Data First, Technology Second, People Third?

I went back and took a second look at the recent Winterberry Group/IAB report, which said that over 98% of online publishers are taking a “data-driven, programmatic” approach to audience buying, and something new struck me.

Over half (52.3%) of the 200+ respondents said “third-party data availability” is the most important consideration when assessing the attractiveness of a new marketplace. The second most important thing to marketers looking to invest in programmatic somewhere new is the “availability of tools geared to the needs of audience development use cases.” Third on the list is “prevalence of business professionals who speak the same language.”



Put simply, the most important things to most advertisers in programmatic are:

  1. Access to third-party data
  2. Tech to use said data to build audiences 
  3. Workers who understand how to use said data and technology

Wait a minute … people are third?

It’s not wrong -- the question was asking for opinions, not right/wrong answers -- but are marketers putting too much emphasis on data and technology and forgetting about, well, themselves?

Putting a premium on data makes sense, considering the question was asked in regards to expanding into new markets, but I'm still curious why people don't come first, or even second. What good are data and technology if nobody is there to put them together? Or have we gotten to the point where the reverse question is true: What good are people without data and technology for them to use?

"Person plugged into wall" image via Shutterstock.

2 comments about "Data First, Technology Second, People Third?".
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  1. David Carlick from Carlick, August 1, 2014 at 11:49 a.m.

    Welcome to the age of machines.

  2. Ian Gilyeat from I.R. Gilyeat & Company, August 1, 2014 at 12:17 p.m.

    Interesting question, but I'll go back to the tried and true answer of direct response professionals for decades: people, offer, creative. How the messages get delivered may be a question of cost and efficiency but people / list / audience is always first.

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