ExchangeWire invited Regital’s Managing Director, Paul Barnard, on to a recent episode of Trader Talk TV to discuss the post-cookie environment.
Paul explained how we’re using Skyrise Intelligence to help our clients profile, activate and analyse.
Paul joined ExchangeWire’s Lindsay Rowntree to discuss a range of topics in the the post-cookie environment, including;
– Regital’s response to the impending demise of the third-party cookie;
– How the business is using Skyrise Intelligence to solve this challenge;
– Methods that marketers can use to measure in a cookieless environment
– How Regital are using mobile network data to prepare for this change.
– Hello, and welcome to TraderTalk TV. I’m Lindsay Rowntree and today I am joined by Paul Barnard who is MD at Regital. Hi Paul.
- Hi Lindsay, how you doing?
– I’m very well. How are you?
- Yeah. Very good, very good. Thanks for having me.
– So Paul’s come down from Manchester, all the way from Manchester in the north of England, to tell us how his clients are breaking free from the shackles of the cookie. So before we go into that, explain to us a bit more about who Regital are?
- Regital are a programmatic marketing specialist. So in the kind of simplest terms, we plan, buy, measure advertising campaigns across connected TV, digital, out of home, display, video, mobile, audio, and as specialists, we kind of sit in that layer between a brand or their agency and media owner or publisher. And what we try to bring is like a layer of sophistication to campaigns and being programmatic that layer’s all about data. So what data can we use to, make the campaigns go further, make them impact more and, help the brand get ahead, really.
– So you aren’t a tech layer and you aren’t an agency, you’re kind of working with everyone to I guess, bring in the capabilities they haven’t necessarily got in house.
- Absolutely. Try and add that extra value to make the campaign work a bit harder, basically.
– Brilliant. So explain to us kind of what’s been going on with you guys when it comes to the deprecation of third party cookie and how you guys have been dealing with that.
- Our whole ecosystem has been built on, for the last 10 years, on cookies and ID-led products. They’ve helped us track, they’ve helped us target, they’ve helped us measure. With Apple last year on iOS 14, basically saying, by default, you can’t do that anymore. You can’t have that info anymore. And Google deprecating third party cookies, they’ll be gone by next year, we think. So it’s clear, there’s a real issue that needs dealing with, and so big challenge for our clients, therefore something we’ve had to tackle head on, really.
– And so how are you tackling it head on?
- For us it’s been all about trying to create an approach that allows us to plan, buy and measure, but in a cookieless way, regardless of the channel they’re looking at, or the tech in play, or the brief at hand. On one side, you’ve got walled gardens, they can still track and target to a certain extent because they’ve got logged in users, but they can’t take that beyond. They can’t take it to a different channel or outside their walls. And then you’ve got some ID-led solutions outside of the walled gardens, but they can’t take things in. So for us it feels very much like, it’s not getting solved as it is, it’s inherently flawed and nor should it be by the way because users want this, they’ve driven this privacy-first agenda and we should welcome it. We shouldn’t try and game the system or get round it. So for us, the most comprehensive solution we’ve found is Skyrise Intelligence, which is a data business built on the back of telco data. So mobile phone network data, and we’ve embedded it into our entire product set now.
– How have you implemented Skyrise across your business? Where’s it fit into what you guys do?
- Skyrise have got exclusive relationships with telcos, and what they’ve really cracked is getting an enormous data set. User level data on 20 million users in the UK, adults in the UK. They’ve anonymized it, they’ve aggregated it and then they’ve turned it into segments that that can speak to all the different channels we buy across without losing their relevance, which is really key and in a very compliant manner, which is crucial. So if you take our product set, it broadly falls into three areas. We’ve got profile, we’ve got activate and we’ve got analyze. And before we had Skyrise, when we just had cookies, the process that we’d go through would look a little bit like this.
