What is and does a data clean room?

24 December 2021

What is a data clean room? In short: a safe private playground for marketers to share data with platforms, retailers and publisher.

Good news: digitalAudience ‘builds’ them.

Think of a neutral place, as Ryan Barwick cleverly said: it’s Switzerland for data, a neutral intermediary where each party, lets say a marketer and a publisher come together with their data, set parameters as to what information is actually seen and shared between them. Each interchange can be about a different dataset. Ruben Niet, founder of digitalAudience: ’You can determine what you actually want to do with different partners, and what your partners are comfortable doing as well. And of course keeping in mind that you are looking for an overlap, an augmentation of your current data.

There are two flavours right now:

  • Social media garden aka Walled gardens. Think Facebook and Google and all the first party data they have. They clean rooms that give brands a look inside their own ecosystem. So no one comes to play. Just your brand and your customers.
  • Software companies and data managers like digitalAudience operate the second flavour, acting as a conduit between parties that want to share their data.

Very important is always and will always be, is that customer need to clearly consent to the advertisers that they leave their information with, if and how they can use them. So if they are allowed to share their data. In a walled garden or a clean room.

Who is doing this already, so you get an idea: in the United States Disney has clean rooms going with media agencies Omnicom, with companies such as digitalAudience, Habu and InfoSum.

So imagine you are Heineken and you want to share insights with Ahold supermarkets. You would both set up a set of data (aggregated) you would want to place into the clean room, to compare what you each have that is similar or rather very different, so to add information. Maybe you know where your customer lives, but not if that customer buys your lemonade with Jumbo. Jumbo might know that. And they might know what else your customer buys. So than you mix and augment the overall dataset.

So is it just an insight into the audience itself? Yes and no, as you can also use a clean room as a tool to check if you really know who you customer base is, it can be a tool to measure campaign performance and thus alter it. Et cetera. You basically get to step into each other’s safe kitchen, while your customer agreed to it. No more guessing or estimations.

The great thing is that you do not need to take your data anywhere. Nor does the partnering party. It just sits where it sits. The anonymized data is just as good as the personalized data.

Why is this hot now? Of course privacy is very much on the agenda in Europa and in the rest of the world. We are going towards a cookies less environment and marketers, agencies and publisher need a safe and good way to make sure they can still get their personalised message to the right person.

As an independent platform digitalAudience has made its own software and is ready to help you find your audience augmented.