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Get Your [Consumer Data] House in Order with Jess Simpson of Publicis Media

Investing in technology to centralize your first-party data will allow you to create a less fragmented and more holistic experience for the consumer.

Jess Simpson is the Senior Vice President of Verified Tech and Identity at Publicis Media, the media division of Publicis Groupe. She started her career in journalism and communications, but as she says, it was intellectual curiosity that brought her to her current role. “Throughout my entire career, whether it was product marketing or solutions engineering, and now with consulting, it’s all the same thing; it’s been figuring out how to solve client issues using technology, data, and then pairing that with strategy.”

In the past sixteen years, Jess shaped her career by being involved in a variety of activities, including marketing and product strategy, partner development, consulting, analysis, and customer-centric platforms, to name a few. Today, as part of Publicis Media, she manages two teams – the verified and the consulting teams. In addition, Jess is a mother of two and, as she says, a nerd in love with podcasts.

In Episode 15 the Identity Revolution podcast, Jess talks about a growing data space and shares her predictions regarding the future of data in Ad Tech. She also discusses the importance of investing in technology and why centralizing your first-party data is of the utmost importance.

The Data and Identity space is full of possibilities, but it is full of surprises too. So, don’t wait for big players, like Google, to make big announcements. Instead, be the change you want to see in the ecosystem.

Get Your House in Order Before You Do Anything Else

When asked about what brands should do to build their own data sets, Jess gives simple yet powerful advice: “Get your house in order before you do anything else.” According to her, investing in technology to centralize your first-party data will allow you to create less fragmented and more holistic experiences for the consumer. That way, you’ll focus on your consumer first.

“That’s going to enable this centrifugal force that puts your customer first and helps you get your house in order. It also enables you to have better facilitation with other second and third parties, be that publishers or brands, or what we’re starting to see as what we call data unions, which is the net new third-party data ecosystem driven by consumers. So it’s this concept of sovereign identity or decentralized identity where the consumers, through data wallets and all this other good stuff, are opting in through affirmative consent and saying, ‘Okay, in exchange for something, I’ll give you access to my data.'”

Jess also says the practice of gathering data and cleaning it up now requires a more strategic approach.

What the Future Holds for Data and Ad Tech

Jess muses on what she expects may occur in the data and identity space in the next five years. As she states, there are four concepts we should pay attention to. First, she mentions partnerships her company has brokered with companies like The Trade Desk, uniting Epsilon’s unique CORE ID solution with UID2.0. According to Jess, it is a solid partnership considering everything The Trade Desk has done recently, including the announcements regarding new startup funds focused on supporting startups helping the open internet. “I think that is phenomenal. I love that. And I love our partnership with The Trade Desk. So I fully support what they’re trying to do.”

On the topic of vetting emerging AdTech: “One of the first things I tell my clients to ask when they’re vetting solutions is do they function in EMEA. Because EMEA tends to set a precedent and the tone for if a solution is going to prosper or hit a fast and furious demise.”

Jess says everything that’s coming out of the publisher ecosystem is pretty encouraging. “I think it’s time for publishers to shine. I like what I’m seeing from the publisher ecosystem in terms of what’s coming out of there. It is a cross-publisher, it’s not a cross-device, but it’s good. It’s auction-based. It takes a lot of onus away from the agencies and brands, and I like it.”

The next thing she is excited about is the concept of the decentralized identity solution. “So the data wallets, the data unions, the browser extensions. How do we tap into that as the next level of third-party data and use that complimentary to some of the publisher’s first-party data and second-party data solutions?”

Last but not least, Jess talks about conversational marketing as the next big thing. The overall conclusion is that data space and the AdTech are one step closer to significant changes, which is fantastic.

“People should be encouraged and excited. It’s not just Google, and it’s not Liveramp and ATS. There is so much more out there that you can do that’s not just publisher-specific. So don’t sit around and wait for Google to make their announcement. There’s more we can be doing.”

Note: This is based on an episode of Identity Revolution, Infutor’s podcast featuring data-driven experts discussing all things marketing, analytics, and identity. We take a deep dive into industry trends, strategies, and the future of data technology.

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