Marketing DataMarketing Data Podcast

The Holy Grail of Data Monetization

What if you found out there was a frictionless program that could help you make money from the data you didn’t even know your company had?

People are missing out on tons of financial opportunities because their data monetization strategy isn’t a smooth process or they aren’t even aware they have data of any value.

This episode of the Corporate Data Show is all about monetizing data. Rick Holmes interviews Fran Green, the President of Smart Data Solutions at ALC, about the “low hanging fruit” of monetizing data, as well as the next phases.

Patching obvious data leaks

You need to be on your guard against data that’s getting away from you—particularly if you’re a SMB. Because the less data you have, the more it matters to you.

End-user customers are monetizing data in two particular ways. One, they’re selling to the people who visit their website by identifying the mass of anonymous website users. Two, they’re selling to large organizations that make up the third party marketplace.

“Data is the fuel that drives all marketing now,” says Fran Greene. “It’s not so much about the product, the idea that if I build a better product the world will beat a path to my door. The marketing world has come around to our way of thinking that it’s all about building a relationship with a customer, which is done through data.”

On the whole, data monetization is done by distributing data in a frictionless way to a third party.

The idea of data monetization is really being talked about, even though it’s been around for decades. Finally, marketing organizations have caught on to what ALC has long known—data is valuable.

The next logical evolution of that realization is this: organizations that know how much value data has to their own marketing efforts have figured out it’s just as valuable to the marketing of other organizations. So they do some data navel-gazing—they take an inward look to assess what data they have and how they can monetize it.

How to be frictionless

What exactly does “frictionlessness” mean in terms of data monetization? Well, it has to be privacy compliant—within legal end-use cases—and it also doesn’t interfere with or cannibalize any efforts you currently have under way.

In other words, it doesn’t use up money and resources and gives a good ROI. “That’s what we’ve been saying,” Green said. “That’s really the holy grail—to come up with frictionless programs to help organizations monetize their data.”

But here’s the kicker: Most organizations don’t even know all the data they do have. They have digital data, offline data, retail data, transaction data, and more, but they can’t picture all that data at once. So that’s problem one.

Problem two is that the data isn’t assembled in one warehouse or receptacle where it’s easily accessible. So if a company can’t find its data or doesn’t even know what it’s got, what can it do?

Identifying the anonymous

Over 90% of visitors to a website do not transact. They’ll spend a lot of time visiting pages but ultimately abandon what’s in their shopping cart. That’s nine out of ten people who have shown interest in a product or service but aren’t being reached.

“People who visit their website are raising their hand,” Green said. “They’ve demonstrated interest. It’s the best prospect universe you could find.”

One thing marketers can do is digitally retarget those anonymous website visitors. Digital display retargeting, which has a fairly low response and conversion rate, is a good medium for small websites, but it can’t do everything.

What’s better is identifying the anonymous visitors by associating them with personally identifiable information (PII) to message them with direct mail or email. These are far more effective ways to reach users—but first you have to figure out who’s visiting your site.

“Until recently, there was no way to address anonymous users,” Green pointed out. “We think that’s not the next frontier but the now frontier.”


This is where you get in to leveraging your data intelligently. You can resolve anonymous visitors by gleaning their online behavior out of both first party and third party data—or by using third party data to do more with your first.

See, places like ALC have other ways beyond IP addresses to crack the nutshell of anonymous traffic. Sticking with just IP addresses doesn’t do anything for the fact that a personal computer looks like a consumer. So the technicality of how to figure out the identity of anonymous visitors can be tough.

The kind of data matters

“One of the secret weapons that distinguishes what we’re doing is the data we’re using,” Green explained. “We are bringing in a storehouse of data from various sources that allow us to create and resolve—and truly identify—whether the person is a consumer or an individual. The value is a strength of the third party data source to inform the first party data that is allowing us to be accurate in who we’re targeting in marketing.”

This is the best of both worlds. Taking your first party data, adding your third party data, and crafting an accurate target. You’re activating the third party data to remove limitations and to qualify data on the best set of prospects you have.

So what’s next? Imagine being able to target anonymous website visitors with media other than just digital by using the data that’s been thrown off from websites. Data that you’re monetizing.

“Envision the creation of a data store where all the harvested information from website visitors’ online behavior is coupled with personally identifiable information and third party data that provides insights into who they are,” Green said. This is an amazing audience, an audience of people who are already interested, available for targeting.

This is the triumvirate of marketing: high performing audiences at scale with accuracy. And how do you build an audience like that? By integrating online behavior with first party data and third party data attributes.

Contact Fran Green by email at or contact EMM here.

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