- So profile is all about, how can we tell the brand or agency we’re working with everything that we know about that audience they’re trying to reach, they’re trying to target? What media do they consume? Where can they be found? So we’d use a lot of things like third party audience segments. We’d use contextual, what websites we think they’ll be on, what apps we think they use. And we’d really rely on pixels. We’d pixel everything. So get as much data into the buying platform as possible, help it optimize. And that would push us naturally into what formats were used based on the KPI of the brief and the targeting approach. And then from an analysis perspective, it was all about really provable, definable events that flow through to the client’s reports. So you’ve got clicks with CTRs, you’ve got CPAs. For video you might have view-through rates or quartile. For mobile you might have footfall. So that was our previous approach. And it’s worth pointing out, that is not, it wasn’t without it’s flaws as it was, even though it still benefited from cookies. There’s a lot of things like cross channel, you can’t take a third party audience segment from display and run it in TV. these metrics, clicks mean nothing to out of home. So from a measurement perspective, it was very siloed. So yeah, it wasn’t without it’s issues.
– How have you changed your approach? What’s it looking like now, for example, we talk about analyze, how are clients working with you and how is this evolved with knowing you have to evolve and change what you’re doing at the moment?
- So we still broadly go through the same approach. It’s still profile, activate, analyze, that hasn’t changed, but now we’ve got Skyrise embedded into everything that we’re doing. So rather than profile, in the past, when we’re looking at third party or contextual, what Skyrise has is things like weblog. So with weblog they see from their full panel of 20 million UK adults, they’re seeing every single website and app they also use. So you can start by saying, who’s our brand? Let’s look at everyone visiting their website and let’s see where else in the web they go. And it’s not bid stream. It’s not pixel data. There’s no black spots. It’s really, really complete and stable.
- And then secondly, they can see that on the competition. So you can say rather than just the audience that you’re currently getting that are coming to your website, let’s look at the people who are going to your competitors’ websites. What other websites and apps do they use, because that’s gonna be really key in understanding how to acquire them. Skyrise also tell us residential. So where do these people live? They take that from understanding where phones reside at night, and then the inverse of that, non-residential. So if they’re not at home, where are they going? When are they doing it? And the when is crucial actually. So they have time, which brings a lot of context to those four points.
- And lastly, of course, they’ve got demo. So age band, gender, life stage. So what you’re left with is a really in-depth profile of a user, of a brand’s audience before you’ve begun. And it’s a lot deeper than anything we had before. So perfect for planning.
- When it comes to activation this whole data set, the profile stage, speaks a lot more kindly to activation. So for displaying video, for example, you can look at a lot more channels. For displaying video, for example, we’ll know exactly what websites they’re consuming displaying video on. We know exactly which ones are selling ads so can go and reach them there. For out of home, you’ve got non-residential, you’ve got time. So you can say, where are they going? When are they doing it? And then obviously buy the screens in the proximity accordingly. You know, TV, you’ve got weblog, you’ve got residential you’ve got time. So you can say, we know where they live, what TV region they’re in. We know what time they’re typically at home and we know what broadcaster, VOD or subscription provider or non-subscription VOD provider they’re interacting with on their phone ’cause we see that weblog data. So you really get a really strong view of both channels and publishers really.
- We’ve seen this work, just these two stages work, have transformative effects. Last quarter we launched a big awareness campaign for a high end beauty brand. We started with a really bespoke audience of people accessing high end beauty content, people going on websites, using apps going to spas, those kind of things. Sit in a certain demo, certain spending power. Then we could understand all these different points about them. Where do they live? Where are they going to travel to? How are they going to get to these events? And the events that we owned and we took over completely were London Fashion Week and Chelsea Flower Show and we had a couple of others, I think we appeared on four and a half thousand digital out of home screens just in the very key hours for that very bespoke audience before and after the show. So we’ve been able to create impact that we never would’ve been able to before. Either through data or even logistically really. The activation speaks really kindly to the profile stage.
– That’s really interesting. Tell me how you analyze – how have the success metrics changed based on what you were looking at now versus what you were looking at before?
- Massively. I think this is the section actually that most people are welcoming as we move towards cookieless and a privacy first approach. This is why they’re welcoming it because, well the first two things to mention, it’s not just about assessing impact anymore. It’s not just about measurement per se. It’s also as much about informing your future profile and creating a strategy.
- So there’s two things at play for a start, but then when it comes to assessing impact, so these kind of metrics, clicks, CPAs, post view windows, they’ve almost led us down this view, almost warped view, very siloed view of what performance really is. And that is what we’re trying to get away from. So we still look at these but we treat them more as health metrics. You know how viewable is an ad? How many people click on it? It’s all still data, you don’t want to lose it.
