Launching a people-based data platform is the agency holding company trend du jour.
Omnicom on Thursday announced its own version of such a platform, called Omni, that connects the media planning, buying and creative process across a single audience definition.
“We’re moving some components that were in activation closer to planning,” said Slavi Samardzija, global CEO at Annalect. “[Omni] supports the end-to-end process of what was historically in disparate platforms.”
Omni was built by Annalect, Omnicom’s data and analytics unit, and includes an audience graph that leverages consumer IDs from Neustar, Experian and LiveRamp. In addition to PII-based audience creation and activation capabilities, Omni has an inventory graph that can match audiences to available media in the marketplace across TV and digital.
The graph categorizes the inventory granularly to better align buys contextually, allowing buyers to see where media comes from, what ad formats are available and whether it can be purchased through a private or open exchange or directly.
“Now when we build an audience, we can see where we can reach [them] at the most granular level,” Samardzija said. “We’re able to identify content consumption patterns and consumer journey states and serve that in a way that’s unique to any category.”
Omni also plugs into Omnicom Precision Marketing Group (OPMG), the group's CRM division, to feed clients' first-party data into the planning and activation process through its consumer data platform (CDP), which it built in-house. Omni also connects to OPMG's, content production and management platform, adZu, to connect audiences to the creative activation, Samardzija said.
Omni also includes a robust measurement and analytics component from Annalect that allows buyers to do attribution at the individual level.
“Omni has all of the components, from generating insights to define the audience, to planning at a strategic and tactical level, to developing and distributing creative, and reporting and attribution, in the same platform,” Samardzija said.
Abiding by Omnicom’s history of neutrality when it comes to technology and data investments, Omni was built to easily integrate with outside technologies. If a client has a prior investment in a demand-side platform or a marketing cloud, for example, it can plug that into Omni while still using its out-of-the-box capabilities around audience and content creation, planning, and execution, Samardzija said.
“The challenge in the industry before was that often client and agency technology was not utilized across all teams,” he said. “Everybody wasn’t operating from the same foundation of truth. Now, because everything is integrated, we’re able to plug into the clients' investments and they can benefit from our investments.”
That connection to client tech also makes it easier to maintain an audience across walled gardens, where there’s often breakdown of the audience definition, Samardzija said.
“Unless you have that seamless audience flow, you’re back to the proxies,” he said. “Even if you have deterministic identities, because they are disconnected, you have to cross in between the technologies.”
For Omnicom, the challenge will be to get all of its agencies, across media, creative, CRM and digital, proficient in the platform as soon as possible, Samardzija said. The platform has already been rolled out across a select group of clients for testing, and Omnicom has deployed a team to train and support agencies as they onboard.
“We want all of our clients and teams to have this tomorrow,” he said. “That is going to be a real challenge, but we’ve prepared for it. We know that is going to take time.”
“The marketplace is ready for this next step,” Samardzija said.