Is 2016 The Year Marketers Embrace Data Sharing?

owneriqimgOwnerIQ’s unique second-party data-sharing model, where it acts as media buyer and data broker between retailers and manufacturing brands, is showing signs of breaking through the initial skepticism which accompanied second-party marketing.

The Boston-based company’s $40 million revenue from 2006 to late 2014 pales compared to its $60 million spike in 2015.

Second-party data involves a brokered data-sharing deal between two marketing partners. It is fundamentally different than first- or third-party data applications, where a brand is either retargeting its own audience or trying to algorithmically extend a large, anonymized data set.

OwnerIQ has benefited from a general market acclimation to new collaborative data arrangements, said co-founder and CEO Jay Habegger. Brands are keener than ever to monetize their own audience or consumers files.

OwnerIQ’s products let retailers and brand manufacturers sync their site or store visitor data with their distribution partner.

For instance, Hunt’s, a New England camera and photo equipment retailer, uses OwnerIQ’s service to drive sales and stronger relationships with key brands. Sales of Canon, Nikon and Tamron increased by 10% or more in Hunt’s locations in the past year, which was a crushing down period for camera sales, said Hunt’s COO Rich Yagjian.

Audiences that visit Canon’s website in certain geographic locations can be retargeted by Hunt’s in conjunction with the camera brand.

“The major concern for us was how to level the playing field with distributors like Amazon or B&H Photo that really dominate the space nationally,” Yagjian said.

OwnerIQ’s product allows the ad to be branded from Canon and directs the user to the relevant Hunt’s location, “which means the user is instinctively going to see us as a major player in the marketplace.”

The website for hhgregg, a home furniture and appliance retailer with stores across the eastern US, “isn’t going to be the first, second or third place where people start their customer journey for our products,” said company ecommerce marketing manager Andrew Vitale.

But by sharing data with major appliance manufacturers (Samsung, Whirlpool and Frigidaire all use the platform as well), people who are visiting those brand’s sites or product pages can be funneled to an hhgregg location.

Vitale said the second-party data retargeting is at least as effective as the company’s own first-party data and lookalike retargeting.

It’s a good arrangement for OwnerIQ, which can piggyback on clients like hhgregg and Hunt’s as a way of building out its own shared data pool.

“It’s been very easy for me to go one manufacturer and say, ‘You guys are missing the boat. We are doing this very effectively with your competitors,’” said Yagjian.

Hhgregg has similarly helped OwnerIQ bring major appliance manufacturers onto OwnerIQ’s platform.

It might be hard to get a foot in the door at a huge brand like Samsung or Nikon, but hhgregg and Hunt’s are constantly working out new arrangements with manufacturers for in-store signage, joint local TV or print marketing campaigns, supply-chain and inventory logistics, etc.

Second-party data discussions get folded into those same negotiations, and OwnerIQ relieves itself of some of the laborious business development that would normally be associated with enterprise account wins.

However, brands and retailers are typically skeptical of exposing their data to other players – some of whom might be rivals. This is the key difference between OwnerIQ’s model and first-party data co-ops, which are in vogue among ad tech companies. OwnerIQ brokers deals between retailers and manufacturers, and then executes the media buying on its own.

Hhgregg can’t see into a camera brand’s first-party data, and vice versa, because the deterministic matching and digital inventory targeting is all managed by OwnerIQ, which takes a media fee.

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