- They’re nice to haves, but they’re not actually what we should be banking anything on.
- You don’t want to be judging, you don’t want to be governing value based on just these things.
- So instead now, we’d look to Skyrise for things like share of traffic. So what we’re able to do with weblog data is say in the areas that we’ve been running our campaign across, regardless of channel and when I say areas, we go down to residential postcode, cluster of postcodes. So really, really granular. How’s your traffic levels been impacted? So are you seeing, higher than normal traffic levels, are they different to the rest of the country, etc. You can draw a really strong parallel between the two. But crucially, because we’ve got the competition element, we can also say what’s the share of traffic in that area. So not just how has it impacted the branding question, but put it into context with their category. So what it can do is show really strong results, make them a little bit more modest sometimes, but it can also show really, sometimes previously perceived negative results, so traffic’s gone down, in a more honest light and you can say, actually we’ve bucked a trend here. So they just can’t get that context from anywhere else. There’s no other kind of available database for it. So that’s been a really key one for assessing impact. Another one that I really like is audience evolution. So quite often we’ll get a secondary KPI off a brand. A first KPI might be traffic, sales, revenue, average order value, those kind of things.
- But the secondary KPI is how much are we appealing to a certain persona? And a lot of brands invest huge sums in this. They’ll go to people like Kantar and they’ll say, you need to tell us who we’re trying to appeal to. And they’ll, alter their creative, they’ll alter their product set, their in store experience, everything around speaking to these personas. So because we’ve got this really in depth profile of their user before we run the campaign before we’re active with them, we can tell them everyone coming to the site. What do they look like? What do they interact with? Where do they go? Well, if we compare that mid-campaign, post-campaign and certainly over a period of months, we can start to speak to them about those personas. Are they attracting more of them? Are they not? And it goes so far beyond, obviously just demo which you’d get from GA. So audience evolution has been a really interesting one.
- And then the last one is, is strategy. So as I was saying, it’s not just assessing impact. It’s more how we start the process again and start feeding profiles. So for strategy, we’re looking at things like growth segments or opportunity segments. And we craft these things with Skyrise. Same data set, just approaching it in a more bespoke way for the brand. So these are things like, we do a lot of work with the travel industry. So we can go and we can say, okay, this is the whole of the UK, this is where the demand is. So by location, this is where people are searching for flights or searching for hotels or holidays. Then we can tell them their share of it. So before we’ve spent any money, before we’ve invested, we can show exactly the areas where they’re low or comparatively low for the rest of the UK. So these are the areas where you’ve got the most headroom to grow. If you wanna grow your brand, acquire customers, start focusing in these areas. But then on top of that, we can combine it with things like audience. So we can say, if you want to grow, these are the areas you want be in. But on top of that, if you want to grow with the type of persona, so if you’re trying to appeal to, mums, or if you’re trying to appeal to business travelers, whatever, it may be, whatever you’ve set your campaign up to speak to and we can overlay those two things. So you’re left with, these are the areas of the country down to post code level, where you are definitely most likely to acquire. There’s the most customers active that you can pick up. But also there’s the most that look the same as you. And so just streets ahead of anything we had before.
– What fascinates me about this is, if I was to look at these words in isolation versus, you know, CPAs I’d say that feels far more tangible than audience evolution. Sounds quite fluffy. But actually you’re explaining it. You’re talking about, no longer relying on bottom feeding almost. We’re relying on actually looking at the top of this funnel. If, you know, people don’t use funnels anymore, but you get what I mean.
Who’s at the start of their journey, rather than looking at the very end of the journey, like who’s clicked or whatever, and actually trying to grow that way, it actually makes a lot more sense.
- Absolutely. And the thing that we’ve really loved is twofold. Brands get where the data comes from. If you explain, you know, everyone understands mobiles, everyone understands our relationship with mobiles. And so if you say we’re capturing every event on this mobile and that’s what we’re harnessing, they get it. No brand we’ve spoken to struggle with that. And the second thing is it just speaks to the things that they’re actually bothered about as a business.
