For years, Disney Advertising Sales has been breaking new ground in data and analytics to better help clients find the right audiences for their messages.
The explosion of The Walt Disney Co. streaming services has added massive amounts of data to the mix. Disney Advertising Sales, responsible for advertising sales and integrated marketing for The Walt Disney Co.’s entertainment and sports offerings, can now provide advertisers with access to more than 1,000 user segments built from this data. But with great power comes great responsibility. Disney had to rethink its approach to data governance to ensure it protects the data and privacy of its users.
In October 2021, Disney Advertising Sales unveiled a new cleanroom data solution built with help from vendors Habu, InfoSum, and Snowflake, among others. Data clean rooms are places where partners can gather data for joint analysis under defined restrictions.
Dana McGraw, vice president of audience modeling and data science at Disney Advertising Sales, says Disney’s relationship with its guests is the common thread running through everything the company does with data.
“That relationship with our customers is why our advertising offering is so compelling, because of our content and because of how we relate to our customers and how they relate to us,” McGraw says. “When we think about data, data usage, data governance, it’s really about, ‘Does this improve our customer experience?'”
Data clean rooms allow data to be shared securely
“A cleanroom solution is a way for brands to access information about their own audience and who they want to advertise with us, without any type of data exchange between us,” McGraw adds. .
The Snowflake Data Cloud is the cornerstone of the cleanroom solution. Its data sharing technology, private data exchange platform, and secure function and join capabilities enable the cleanroom solution.
“The exciting opportunity with the Snowflake Data Cloud is that it provides all the security protection we have from a data perspective and allows us to do some really cool things with audience graphs and other sets of data, customer data, other third-party datasets that we think the market is very hungry for when it comes to insights, activation, and measurement,” says Lisa Valentino, executive vice president of customer solutions and addressable activation at Disney Advertising Sales “The Snowflake solution allows us to manipulate data at scale, in an environment that we feel very comfortable with.”
Valentino explains that many Disney clients are considering clean rooms for pre-planning information by connecting their own first-party data to Disney data. Pre-scheduling information is essential for “upfronts”, the gatherings of television network executives, major advertisers and media outlets at the start of major advertising sales periods that allow marketers to buy advertising time. ” in advance “.
Over the next few months, Valentino says Disney plans to share insights and best practices on working with its data in the clean room. She hopes this will help customers better understand how Disney data adds additional value to their own data and how to design their data so it can stay in the clean room.
The Snowflake Data Cloud enables Disney to have a “single source of truth” about its data, while keeping it secure, available, compliant, and easily accessible for its partners. This single copy of data also gives Disney scalability and flexibility in how it prioritizes workloads, allowing it to better support its BI, analytics, data science, and machine learning teams. while minimizing the time data engineers must spend orchestrating, organizing, and creating data. pipelines to deliver data from various sources. The Clean Room gives Disney the ability to define if, how, and when to deliver query results to ensure data remains anonymized and secure.
Disney Select Powers Data Cleanroom
Behind the clean room is Disney Select, which brings together all of Disney’s first-party data and advanced modeling capabilities under one umbrella. Disney Select, in turn, is built on the Disney Ad Sales Audience Graph, which is designed to map relevant and available identifiers on the Disney Platform for a particular household and connect attributes and engagement across all touchpoints. Disney termination. McGraw notes that Disney Select gives marketers the ability to choose their desired audiences from a library of more than 1,000 first-party behavioral and psychographic segments.
“We work with over 100,000 attributes to inform these audience segments,” says McGraw. “We’re leveraging advanced machine learning, so we’re able to do a lot of modeling, whether it’s from a seed of information or by adding third-party data.”
As an example, McGraw says that Disney may not have a lot of internal data on buying automobiles, but he could add data from an auto dealer to Disney’s data in the clean room to create a more personalized model.
“Around each category, we think about desired outcomes, and then we model against that to create segments for the desired outcome,” says McGraw.
Embedded data science has been key
Disney has taken an integrated approach to data science to succeed in this area. McGraw’s data science team sits within the company in Valentino’s department.
“We’ve had great success integrating this solutions team into our go-to-market team,” says Valentino.
McGraw adds that thriving as data scientists in an ad sales organization required thinking about talent and ensuring a diversity of backgrounds and skills within the team. It is not enough to strictly hire members with quantitative backgrounds.
“We want people with a marketing background to sit right next to those with strong quantitative skills,” McGraw says. “There is an exchange of ideas, understanding and workflow between these groups. Whether it’s data science, advanced analytics, or data solutions and enablement, these groups exchange ideas, exchange skills, and work hand-in-hand.