The Pressure’s On: Data’s Impact On Brand Partnerships In 2016

What will the evolution of data and marketing intelligence mean for brand partners in 2016? Columnist James Green offers some insights on what you can expect.

Chat with MarTechBot


The use of data is becoming more and more sophisticated, and third-party companies no longer have a data monopoly. More data is now held by brands and retailers, resulting in their ability to merge customer data with prospecting data so that they can reach people with more personal marketing at scale.

This blend of data marks an important phase for the marketing community, one that will make significant waves across the industry in 2016. It will force brand partners to either break up or shake things up with their agency and technology platforms. Here’s a look at what we can expect to see in the coming year.

Agencies Are Under Pressure To Integrate Their Systems With Clients

As clients gain access to more data and develop expertise in using that data effectively, agencies will face increasing pressure to develop systems that function both internally and externally.

There are increasingly more intersection points between brands and their customers, and marketers are quickly realizing that there is no need to leave opportunities on the table because of the way agencies choose to run and optimize campaigns.

The agencies that embrace new data streams, accept change and cultivate system integration skills will reap the rewards, but those that don’t will have difficulty proving their value. Whether agencies want to integrate those systems or not, the reality is that clients are developing their own systems and expertise when it comes to using data to market to people.

We’ve entered a new phase of data and marketing intelligence, and it has the ability to open up opportunities for agencies.

Major Martech Players Will Be Pressured Into Providing Media Buying Services… Even Though They Don’t Want To

The number of marketing tech firms is skyrocketing, and brands are increasingly looking for potential partners to differentiate themselves from the pack. With brands owning more of the data space, marketing tech no longer has a monopoly on data-driven insights.

To deliver the most useful array of services to their clients, marketing tech providers will be forced to provide media buying services. If clients can trust their marketing tech firms with media buying in addition to their other responsibilities, the company’s platform will become more valuable to the brand.

While many marketing tech firms may view media buying as outside their wheelhouse, they will have little choice but to explore offering it as a service as they face increasing pressure from brands in 2016.

Brands’ Programmatic Strategies Will Change

In 2015, we saw programmatic media buying, particularly in the video space, grow at an accelerated rate. This trend will continue, but the manner in which brands use programmatic to reach consumers will change significantly.

Programmatic is no longer an option for brands: It needs to be a crucial component of their marketing strategy. Its importance means that brands need experts in programmatic marketing to conduct their strategy.

This will have major implications for agencies: Brands will either outsource all of their programmatic media buying to an agency and that agency’s trading desk, or they will refuse to allow the agency trading desk to work on their accounts.

There is no longer a middle ground for either party, and brands will be taking a close look at how they conduct their programmatic buying over the next year.

The evolution of data integration has greatly impacted programmatic buying and the future of marketing tech platforms. This growing trend will have a significant impact on the relationships between brands, agencies and tech providers in the coming year.

Some will embrace it and reap the rewards, and others will buckle under pressure and face tremendous challenges in proving their value to marketers.

What other changes do you expect to see in 2016? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or our LinkedIn Group.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

James Green
James Green is chief executive officer at Magnetic, a technology company with a marketing platform for enterprises, brands and agencies. James is charged with driving the company’s strategic vision and overall expansion.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.