- They’re not sat in their boardrooms or setting up KPIs of the year saying, this is how many clicks we need to get on ads that we serve. Or this is how many people need to walk into store based on one element of our campaign. They’re saying, how many people do we need to get to the shop? How many people do we need to sell to? What are the type of people we want to sell to? So that’s been really nice being able to, speak to what they’re talking, in their language a bit more.
– Yeah. You’re so right actually. You’ve realized how bound you are by these notions of what the success looks like. And actually that makes a lot more sense.
– And you mentioned obviously Skyrise is embedded in telco data, so talk to me about that and how that works, how you’re using telco data in all of this.
- So the telco data is really the seed. It starts with that. Skyrise’s role in this whole process is to go into the telco data and in a completely compliant manner, turn it into these segments that present themselves to us. And how Regital interact with it is we have a dashboard. So we request bespoke audiences for our brands or their agency or our agencies and we get it populated. So they build a bespoke audience in the telco and they push it to our dashboard. And it’s really there that we start mining all this information. So bringing it to life, start understanding what channels, what platforms, what publishers, and then share that pre-campaign, during campaign, post-campaign. And it’s also where we can measure things like share of traffic. Having these things to hand in our power is really, really powerful. We know what it’s like trying to get data from a client or even trying to get pixels down in the old way was always difficult. Governing that, owning that ourselves in the first place just keeps everything really seamless.
– And how are your clients responding to this?
- Really well, performance has been fantastic. We’ve had various different kind of validations if you like. Firstly, third parties. We’ve had people like Nielsen, New Gov, the usual faces. Sky. We recently had a brand study done by Sky on a campaign. We were launching an FMCG brand into certain stockists and out of the 182 brand studies they’ve ran at their end, they saw the largest increase in prompted awareness. So great third party validation there.
- Then we’ve also had client feedback. So uplifting CRM, you know, they’re telling us, because at the heart of this, we’ve got geography, it’s a really strong context that everyone gets. So every brand, they all understand their own business by geography. They know where their shops are. They know where their sales are. They know where, all these things are occurring. So when we talk in that way and we say, this is what we’ve done here, or this is what we’ve noticed here, they get it and they can apply their data to it. We’ve had quite a few brands feed their data back and say, average order value’s increased, revenue’s increased, traffic has certainly increased or a certain demo. That’s been really nice. And then thirdly, just as I was mentioning before, it’s what we track at Skyrise’s end. So these kind of things we’re in control of. We are seeing the impact at our end and we’ve just being able to share it. So it’s kind of three different routes we are seeing firsthand the impact.
– Yeah. Amazing. And so what I’m interested as well is kind of where can we take this forward? These are all quite new concepts for many people that could be watching going, no, I’m still very bound by looking at my CPA and looking at that as it pertains to kind of the outcome of a business goal. Actually, what’s next? And how can we kind of embed this into other channels or move into different areas?
- Well, I think it’s exactly that. I think we will move into different areas. Regital and lots of the brands we’ve worked with over the last 12 months have just been using much broader market mixes than they would’ve before. When you govern value on things like this, you naturally get to the point for certain brands where certain channels just don’t look like they make any sense. They don’t look like they work on the report. But whereas we know from, fundamental marketing principles, they are doing a different job. So being able to talk in more holistic ways in, well, first of all, only including the channel based on really rich data in the first place. It’s not guesswork. And then second of all, allowing that channel, whether it’s display or out of home or TV to continually justify it’s place on plan, using the same kind of measurement metric for all, that’s just been, been really nice. So what we’ve seen is much broader mixes and I think that’s, as we move away from cookieless, it’s gonna get like that.
- People are going to approach different things. And also obviously programmatic is finding it’s way into TV, out of home in ways that we didn’t have before. So it’s kind of a dual effect, bigger market mixes I think.
– Amazing. I talked at the start about how you’re gonna show us how you can break free from the shackles of cookies. And this definitely represents that. Actually we have been so used to something for so long that we think is the only way of doing something. Actually, if you really allow yourself to be open minded, you can see how much more you can do and really rethink and reinvigorate your entire marketing strategy.
- Absolutely. That’s what we hope to do.
– It’s brilliant. We’re out time, but that’s been very interesting. Thank you very much for joining me, Paul.
- Thank you very much. Cheers.
– That’s been TraderTalk and we’ll see you next time.