LAS VEGAS — It may be the piece of software many marketers wish they didn’t need to have – but data clean rooms are helping advertisers transform what they can do with audience and customer information.

Clean room technology allows media buyers and sellers to match their consumer data without directly sharing it with each other. With privacy regulation and deprecation of identifiers, it is emerging as a powerful tool.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Matt Kilmartin, CEO and co-founder of clean room vendor Habu, explains what is happening at the leading edge of the category.

Insight to data

“The major trend right now in the entire software industry is bringing intelligence to where data lives,” Kilmartin says.

“That’s why you see a company like Snowflake having so much success around their data cloud Snowflake clean rooms.”

Data services company Snowflake has a platform that lets publishers join and interpret data, using ad data services like insights, activation and measurement, with privacy in mind.

Snowflake is an investor in Habu. Kilmartin says the likes of Amazon and Google are playing catch-up.

“All of these clouds are fast following what Snowflake is doing around data sharing,” he says. “It’s the whole notion of bringing application intelligence to data where it actually resides. So it’s a lot of distributed queries, distributed access to data where it lives, rather than data movement. ”

Retail data

So, what does a clean room really do for a brand? Kilmartin gives an example of “some very cool new use cases emerging”.

“If you’re a CPG – someone like a Pepsi – most of your product is sold at the register or e-commerce checkout where you can’t see most of your massive reach,” he says.

“To start to be able to do analytics and deep insights on that data in a privacy-safe way is incredibly powerful. A lot of the legacy approaches to measurement and whatnot are like black boxes – slow, requires a middleman.

“But now, if Pepsi can collaborate directly with a Walmart or a Kroger or a Disney, that’s super powerful. They’re definitely innovating ahead of what I’m seeing a lot of companies do in the market right now.”

From crawl to walk

In 2022, many companies were still in a learning phase on clean rooms.

But, for others who had already dipped their toe in the water, the year saw a consolidation of the benefits.

“One of our clients said to me, especially as we enter a tougher economic climate, the importance of success around their data clean room is critical because they have to prove the ROI,” Kilmartin adds.

“We definitely have some partners now who are sort of on the way to a hundred active collaborations.

“The early adopters are moving into the ‘walk’ phase.”

You’re watching “Clean Rooms: Collaboration Goes Mainstream,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at CES 2023, presented by Habu. For more videos from this series, please visit this page. For all of our coverage from CES 2023, please click here.