Data: If You Can’t Buy it, Own it.

3 min readFeb 3, 2022

Written by, Jessica Wolfe, Director, Client Strategy & Activavtion at Merit.

We love data and we don’t care who knows it.

Who are “we”? We are marketers. Who am I? Well, I’m still on a journey of self-discovery, but in this world I’m Jess and I head up the Client Experience (CX) team at Merit.

While the reasons I love data are many, ultimately what I find most compelling are the insights that it unlocks. These insights are wonderful little nuggets of information that help to improve products and services and reach audiences with the same set of beliefs and values. Data in combination with these insights allow us to continually measure and refine, get smarter and do better. Which is kind of our jam.

Privacy Protection Impact

However, new privacy protections will limit our access to the treasure trove of data we’ve come to rely on from this $350 billion (with a “B”) industry. Powerhouses like Apple and Google — and specifically the Chrome browser — are taking steps to restrict the tracking of users. But it’s not just data collectors, it’s regulators, too. States are individually enacting their own data privacy laws, leaving the companies that rely on that data, well, at a loss.

The pandemic has forced many people to live even more of their lives online, and personal data has long been the currency that fuels those interactions. Without access to all that beautiful personal information, online shopping and browsing experiences will likely look bland and feel disjointed. Content will be less tailored and ads less relevant, depending on the device or browser you use. Imagine men in their 60’s being served ads for feminine hygiene products, and die-hard vegans receiving a promo code for the newest subscription “Meat of the Month” box. The pain for advertisers will be even more catastrophic as their ad spending become far less effective.

Rejoice! It’s not all doom and gloom.

Rather than advertisers purchasing and solely relying on the data of other networks and platforms, companies can build and leverage their very own warehouse of data. Doing so will allow them to better understand their customer base and improve interactions with those who are most faithful. It will also feed and inform the development of additional personas and prospective audiences. By looking at your Google Analytics, email lists and social channels you can glean helpful information about who is engaging with you, what types of content they prefer and what devices they use, just to name a few. Businesses that take back control of this data can improve who, when, where and why they target.

The reality is that most consumers have become accustomed to providing some level of information to the brands they trust, such as entering your birthday when shopping online for alcohol and using the recently-resurrected QR codes. Understanding the comfort level of consumers and how they interact with your brand will vary greatly based on traditional demographics and is only one part of the puzzle. Finding the right partner to help you navigate that discovery is crucial. And lucky for you, we know just the people. (It’s us. We’re those people.)

Take back your data.

Connect with Merit today and get started.




Hello. We are Merit. We are business consultants and futurists who activate brands with creativity and rigor. Market Invention is the philosophy that drives us.