Salesforce Opens A Second-Party Data Marketplace

Salesforce has set up a market of second-party data so advertisers can buy data directly from publishers.

The subscription-based Salesforce Data Studio, which debuted on Wednesday, evolved out of the product Krux Link, a data-sharing platform Salesforce inherited when it bought the data management platform Krux.

Salesforce’s goal is to give advertisers more validated data while protecting pubs from data leakage during a data exchange with advertisers.

And, since the data sharing platform isn’t priced on an impression-based CPM model, the company claims there’s less incentive to push volume at the expense of quality.

“We do not sell media or monetize data, so we don’t have incentives to push any media platform with data attached to it or the value of our own data,” said Jonathan Suarez-Davis, chief strategy officer for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. “We’re providing a platform for the publisher and marketer to share their data in a trusted, secure environment.”

Data markets have become a big thing in recent years. BlueKai – now Oracle DMP – had a big data mart where marketers could buy practically any data set, though it didn’t have a reputation for being highly curated. 

More recent data marts have focused on quality.

MediaMath has Helix, which has retail data. LiveRamp has a market called IdentityLink Data Store, where data sellers offer unique segments. And Adobe’s data exchange Audience Marketplace has so-called verified data sets.

So another marketplace purportedly full of quality data isn’t exactly novel, but Salesforce claims it can differentiate with scale – it facilitates more than 50 billion customer interactions per month across sales, marketing, commerce and customer service.

And, it’s designed to be interoperable.

“This is a standalone product and a peer to the Salesforce DMP (Krux),” Suarez-Davis said. “You do not need to be a Salesforce DMP customer to use Data Studio, and no matter what third-party DMP you use, you can still find value using Data Studio.”

Brands like ConAgra and the publisher Leaf Group (formerly Demand Media) are early users of the Salesforce Data Studio.

Heineken, which used Krux Link in the US, is considering deploying the data studio in global markets as a result of an audience insights project it kicked off with Krux over two years ago, said Ron Amram, VP of media for Heineken USA.

Leaf Group is using the Salesforce Data Studio to connect with advertisers and brands to which it didn’t previously have access.

“We make some of our custom, first-party data segments only available for discovery through the Data Studio and advertisers can find those on their own and buy them sometimes with or without our approval,” said Scott Messer, VP of content channels for Leaf Group. “Once we see them activate on segments, we’re able to reach out to them directly and open up a deeper dialogue.”

For example, if an advertiser buys a second-party segment around the home category, the publisher could get more granular and offer them more nuanced segments around gardening or repair directly from its own first-party repository.

Messer said he believes Salesforce is making the right move with its data studio by doubling down on the provisioning and discovery of second-party data.

“They’re making more DSP connections where there’s two-way reporting, which is the key to transparency and control,” Messer said.

Giving brands access to more pre-campaign analysis such as “If I used this data in the past, how will my next campaign perform?” will spur new interest in publisher data, he said.

“And this hopefully will move brands away from buying third-party data just because they’re familiar with a name or have a history buying it, and to start to move closer to the source,” he added. “The duopoly has done a good job extracting data from their own ecosystems, and if publishers can harness similar data, they can stand out from the duopoly.”

Enjoying this content?

Sign up to be an AdExchanger Member today and get unlimited access to articles like this, plus proprietary data and research, conference discounts, on-demand access to event content, and more!

Join Today!


  1. How is an openly discoverable audience, that can be bought without specific approval, considered 2nd party data? Just because it is exclusive to Krux? Data that is discoverable by any advertiser on a platform that can be bought without a direct contract/relationship should be 3rd party data, no? Is that different to say Bluekai’s marketplace which would be generally accepted as 3rd party data?

    “We make some of our custom, first-party data segments only available for discovery through the Data Studio and advertisers can find those on their own and buy them sometimes with or without our approval”

  2. Great move by Salesforce/Krux to transition to Data As A Service model vs. CPM based targeting. This aligns more with the CRM data model. We’ve been successfully using this model at Skydeo. While brands can afford CPM based data for targeting the real reason it continues is due to the client-agency-platform business models. Subscriptions will enable direct response advertisers to target mobile data affordably. Mobile data is a longer term CRM asset than desktop cookie targeting. Owning those assets vs. continually renting them per campaign makes sense.

  3. Scott Messer

    Hi Brett,

    Good question!

    The data becomes “2nd” party when it is passed from one party (source) to the next (buyer) directly without aggregation or blending. In this case, Krux/Data Studio is acting as a conduit, passing the data from source to buyer without an intermediary thus creating a direct connection.

    The fact that the data is discoverable openly or can be bought without explicit approval is slightly irrelevant to its status as 2nd party data. Just to clarify, buyers are pre-vetted through the Data Studio and our buying approval is only given to on-boarded partners who have agreed to mutually binding terms.

    In the case of 3rd party marketplaces, the data is either aggregated, blended or anonymized in some way that obscures the source and is collected and distributed by an intermediary. The conduit/platform in this case is removing the “direct” connection between source and buyer, which is what makes the data “third party.” To extend the example, the platform, acting as an intermediary agent and not as a pass-through, becomes the “2nd party.”

    Further, often times the sellers in a 3rd party marketplace have aggregated, blended or removed the source of the data before it comes to market. In such a case, the data is 3rd party upon arrival.