Data Surge: WPP’s Data Alliance Plugs Into Facebook

wpp fbHolding company WPP’s Data Alliance and Facebook have expanded their partnership such that WPP clients globally can use data assets from Kantar Media, media agency GroupM and Wunderman’s KBM Group to build unique audience segments to target across the Facebook ecosystem.

This partnership is considerably different from what Facebook has with third-party data providers like Acxiom and Datalogix. WPP isn’t adding its data to a do-it-yourself Facebook tool in which marketers check a box to add a segment.

“We’re not part of the menu,” said Gary Laben, Wunderman’s global chief data officer and KBM Group’s CEO. “This is for WPP and our clients. If another agency or client wants to work with us, we’re happy to do it.”

While WPP will look to build some out-of-the-box insights from this partnership, the main benefit, Laben said, is the ability to create highly customized segments based off WPP data and Facebook data, and to execute a campaign much more quickly than they were previously able.

Prior to the partnership, building and executing on segments custom-built by WPP could take weeks or even longer, depending on the complexity of the assignment – like whether or not the client required analytical modeling.

But WPP can execute much faster because it now has a “hard link” into the Facebook platform. This means, according to Laben, the holding company has and will maintain a permanent, custom-built hook into Facebook. So if the data assets change on WPP’s side, it can apply that change quickly and reliably when executing on Facebook.

“Previously, we didn’t connect the assets into Facebook,” Laben said. “Now that they’re connected, we can understand the scenarios better. When they weren’t connected, you end up with suppositions which might not be valuable from a marketer perspective, or could be risky from a privacy perspective.”

Laben added that, because of this partnership, more of WPP’s data assets are targetable across the Facebook platform and the company is “experiencing extremely high match rates, far better than what the DSPs and cookie-based solutions have enabled.” Laben would not disclose the actual match rates, though he said they’re “measurably improved.”

If all goes well, the partnership – which has just taken off, so WPP is only beginning to leverage it on behalf of its clients – should enable a quicker, more detailed and accurate application of WPP’s extensive data assets across Facebook’s massive platform.

While those data assets can be applied separately, for Laben, strength is in unification.

“KBM Group is the platform onto which all of this has been consolidated,” he said. While the data sets from Kantar and GroupM can be applied separately, “they’re made better by being connected.”

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1 Comment

  1. This is super interesting. A juicy prospect for clients of WPP, no doubt, especially with their behemoths firms like Ogilvy. Facebook sure does know how to find the right partnerships.