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Brand/Retailer partnerships: Standing United in the Data Battle

  • 3 min read

Retailers: the veterans of customer knowledge

If you want to know your clients, you must understand their behaviour. But in terms of customer knowledge, not all advertisers are on an equal footing. Retailers have invented loyalty programmes (green stamps) that allow them to collect valuable information every time their customers make a purchase: this is what we call transactional data. The history of all the transactions attributed to one single customer (specifically those occurring in-store) has long been the cornerstone of a successful customer relationship strategy. Advertisers who have access to it can interpret the purchasing habits of their consumers and be more relevant in their interactions with them, by offering them the products and promotions they would like.

Loyalty incentives, sponsorship programmes, targeted ads… these are just some of the many CRM tools brands have had to do without. CRM for retailers, mass media for brands: that seemingly stable equilibrium has been turned around by the emergence of what we call behavioural data…

New touchpoints for a new equilibrium

The digital revolution has brought about many changes to digital marketing, not least of which is the emergence of new touch points along the customer journey. Transactions had long been the tip of the iceberg of the customer journey: advertisers were unable to detect the intentions preceding it and qualify the experience following it. Now, modern marketers have at their disposal a wide array of tracking tools, enabling them to collect data on their customers’ habits providing they have consent to do so. Web searches, website visits and targeted ad clicks: these behaviours generate data that enrich customer knowledge and balance the power struggle between brands and retailers.

But most of all, this revolution benefits a new type of player: data experts. The new gatekeepers of customer relationship, through which both brands and retailers have to go in order to access the raw material that is customer data.

Trade marketing 2.0

It is in the United States that the collaboration between brands and retailers began to centre around data. American retailers started selling brands media spaces on their websites and newsletters. They also allowed them to create conditional tags to follow consumers who visited their product pages.

Once again, the game-changing move came from a data rich player: Amazon. Amazon not only provides brands with on-site advertising space, but also enables them to use the data gathered by Amazon itself in other programmatic environments.

Precision marketing within the reach of brands

In Europe, brands and retailers are starting to understand the importance of standing united in the battle of e-retail. New second-party partnerships are emerging to enable privacy-safe sharing of consumer data. Co-branded campaigns are being set-up to accompany common customers. For instance, thanks to data onboarding, navigation cookies on a retailer website can be matched with the data present on a brand’s CRM database.

To successfully carry out these new kinds of partnerships and eventually open the precision marketing world to brands, trustworthy third-parties such as Numberly and LiveRamp play an intermediary part to facilitate contact between advertisers. It is true that there is strength in numbers, but only when everyone benefits from the collaboration, and when all parties’ data and those of their consumers are protected. It is our mission to provide a secure and trustworthy environment that enables our clients to collaborate and grow together.


If you want to know more about brand-retailer partnerships, meet us at RampUp On The Road London 2019, where Thibaut Munier, co-CEO of Numberly will be presenting.