Salesforce Opens A Second-Party Data Marketplace

Salesforce has set up a market of second-party data so advertisers can buy data directly from publishers.

The subscription-based Salesforce Data Studio, which debuted on Wednesday, evolved out of the product Krux Link, a data-sharing platform Salesforce inherited when it bought the data management platform Krux.

Salesforce’s goal is to give advertisers more validated data while protecting pubs from data leakage during a data exchange with advertisers.

And, since the data sharing platform isn’t priced on an impression-based CPM model, the company claims there’s less incentive to push volume at the expense of quality.

“We do not sell media or monetize data, so we don’t have incentives to push any media platform with data attached to it or the value of our own data,” said Jonathan Suarez-Davis, chief strategy officer for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. “We’re providing a platform for the publisher and marketer to share their data in a trusted, secure environment.”

Data markets have become a big thing in recent years. BlueKai – now Oracle DMP – had a big data mart where marketers could buy practically any data set, though it didn’t have a reputation for being highly curated. 

More recent data marts have focused on quality.

MediaMath has Helix, which has retail data. LiveRamp has a market called IdentityLink Data Store, where data sellers offer unique segments. And Adobe’s data co-op Audience Marketplace has so-called verified data sets.

So another marketplace purportedly full of quality data isn’t exactly novel, but Salesforce claims it can differentiate with scale – it facilitates more than 50 billion customer interactions per month across sales, marketing, commerce and customer service.

And, it’s designed to be interoperable.

“This is a standalone product and a peer to the Salesforce DMP (Krux),” Suarez-Davis said. “You do not need to be a Salesforce DMP customer to use Data Studio, and no matter what third-party DMP you use, you can still find value using Data Studio.”

Brands like ConAgra and the publisher Leaf Group (formerly Demand Media) are early users of the Salesforce Data Studio.

Heineken, which used Krux Link in the US, is considering deploying the data studio in global markets as a result of an audience insights project it kicked off with Krux over two years ago, said Ron Amram, VP of media for Heineken USA.

Leaf Group is using the Salesforce Data Studio to connect with advertisers and brands to which it didn’t previously have access.

“We make some of our custom, first-party data segments only available for discovery through the Data Studio and advertisers can find those on their own and buy them sometimes with or without our approval,” said Scott Messer, VP of content channels for Leaf Group. “Once we see them activate on segments, we’re able to reach out to them directly and open up a deeper dialogue.”

For example, if an advertiser buys a second-party segment around the home category, the publisher could get more granular and offer them more nuanced segments around gardening or repair directly from its own first-party repository.

Messer said he believes Salesforce is making the right move with its data studio by doubling down on the provisioning and discovery of second-party data.

“They’re making more DSP connections where there’s two-way reporting, which is the key to transparency and control,” Messer said.

Giving brands access to more pre-campaign analysis such as “If I used this data in the past, how will my next campaign perform?” will spur new interest in publisher data, he said.

“And this hopefully will move brands away from buying third-party data just because they’re familiar with a name or have a history buying it, and to start to move closer to the source,” he added. “The duopoly has done a good job extracting data from their own ecosystems, and if publishers can harness similar data, they can stand out from the duopoly.

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