One of the key success factors of digital giants like Google, Amazon or Facebook lies in the way they package their marketing services and provide access to their data via a Walled Garden-type approach. But what exactly is behind this name and how are your marketing campaigns impacted by this phenomenon?
The term “Walled Garden” refers to an autonomous and closed ecosystem in which all operations are controlled by the operator of this ecosystem and for which access is very restricted for third-party solutions. The objective is to protect the advertising spaces of these ecosystems and their data, which today dominate the AdTech landscape.
The principle is not specific to digital and is a principle well known to marketing teams. The GAFAs (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) have thus created these Walled Gardens around their advertising ecosystems, in order to control the entire value chain, from the collection of marketing campaign data to the restitution of performance.This control allows the creation of high quality data but who finds himself forced to live only inside these said Walled Garden.
A GOLDEN SILO: INCOMPARABLE QUALITY OF USER DATA
The creation of a Walled Garden is only possible when the company has a critical number of users quantifiable in billions (2.5 billion MAU on Facebook in Q3 2019 – Google 90% of search engine market share in 2019 ). Indeed, the quality of the proposed data comes mainly from the fact that users evolve in a fully logged universe on their different devices. Reconciliation of a user’s purchasing journey is therefore much simpler if for each Youtube advertisement or each Facebook banner, you are able to identify with certainty the user who consumes your media since he is connected via his Google account or on Facebook.
The quality of the data allows these Internet giants to offer very precise targeting on extremely identified audiences, which is a boon for marketers who have a treasure trove of consumer data. The question that can be asked following this observation is the following:What about the performance of your campaigns broadcast within these Walled Gardens? And that’s the rub …
JUDGE AND PARTY: HOW TO BE SURE OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF YOUR BUDGET DEDICATED TO MARKETING CAMPAIGNS?
The collection of such qualitative data is generally done at the expense of a certain transparency. In order to prevent data leaks, the Walled Garden offers you the features you need to manage your campaigns but does not allow you to export data outside of the garden.
The campaigns carried out in a Walled Garden are also part of a more global media strategy that involves different actors, media, modes and purchasing behaviors.Faced with this opacity, how can you compare the performance of your Youtube campaigns with your Facebook campaigns if you cannot combine these two investments under the same tool allowing you to judge all the campaigns in the same way?
In addition, it should also be noted that each Walled Garden offers its own campaign performance analysis tool. By being both media buyers and Analytics tools, the Wall Garden prevents advertisers from questioning the performance of their network and complicates the calculation of campaign attribution.
The question many advertisers are asking today is:How can I ensure that my investments are well distributed if the actor who provides me with recommendations on my campaigns is also the one to whom I give the largest part of my budget? The answer is simple, get rid of this bias by reserving the recommendations to a trusted third party.
THE DILEMMA OF TRUSTED THIRD PARTIES
Today, many tools (ad-servers, analytics, etc.) are just waiting to be able to interface with these Walled Gardens. The technology exists and is well known, but the brake is not technical, it is philosophical. In effect, the GAFA refuses to share their data, mainly so as not to be judged by a third party but also to maintain the quality of this data. It’s quite paradoxical, because their biggest advantage is also the biggest disadvantage.
However, in recent years we have noticed changes in philosophy on the part of advertisers who no longer only look for performance whereby habit” it is supposed to be, but who also seek to explore the subject with more transparent partners who allow more reliable data feedback.
This maturity of advertisers is beginning to put pressure on GAFAs, which are gradually opening up to third-party tracking but which today is still too exclusive (Example: Amazon authorizes the installation of third-party pixels if the third-party solution that is at the origin manages a media budget on Amazon of over €300,000 per year).
WIZALY’S POINT OF VIEW
Wizaly is open to Walled Garden data integration, in particular for post view tracking (Facebook, Youtube, Instagram impressions, etc.) which remains out of reach. While waiting for the awareness of these giants, Wizaly is actively working on the development of new functionalities to certify the relevance and objectivity of the information coming out of these different walled gardens.