LOS ANGELES – While in the larger world there’s nothing wrong with building silos, the advertising industry just has to break the habit when it comes to the digital space. Every time there’s a “new thing,” a new vertical is created even as consumers are craving ever more seamless experiences.

“We as an industry, in trying to learn each thing, create isolation, create separation and create a break in the consumer experience,” says Phil Cowdell, President of Platform Services for global media investment group GroupM.

Part of GroupM’s response is [m]PLATFORM, which allows all GroupM agencies to present clients with a more fully unified suite of ad planning, tracking and targeting tools, as ADWEEK reports.

Cowdell describes [m]PLATFORM as an amalgam of technology, data, people and expertise coming together “into one seamless, horizontal utility to client and agency teams.”

In this interview with Beet.TV at the annual Transformation conference of the 4A’s, Cowdell shares his vision of a world in which advertisers earn the right to consumer data by creating meaningful ad experiences for them. And he posits that data sharing among non-competing marketers can create a powerful alternative to first-party and third-party data, something he calls “closed-second” data.

Tackling semantics first, he says the terms first- and third-party data are off the mark because it’s the consumer’s data. “It’s consumer first.”

He offers an anecdote involving two men discussing who’s going to “chat up the girl” they encounter in a bar. “The reality is, the lady in the bar can decide who she’s like to spend her time with, and it’s not the choice of these two people.”

What really matters is how agencies and brands actually deploy all of that information. “If we don’t respect their data, if we don’t add value through their data, their own experience, we’re not going to get it,” Cowdell says.

He fully expects to see more data sharing in which brands in non-competing categories share useful consumer information to the benefit of all. “If we make it too isolated within our own narrow set, we can’t activate it,” he explains. “So the thing we’ll start to see in data is this emergence of closed-second.”

This video is part of series produced in Los Angeles at the 4A’s Transformation ’17. The series is sponsored by Extreme Reach. For more videos from the conference, please visit this page.