Key Steps Marketers Need to Take with Oracle's Removal of 3rd Party Data

Oracle dropping 3rd party data from EMEA

This is just the beginning of broader 3rd party data changes, but outside of EMEA many B2B marketers do not understand the effect this will have on their campaigns.

As of September 15, 2020, Oracle Data Cloud (ODC) has deprecated all 3rd party data available in EMEA.

The main focus has been from pressure stemming from the EU, UK, and Switzerland. This does not change or impact anything specific to any clients using Oracle’s DMP or CX Unity (CDP) products.

Who is Impacted 

Anyone directly leveraging 3rd party data inclusive of all profiles and segments. 

Additionally, brands, publishers, and agencies that are actively managing audience targeting campaigns that build segments off of ODC’s 3rd party data via another partner. Partners can range from ABM platforms to DSPs and programmatic service providers as well as ad networks. 

In any instance where Oracle is directly selling data to technology and/or service provider, the customer was notified thirty days prior to the cut-off. Oracle believes it was the role of the customer to relay this information on to their customers.

However, there have been countless cases where this communication has slipped through the cracks and thus many find this announcement as a surprise. Oracle is working on helping to address this and provide additional information, which we will of course share as we get more information ourselves.

The Impact to BOL Clients

This is of limited impact to most BOL clients for some fundamental and strategic reasons:

  • We’ve historically only used 3rd party data for very specific use cases and at fairly low spend thresholds as part of a well balanced multi-channel media mix. Usually used for very specific tactics within full-funnel campaigns with performance monitored very closely. 
  • We put more significance on 1st party (your) data and walled-garden (LinkedIn, Facebook, publisher’s with registered users) data combined with actual performance. This is because, on average across the 3rd party data market, only 30-40% of profiles actually match claimed attributes within the 3rd party data segments. Thus starting with the right data and insight makes the process of evaluating when to use and not use 3rd party data more accurate. 
  • A rigorous planning process that starts with understanding the customer is another reason why we have been less focused on campaigns leveraging 3rd party segments. Wall gardens and other tactics built from 1st party segmentation at the center drives performance benchmarks which allows us to trim underperforming partners from the mix.

What To Do

Immediately turn off all 3rd party data defaults. Manage these more closely in key markets identified. Oracle is one of many more to come as privacy regulations from GDPR crackdown.

At the end of the day it was shut down for one of three reasons; (1) what they have is illegal, (2) is borderline illegal, and/or (3) unethical and may become illegal in the future. It is a safer practice going forward to not use anyone versus only the companies that have shut it down.

As of now, the U.S. is fine and business as usual, according to ODC, but with mounting pressure stemming from the CCPA brands should begin to plan ahead for how to adapt to similar changes coming stateside at some point.

Begin testing new tactics, strategies, data, and technology early in 2021. Measure these pilots against historical performance and baselines against pipeline and revenue.

This will help you model on what needs to be done in order to replace volume driven by tactics reliant on questionable 3rd party data.

Speak to all partners and verify their knowledge of the ODC change and inquire about their contingency plans. The data market is a market of data resellers to data resellers.

There is risk of some providers that are too far removed to admit or be aware that they should not be offering ODC 3rd party data anymore. Most providers working directly with ODC will be aware and should have contingency plans (these will vary depending on provider service and technology). Some partners we have spoken to are not concerned because they have unique IP generated from machine learning predictive algorithms or such.

In these cases, it is more simply a matter of adjusting the media based on data and measuring the results.

Please contact us with questions or if you need any advice and assistance in managing your organization through these changes.

Oracle Data Cloud making changes to its data practices in EMEA is just the beginning

While the aforementioned are some basic steps that marketers can take to address Oracle’s removal of 3rd party data, these same ODC changes in EMEA are part of an evolving story of privacy around the globe. This is hugely important for B2B digital marketers to understand as other markets begin adopting similar policies.

This is quite technical in application and how it impacts a marketing strategy.

For additional information please feel free to check out Back to the Future of Marketing. This article details more broadly the privacy conundrum facing the digital media industry, but also highlights how smart marketers can turn this into an opportunity.