revenue.

Meanwhile, similar functionality within the buyer side of Panorama gives advertisers the ability to see and engage consumers in all their dimensions. Buyers can transform personas into addressable audiences by linking data for every device and context — including Safari and Firefox — and gain deep understanding of individuals, and their changing behaviours, that allows the creation of meaningful connections. Finally, Panorama Insights offers a hub for overall learning. Here, both buyers and sellers can realise the full value of their data in multiple ways — whether that’s taking owned first-party data and overlaying second-party intel, or using intelligent data modelling to enable better storytelling, prospecting, and segmentation.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

In the short time since Panorama’s launch, we’ve experienced increasing interest from digital players keen to enhance their revenue potential using sharper segmentation, with leading UK publications among the first to implement our new toolkit. While these collaborations are still in the early stages, there are already signs that publishers drawing on the support of Panorama are able to do more and learn more than they would with first-party data alone.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

At the moment, we’re seeing an ongoing disconnect between buyers and sellers that’s driven by a lack of communication, needs assessment, and the right technology. Brands and agencies invest millions in developing personas that pin down their ideal audience in granular detail, but when it comes to finding those audiences in the digital media scape, available tools don’t hit the mark. Attention has been heavily fixed on purely coordinating and actioning owned customer information: customer data platforms and orchestration tools. This means advertising scale is limited and so is the flow of spend towards publishers.

Focus must move towards matching known data with expanded insight and turning enriched knowledge into modeled segments brands and agencies can use to access a wider range of relevant websites and apps. That is what we’re working to achieve with Panorama.

What does a post-cookie, post-pandemic future look like?

Coronavirus has transformed the world as we know it, and it’s likely that almost nothing will go back to exactly how it was before. Consumer behaviour has changed and so has what they want from digital media providers and brands. There is no such thing as ‘business as usual’ anymore.

Looking ahead, publishers and advertisers alike will need to harness every signal, connection and data point to make sense of the new normal and figure out how to engage their audiences effectively. And that is going to mean not only dialling up their data management abilities, but also leveraging the power of connection.

Among the many lessons to be learnt from the COVID-19 crisis, the value of connection is one of the most important. In a disrupted and dislocated world, connections have never been so vital; whether that’s between people, consumers and brands, or digital media players who have moved to support and help each other through the turbulence.

The marketers, agencies and publishers who take this learning forward will build a better environment for everyone. By finding new ways to collaborate and understand their audiences, they will reinforce consumer connections and ensure a sustainable future for the open, free web.

Thank you.

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