Omnicom Media Group’s Annalect unit and Affinity Solutions have entered into a partnership that allows the data and analytics unit that manages Omnicom’s Omni operating and orchestration system/platform to access to Affinity’s massive data solutions warehouse powered by credit and debit card usage information.
The multi-year exclusive agreement essentially enables Omni to integrate data solutions from Affinity’s Panorama platform – which hosts and analyzes near real-time credit and debit card purchase information from around 90 million consumers through 3,000 banks – directly into its platform to more effectively measure results for Omnicom customers. Annalect primarily manages and operates Omni’s operating system, which includes a database of 250 million consumers.
While neither party is disclosing financial terms, the partnership gives Omnicom a first look at Affinity’s buy deals and buy-based media ratings capability, the latter of which the CEO of Affinity Solutions , Jonathan Silver, compared it to “a FICA score for the media”, specifically the chain’s cross-media inventory. Essentially, Omnicom customers will be able to assess and optimize their marketing investments based on actual shoppers and their level of spend across a range of ad categories. “It means being able to use very recent deterministic data – literally yesterday – to empower advertisers to make better decisions,” Silver said.
Until this agreement, Omni was able to determine consumers’ propensity to buy, but did not have purchase data covering all major areas, said Clarissa Season, global chief experience officer at Annalect. “We knew someone might have bought Hidden Valley Ranch for our client Clorox, but we didn’t necessarily know where they bought it – Target, Costco, Albertsons or Gristede’s?” Said Season. “So this dataset really helps us paint the picture of consumer purchases.”
It’s a step forward in media agencies’ efforts to uncover deterministic outcomes for their clients, Season said. “The reason for this partnership for us is really better results which is at the heart of how we think about the Omni platform, which we have built to deliver better results for our clients.” She added that this can include better and more relevant advertising experiences, which can lead to more purchases and improved efficiency.
When asked how this partnership compares to IPG’s ownership and use of Acxiom’s massive consumer database, Season pointed out a few differences. “Acxiom doesn’t have the same level of granularity when it comes to credit card data… Acxiom [has] more data from the credit bureau. So it doesn’t really fit into the marks [consumers] buy at buy frequency,” she said.
Silver, who said he didn’t mean to disparage another data competitor, pointed out that “most of Acxiom’s data is proxy data. We can bypass the proxy and directly determine if the people buying the product are in the market for your products and services. He was quick to add, however, that Affinity’s dataset is fully anonymized and aggregated to protect consumer privacy.
Why choose to work exclusively with Omnicom instead of sharing data solutions with all the holding companies that might want access to Panorama? “It was the right move for the vision, for the ease of integration, and the desire to collaborate together and move quickly and in multiple ways,” Silver said. “We’re doing a lot with Omnicom to really differentiate the offering, even ultimately when it becomes more available for [rest of] industry.”