Proctor & Gamble recently announced their support of The Trade Desk’s UID 2.0 identity framework. For anyone following the companies that are emerging as leaders in identity data management, the partnership is significant for a couple of reasons.
First, where P&G goes, other brands will follow. And second, approval hints at the rise of new walled gardens that could become even more powerful than Google and Facebook.
AWS and Snowflake are emerging as contenders for the throne.
AWS and Snowflake pick up where LiveRamp leaves off
In the world of third-party data, the name of the game is data flow. This data is plentiful but not easily connected for activation and measurement. That makes partners like LiveRamp very valuable. They have huge pipes and integrations with everyone, allowing cookie-based data to flow easily around the ecosystem.
The challenge, though, is that when it comes to first-party data, the rules of engagement are different. This data needs to be secured, permissioned and easy to activate and measure.
One determining factor for P&G choosing to work with The Trade Desk is the increased accessibility of the UID2 within leading data warehouse platforms. Both AWS and Snowflake have announced partnerships recently that make cookieless activation easier.
Plus, most leading marketing companies already house their data on AWS or Snowflake. As first-party data takes center stage, not having to move it is critical to controlling privacy and security.
Companies like AWS and Snowflake (which is largely built on AWS‘s S3) are much better suited to manage first-party data and allow for secure collaboration. Eventually, as they innovate and evolve, they will make companies like LiveRamp irrelevant. What’s more, because Snowflake is built on AWS, customers of either service can match data securely across the two platforms.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em
AWS and Snowflake are not the only providers with secure data matching capabilities. There is also Google Cloud, as well as independent players that provide specific data matching or clean room services, such as Habu and InfoSum. Some brands, publishers and data providers have selected these other players for various reasons, but they’ll start to feel the pressure to jump onto AWS and Snowflake soon enough.
Brands have every incentive to prioritize partners on the same data platform. It’s safer, faster, easier and more accurate. Moving data creates risks, reduces match rates and can interfere with attribution measurement and transparent media buying.
For example, while Google has been a major player when it comes to third-party cookies, it’ll need to find a new offensive play to become a leader in first-party data. Amazon has richer commerce-driven first-party data than Google, is better equipped to understand how to manage that data because of the way their own advertising business works and has a head start in getting brands onto AWS.
A new walled garden
The antitrust action that has recently plagued companies like Facebook and Google will surely heat up for Amazon. While people use the current walled gardens for content and messaging, AWS is specifically built to house PII, which is heavily regulated.
The reality is that, at some point, Amazon will have layers and layers of first-party data about every human online. This is something that has the potential to be incredibly powerful, but also incredibly dangerous. Hackers will become single-mindedly obsessed with accessing AWS. Any system that goes down could cut off the entire digital media sector.
We need to determine how safe and smart it is to put our data on one platform. We must ensure that our data-sharing practices are flexible and thoughtful. AWS should never be able to take control away from data owners or take advantage of insights within a black box only to charge us back for it.
The beauty of first-party data is that it’s real, but that is also the risk.