Annalect, the data and analytics division of advertising holding company Omnicom Group, has struck a pact with data technology firm InfoSum, the latest in a recent series of maneuvers to provide advertisers with a broader range of information about consumers.
Under terms of the agreement, Annalect will gain access to a range of data sources that it can use in combination with first-party data from individual clients.
“We think the industry needs a better system for collaboration where data doesn’t have to change hands,” said Brian Lesser, chairman and CEO of InfoSum, in an interview. “Our system allows two first parties, a media company and an advertiser or an agency, to understand when they have an overlap without having to exchange that data.”
Most of the industry’s big advertising conglomerates have made significant investments in their data capabilities. Interpublic Group in 2018 agreed to acquire data-management firm Acxiom Corp. for $2.3 billion. France’s Publicis Groupe in 2019 agreed to acquire data marketing firm Epsilon for $4.4 billion. And Japan’s Dentsu started buying the analytics firm Merkle in 2016 before buying remaining shares in 2020.
Managing data about consumer preferences and purchase patterns is expected to take on even more importance as Apple and Google winnow down the use of third-party cookies on their various properties. The industry is also contending with a rise in concerns about consumer privacy that make gleaning third-party data a tougher task.
Annalect will integrate InfoSum into Omni, Omnicom’s insights platform, a move that will allow Omnicom clients to use InfoSum’s data collaboration as an alternative to traditional data sharing tools. Omnicom clients can utilize InfoSum to take in data, to build consumer targeting parameters and “to more precisely measure the effectiveness of their advertising,” said Lesser. “I do think agencies as a general category are going to come along and invest in these clean-room technologies.”
Lesser said he expects to unveil similar agreements in the future. “Interest is very high from constituents,” he said.
“Adding an independent clean room provider to the Omni infrastructure will empower our clients to connect their first-party data with media and commerce platforms, as well as their broader supply-chain partners, while respecting consumer privacy,” say Annalect Global CEO Slavi Samardzija, in a prepared statement. “This will maximize the value of their data with the power of Omni applications.”