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3 tips for marketers to create a successful data clean room strategy

Data clean room adoption has nearly doubled within the last two years, according to data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Because data clean room technology is so new, it involves a lot of trial and error for marketers to get their strategy right.

Here are three tips marketers should consider when working with data clean rooms.

1. Build in scalability

The key to a successful clean room strategy is being able to use it across multiple clean rooms, said Dana McGraw, senior vice president of audience modeling and data science, Disney Advertising at The Walt Disney Co., during a recent IAB webinar. “It’s easy to have a team of engineers or data scientists set up what you’re doing in the clean room, but if it’s not scalable, it’s not as functional as it needs to be.”

Ideally, the technologies or strategies can be easily replicated for different brands, agencies, or users.

“At the end of the day, you’re going to have multiple clean rooms, and that’s just the reality of it,” said Avanti Gade, client success lead and head of strategic accounts at Habu, a data clean room software provider.

2. Have an identity strategy

Without an identity solution, a data clean room strategy is, essentially, worthless.

“Putting data in a clean room is obviously really important from a privacy perspective,” said McGraw, “but you can’t really do anything with it if you’re not able to resolve identity properly.”

Jessica Simpson, senior vice president of global solutions consulting at Publicis Groupe, compares identity solutions to a pyramid.

At the top sit deterministic, authenticated identities (sourced from first-party data or universal identity solutions). The middle includes publisher IDs and seller-defined audiences.

“The rest of your pyramid is really about identity-informed approaches to targeting,” she said, which could include search, behavioral, or contextual targeting strategies.

3. Gather all data sources

First, start with a data audit, advised Gade. Consider the data you have, the data you need, and what partners can help you fill in the gaps.

“For a brand, that could be a mixture of walled gardens, large publishers, and CTV inventory providers,” she said.

Then, create a framework to help achieve your business objectives, which could include activation, insights, measurement—or eventually, all three. But that may take some time.

“I recommend a crawl, walk, run approach,” said Gade. “Over time, as you get more mature with each clean room, you have to tie it all together and find a way to look at everything holistically. That’s the holy grail. But we’re all inching there at different levels of advancement.”

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.